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.

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

Oh, this book. How on earth does one review such a unique book without ruining the experience for others? This is one of those books that you should experience going in nearly cold.

Strangely enough this book takes place in a town five minutes from my home. Me, being me, was reading every Nashua reference with a squinty eye looking for a nit to pick but I didn’t find anything to bitch about. Nashua is not a very exciting place, if you ask me, and it was fun imagining this weird stuff happening so close to me. I’m going to give any suspicious men about town even more of a wide berth after reading this, however. 

If you bought PROVIDENCE because you loved YOU and HIDDEN BODIES and you expect another crazy Joe you do need to know that this book is not at all like either of them. It starts out when the main characters are children and within pages I was so in love with their friendship and engaged with these two characters that I didn’t want to put it down (curse you real life and your constant interruptions). Kepnes managed to do in mere pages what some books cannot accomplish after hundreds of them. She made me care deeply about these two and put my feelings through the wringer. Now that’s a talent!

Jon and Chloe just click. They would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been that rare couple who fall in love, marry young and stay together through good times and bad because they were meant to be. But that doesn’t happen because who wants to read that book?! Something unexpected happens to one of the kids and it changes them forever. Waking up with vague memories and a copy of The Dunwich Horror by Lovecraft with a strange letter tucked inside, the parents, best friend and the family soon learn that something has forever changed with this kid. I’m not going to tell you what it is or even which kid it is because you need to experience that gut punch yourownselves. I’ll just leave you guessing with this quote.

"I’m starting to get paranoid, starting to think something’s wrong with me… I imagine myself the invisible monster, slaughtering them all."

The remainder of the book features these two kids grown and struggling to connect, longing for each other but unable (for reasons I’m still not divulging) to be together properly. Their story is absolutely wrenching to witness. There is also another character named Eggs who makes it his mission to crack a case involving suspicious deaths of young people. Eggs and his story was also filled with pain and heartbreak and tore me all up inside. Geez, this book. I’m going to spoil it if I keep blathering on. Just read it if you want and I hope you love it as much as I did.

My favorite quote is this one because it’s so damned accurate for me and most everyone I know that I actually laughed out loud like a genuine lunatic. 

"Why are you so dressed up? That should be the state fucking slogan of New Hampshire. "

 

Dear (First Name)

Seriously Goodreads, you send an email to me addressed Dear (First Name)? I feel so incredibly special. And then you send me links to Amazon where I can BUY the book I didn't win for $11.96. Gee, thanks, I didn't know I could do that!

 

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

I Am Not A Serial Killer - Dan Wells, John Allen Nelson

This is a weird book but I think I liked it well enough. Let’s see if I can work out a rating by the time I stop writing out my feelings here.

 

“I think that fate wants me to become a serial killer.”

 

John Wayne Cleaver is a teen doing his best not to murder the cretins that surround him. I’m not joking about this either. He has serious serial killer in the making vibes. Even his therapist thinks so. His family runs a mortuary and he’s been exposed to death since he was a child but he’s the only one in his family who finds death fascinating. He’s written school essays on serial killers and is obsessed with learning everything about them. But unlike most killers (besides Dexter), he knows murder is wrong and he creates rules for himself that will prevent him from acting out on his urges to slice people up like stir-fry. But people do not make it easy for him. As you all probably know, most people are jerks. Especially when they’re still in high school. John has one friend and that friend was so annoying I might’ve wanted to slice him up a time or two myself.

 

This kid is detached, he knows it, you know it and it’s hard to feel for him since he doesn’t feel normal emotions. He mimics others in order to be a decent citizen and get by in society. You think you see where this all heading with comments like these, don’t you?

 

“If you met me on the street you’d never know how much I wanted to kill you.”

 

But you would be wrong. The book takes a weird and unexpected turn somewhere midway in and it really threw me off. I thought I was reading one thing and then it turned into another thing and I wasn’t sure I liked where it was heading but in the end I guess it worked out because I didn’t quit it. Just go in expecting the unexpected and you might be ok.

 

With that said, I must steer you away from the audiobook read by John Allen Nelson. Sadly this narrator was not a good fit for my ears. He has a news anchor voice and he’s not afraid to use it and it continually threw me out of the story. He would be much better suited to a true crime or a nonfiction book. He doesn’t do well with a teen’s voice and this book is told by a teen. He also has the funniest, most cartoony old person voice I think I have ever heard outside of the shows my kids used to watch on Nickelodeon. I laughed when I should’ve been a wee bit sad or terrified.

 

In the end, I guess I’m giving this production and story a three. I wasn’t happy with the way everything was wrapped up so tidily in the end. It seemed too easy and too unbelievable and it infuriated me a little. Many people say this story gets better as the series moves along. I may try another if I stumble on a free copy but I won’t actively seek them out.

Friday Reads (same as last week)

Has it ever been a total crap week. A relative passed away super suddenly, work-stress is still high and we've been stuck in a heatwave.

But it hasn't been all doom and gloom and sadness. A fellow horror blogger has come up with a fantastic idea to spread our joy of horror fiction and, if all goes well, I'll write up an announcement post soon. We're still working out all the kinks. If you're on Twitter you may have seen some of the posts going around. It's going to consume all of my reading time but I am so excited to be a part of it!

Anyhow, I'm still reading the same two books as I was at this time last week. Tonight, if I can, I am sitting down with Patrick here and will attempt to force my family into watching a horror film after I finally finish Providence by Caroline Kepnas!

Talk to me at Twitter and/or Instagram as plan to leave the laptop closed  again :)

 

 
You guys have any fun plans?

 

July 2018 Wrap-Up

Hey, here I am two months in a row!!

 
June 2018
 
New Reviews Posted
(clicking on cover will bring you to my review)
 
The King's
   
 
The Very Good Reads
     
 
The Eh
 
The Sexy
   
 
The DNF's
 
Unbury Carol  https://barksbooknonsense.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-oh-so-sad-dnf-collection-vol-1.html  https://barksbooknonsense.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-oh-so-sad-dnf-collection-vol-1.html
 

I read some great books in June and am keeping my fingers crossed that my streak continues into July. Five of them were from my physical TBR pile but sadly two of those ended up being DNF's. One book wasn't for me, one tried to kill my dog and the last was just a mess.

Atop the TBR Pile In July:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16615679-naked-in-death  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15998401-i-am-not-a-serial-killer  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35226186-providence  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40033777-the-sea-was-a-fair-master  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2905339-bark
 
 
Just like June, I'm hoping to catch up on more of my review copies, both audio & print, and am hoping to have a buddy read with my friend Char's Horror Corner. We'll see how that goes as the start to this month has been not so good and I am terrible Buddy Read partner! What are you all up to?

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

Naked in Death  - J.D. Robb, Susan Ericksen

I read this when was it first released in 1995 and decided to give it a reread on audio hoping it would hold up so many, many years later. 23 years later, actually! How did that happen? This book is older than my kids. Older, probably, than a few of my friends here too! Obviously, I remembered nothing about it except that I loved it, that it was set in the future, had a damaged heroine named Eve and that her lover was named Roarke and his past was shady. I was all into characters with dubious pasts back then, still am, I guess. I read a few more in the series before getting side-tracked by life and forgetting about it which is pretty much the story of my reading life with any series be they short or eternal like this one.

 

I feared Naked In Death might not be nearly as great as I had remembered but miraculously that wasn’t the case. It’s gritty from the get-go and very murder mystery/crime procedural-ish in the most interesting of ways. I think any reader picking this up so late in the game can still enjoy it. It doesn’t feel dated and is so much better than some of the more recent Nora Roberts book I’ve read more recently. I was thinking maybe my tastes had changed but now I’m thinking Nora Robert’s has just written a few duds. Vision in White & Shadow Spell? I’m talking about YOU.

 

There’s no sense in rehashing the plot of this old book. I’ll just leave you with the good and the not-so-good. The chemistry and dialogue are great, there are the beginnings of some amazing character development which will continue into at least the next few books and I enjoyed reliving Eve and Rourke’s early days.

 

The downside? There is insta-lust and it takes over Eve’s common sense. I won’t say anything else because its spoiler territory but if you read it you’ll see what I mean. There are also some brutal as hell death scenes, all of a sexual nature, and flashbacks of child abuse by a sexual predator. Lots of death and lots of awful sexual stuff. Be careful if these scenarios haunt you because Robb doesn’t pull any punches here.

 

I’d give this book a four and ½. It’s not quite the five I remembered but I’m old and crabby now.

Friday Reads is Finally Here!

Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes The Sea Was a Fair Master - Calvin Demmer

Horror Summer Reading Created for & by Superfans :)

So there was a thing on Goodreads that made me feel a little excluded. This thing was hard to avoid seeing because they placed a big, ugly banner atop the website that was hard to miss. This thing was a link to their list of the Hottest Books of Summer. This list was anything but lukewarm for me, at best, because it excluded many genres and seemed a wee bit uninspired. I put out a snarky little tweet on Twitter to voice my frustration and Toni the Reader agreed that we should create our own epic list of books that showcased our horror love so here we are!


Well. the horror people came through! A giant thanks go out to the best read horror readers in the Twitterverse for making it possible to create this list that will enable us to spend all of our money and have a summer filled with horrorific goodness! The person(s) who recommended each title will be listed next to the the author name. This list would not exist without their input. Go follow these folks, if you don't already, because they know their stuff. Just click on any @link or author name to jump over to Twitter.


The "rules" were loose, simply list a book that will be released on/before summer ends, one you're hoping to read this summer or one you feel others should read this summer that you loved, or do both! New and old releases were included.

Click on any cover to learn more about the book at Goodreads where you can find all the buy links.. And I know you're going to want to buy a few!

I tried to list the books in the order of receipt and also tried to keep multiple author works together but I got real tired near the middle. If I missed your recommendation or screwed up anything, please know it wasn't intentional and let me know in the comments and I'll fix it Twitter makes it very hard to see everything and my eyes are very bleary right now.

Here they are! All the books horror fans think you should all be reading this summer! Which ones will you be reading?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12231218-kin?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27687495-sour-candy?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35917172-blanky?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17839402-the-tent?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/179780.The_Exorcist?from_search=true  


KIN BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKE  (@paperbacksnpugs, @sjgomzi)
"In the spirit of such iconic horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance, Kin begins at the end and studies the possible aftermath for the survivors of such traumas upon their return to the real world — the guilt, the grief, the thirst for revenge — and sets them on an unthinkable journey... back into the heart of darkness."

SOUR CANDY BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKE @tonithereader@sjgomzi@barkbknonsense)
" a stomach-twisting ride through the depths of horror, breathing new life into an often-stagnant part of the genre" - Publishers Weekly, starred review."

BLANKY BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKE (@sjgomzi@barkbknonsense)
"In the wake of his infant daughter's tragic death, Steve Brannigan is struggling to keep himself together. Estranged from his wife, who refuses to be inside the house where the unthinkable happened, and unable to work, he seeks solace in an endless parade of old sitcoms and a bottle of bourbon. Until one night he hears a sound from his daughter's old room . . ."

THE TENT BY KEALAN PATRICK BURKE  (@freeman_ac)
"Hocking Hills, Ohio is an oasis for campers, hikers, nature enthusiasts, and for those who just want to get away and lose themselves in the wild. And as long as you follow your guide's advice and stay within the permitted areas, you can expect to survive the night. Because deep within the dark woods, something insidious awaits, something few have ever seen, something ancient, unknowable, and insatiable. If you go down to these woods today, you won't live to see the sunrise..."

THE EXORCIST BY WILLIAM PETER BLATTY (@Tonithereader)
"Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written."

 
 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39306945-they-feed?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30285766-the-hunger?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36124936-the-outsider?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36990259-bad-man  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40601612-the-bedding-of-boys


THEY FEED by JASON PARENT  (@barkbknonsense)
"The campgrounds are full tonight, and the creatures are starving. Before the night is over, they will feed. "

THE HUNGER by ALMA KATSU (@MotherHorror)
"Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere. Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone--or something--is stalking them."

THE OUTSIDER by STEPHEN KING  (@MotherHorror@barkbknonsense)
"An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories."

BAD MAN by DATHAN AUERBACH (@MotherHorror) 
"Reddit horror sensation Dathan Auerbach delivers a devilishly dark novel about a young boy who goes missing, and the brother who won't stop looking for him."

BEDDING OF BOYS by Edward Lorn (@MotherHorror)
"Regina Corsi is a monster, the vilest of predators. Her desire for young boys is only matched by the bloodlust that overcomes her once the sex is finished. But she’s grown hasty in her hunting. And only a special friend can keep her disturbing appetites a secret."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37510662-foe  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38608066-the-siren-and-the-specter?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35274560-unbury-carol?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13096218-westlake-soul?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36343736-halcyon?ac=1&from_search=true


FOE by IAIN REID  (@MotherHorror@BookishMommy, @boxermommyreads)
"Told in Reid’s sharp and evocative style, Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale."

THE SIREN AND THE SPECTER by JONATHAN JANZ  (@MotherHorror)
"When David Caine, a celebrated skeptic of the supernatural, is invited by an old friend to spend a month in “the most haunted house in Virginia,” he believes the case will be like any other. But the Alexander House is different. Built by a 1700s land baron to contain the madness and depravity of his eldest son, the house is plagued by shadows of the past and the lingering taint of bloodshed. David is haunted, as well. For twenty-two years ago, he turned away the woman he loved, and she took her life in sorrow. And David suspects she’s followed him to the Alexander House. "

UNBURY CAROL by JOSH MALERMAN (@Gows33@MotherHorror)
"Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final."

WESTLAKE SOUL by RIO YOUERS (@charrlygirl)
"Westlake is in a permanent vegetative state. He can’t move, has no response to stimuli, and can only communicate with Hub, the faithful family dog. And like all superheroes, Westlake has an archenemy: Dr. Quietus—a nightmarish embodiment of Death itself."

HALCYON by RIO YOUERS (@BookDen, @BookHappy08)
"HALCYON is the answer for all Americans who want to escape, but paradise isn't what it seems."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/219715.Cold_in_July?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28502853-chills?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38459369-behind-the-door?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50033.Dandelion_Wine?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40220536-the-moore-house?from_search=true


COLD IN JULY by JOE LANSDALE  ((@charrlygirl)
"Richard Dane shoots and kills a gun-wielding burglar in his living room. It's clearly a case of self-defense, but the dead man’s father, Ben Russel, doesn't see it that way. Russel wants to extract Old Testament-style justice: an eye-for-an-eye, a son-for-a-son. Straightforward menace takes a 90-degree turn, though, when certain unexpected truths come to light, and soon Dane and Russel find themselves working together for a common cause. Their investigation puts them at odds with the cops, the Feds, and the Dixie Mafia, but they’re determined to find the answers that lie at the end of a very dark and twisting path."

CHILLS by MARY SANGIOVANNI 
 (ScifiandScary)
"It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won't be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst."

BEHIND THE DOOR by MARY SANGIOVANNI  (@charrlygirl)
"Some doors should never be opened . . . In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answered—for better or worse. "

DANDELION WINE by RAY BRADBURY(@charrlygirl)
"The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury."

THE MOORE HOUSE by TONY TREMBLAY  (@charrlygirl)
No blurbs yet but it looks to be a most excellent haunted house novel!

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29901930-the-fisherman?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/477801.Let_s_Go_Play_At_The_Adams_?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36742994-devil-sharks?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36290293-death-head-valley?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25867895-experimental-film?from_search=true


THE FISHERMAN by JOHN LANGAN     (@charrlygirl, @sjgomzi)
"It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it."

LET'S GO PLAY AT THE ADAMS by Mendal W. Johnson  (@charrlygirl & @barkbknonsense
"Surely, it was only a game. In the orderly, pleasant world Barbara inhabited, nice children -- and they were nice children -- didn't hold an adult captive."

DEVIL SHARKS by CHRIS JAMESON  (@BookDen)
"A pleasure cruise in Paradise leads to a group of friends to a shark-infested Hell... "

DEATH HEAD VALLEY by DAVID CHARLESWORTH   (@paperbacksnpugs)
"DEATH HEAD VALLEY is unabashedly written to feel like a novelization of an Eighties-esque slasher movie that was never made. The kills come thick and fast and will leave you reeling. This is extreme horror and not for the faint hearted. "

EXPERIMENTAL FILM by GEMMA FILES    (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Experimental Film mixes painful character detail with a creeping aura of dread to produce a fictionalized "memoir" designed to play on its readers' narrative expectations and pack an existentialist punch."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40186809-death-obsessed?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10644930-11-22-63?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38200785-the-nightmare-room?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13406959-the-lords-of-salem?from_search=true  


DEATH OBSESSED by ROBERT ESSIG  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Remember those old VHS tapes with labels that said “banned in 40 countries” and “not for the faint of heart,” with titles like Faces of Death and Mondo Violence? Well, they’re back, only this time it’s a book. This book. Death Obsessed is Faces of Death with an identity crisis. Get ready for something mondo macabre! "

11/22/63 by STEPHEN KING   (@paperbacksnpugs@barkbknonsense)
"Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful."

THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by CHRISTOPHER SORENSEN (@paperbacksnpugs@Gows33 , & @barkbknonsense@MrsRobEnglish)
"A boy in a basement, a man in a booth and a darkness that threatens to swallow them both..."

THE LORDS OF SALEM by ROB ZOMBIE  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"From the singular mind of horror maestro Rob Zombie comes a chilling plunge into a nightmare world where evil runs in the blood..."

FROSTBITTEN by STEVE STREDULINKSY  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"12 Hymns of Misery." Scheduled for release on July 1, 2018.

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/411944.Jaws_2?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37777785-he-digs-a-hole?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31303073-the-unheimlich-manoeuvre?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25901450-godbomb  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/147590.Endless_Night?from_search=true


JAWS 2 by HANK SEARLS  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"It's four years since the Long Island resort of Amity was terrorized by the monster killer shark... the nightmare story that thrilled the world as JAWS. — Out in the deep water there's a new and even more terrible predator from the ocean depths... — The female of the Great White Shark is even larger than the male. — Ravenously hungry, the death-dealing monster slices through the blue water towards the beaches of Amity..."

HE DIGS A WHOLE by DANGER SLATER   (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Cut off your hands and replace them with gardening tools. Dig a hole. Can you hear the worms calling? Keep digging."

 

UNHEIMLICH MANOEUVRE by TRACY FAHEY  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"The Unheimlich Manoeuvre is a collection of short stories based around ideas of the domestic uncanny – the Unheimlich. The stories in this collection don’t fall into the conventional ‘haunted house’ bracket, but explore the psychological horror that occurs when home is subverted as a place of safety, when it becomes surreal, changes, and even disappears…"

GOD BOMB by KIT GONZO  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Somebody wants answers. North Devon, England. 1995. A born-again revival meeting in a public building. The usual mix of the faithful, the curious, and the desperate. And one other – an atheist suicide bomber. He's angry. He wants answers. And if God doesn't come and talk to him personally, he's going to kill everyone in the building.."

ENDLESS NIGHT by RICHARD LAYMON  (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Jody is pretty tough for a sixteen-year-old girl. That's the only reason she's still alive - for now. She was sleeping over at her friend Evelyn's house when a group of killers broke in and tried to slaughter everyone. She saw Evelyn spitted on a spear, but Jody managed to escape, along with Evelyn's little brother, Andy. — Simon was one of the killers that gruesome night. His friends have left it up to him to find the only living witnesses to their massacre. Or else they'll butcher his family next. But Simon has his own reasons for wanting to get his hands on Jody..."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15814694-video-night?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31213372-entropy-in-bloom?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38886176-mind-wreck?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37685076-the-wicked-ones?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36300727-the-cabin-at-the-end-of-the-world?from_search=true


VIDEO NIGHT by ADAM CESARE (@paperbacksnpugs)
"Who knows more about fighting a monster invasion than a group of teenage horror fans?"

ENTROPY IN BLOOM by JEREMY R. JOHNSON (@Gows33)
"For more than a decade, Jeremy Robert Johnson has been bubbling under the surface of both literary and genre fiction. His short stories present a brilliantly dark and audaciously weird realm where cosmic nightmares collide with all-too-human characters and apocalypses of all shapes and sizes loom ominously."

MIND WRECK by JZ FOSTER    (@Gows33 & @barkbknonsense)
"Has anyone ever told you how special you are? How great you could be at anything if you just put your mind to it? They were lying. There are people, Shadows, who really can do anything. They walk like gods among us, speaking with the dead and tearing their enemies apart with a simple thought. Some live unchained by death, and others live without the shroud covering what tomorrow brings. "

THE WICKED ONE by JZ FOSTER  (@sjgomzi)
"You know, the best thing about nightmares is that they're not real. It's all just in your head, and as soon as you wake up, pop!It's all gone. You're safe.It's not like they could crawl out, creeping from your mind with long, slender fingers and milky yellow eyes sunken into heads with pointed horns bursting out.That'd just be insane."

THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD by PAUL TREMBLAY  (@Gows33)
"The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34065268-kill-creek?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37806143-broken-shells?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35113320-sharkwater-beach?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114360-pressure?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32184499-dream-woods?from_search=true


KILL CREEK by SCOTT THOMAS    @Gows33@barkbknonsense@sjgomzi
"At the end of a dark prairie road, nearly forgotten in the Kansas countryside, lies the Finch House. For years it has perched empty, abandoned, and overgrown--but soon the door will be opened for the first time in many decades. But something waits, lurking in the shadows, anxious to meet its new guests. "

BROKEN SHELLS by MICHAEL PATRICK HICK  @Gows33
"When Antoine steps foot on Dangle’s car lot, it is with the hope of easy money. Instead, he finds himself trapped in a deep, dark hole, buried alive. If he is going to survive the nightmare ahead of him, if he has any chance of seeing his wife and child again, Antoine will have to do more than merely hope. He will have to fight his way back to the surface, and pray that Jon Dangle’s secrets do not kill him first. "

SHARKWATER BEACH by TIM MEYER   @freeman_ac
"Beneath the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest predator on the planet hunts, craving the flesh and blood of every creature it can sink its teeth into. Detective Jill McCourty receives a phone call from her old college professor when a mangled body washes up on the shores of Sharkwater Beach. Together they must discover what stalks the waters around the private island and stop it before it reaches the mainland. But how do you stop something so enormous, something so unique that it may have existed in another time? "

PRESSURE by BRIAN KEENE    @freeman_ac
"Off the coast of tropical Mauritius, an ecological catastrophe with global implications is occurring. The ocean's floor is collapsing at a rapid rate. World-champion free diver and marine biologist Carrie Anderson joins a scientific expedition determined to discover the cause-and how to stop it. But what they uncover is even more horrific. Deep beneath the surface, something is awake. Something hungry. Something...cold. Now, the pressure builds as Carrie and her colleagues must contend with the murderous operatives of a corrupt corporation, an unnatural disaster that grows bigger by the day, and a monstrous predator that may spell the extinction of all mankind."

DREAM WOODS by PATRICK LACEY   @freeman_ac@barkbknonsense
"Follow your screams… When Vince Carter takes a shortcut to work he notices a billboard that nearly sends him into an oncoming van. The ad is for Dream Woods, New England’s answer to Disney World. It closed decades ago, but now that it’s back in business, Vince is eager to take his whole family, hoping the magic he remembers will save his failing marriage. "

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7940591-blockade-billy?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28963838-children-of-the-dark?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34105517-exorcist-falls?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37542523-siphon?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/125564.Night_of_the_Living_Dummy?ac=1&from_search=true


BLOCKADE BILLY by STEPHEN KING     @freeman_ac
"Even the most die-hard baseball fans don't know the true story of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first--and only--player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all."

CHILDREN OF THE DARK by JONATHAN JANZ    @freeman_ac
"Will Burgess is used to hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, son of a drug-addicted mother, and charged with raising his six-year-old sister, Will has far more to worry about than most high school freshmen. To make matters worse, Mia Samuels, the girl of Will’s dreams, is dating his worst enemy, the most sadistic upperclassman at Shadeland High. Will’s troubles, however, are just beginning."

EXORCIST FALLS by JONATHAN JANZ    @sjgomzi
"This volume brings together the original novella that started it all—Exorcist Road—and an all-new full-length novel (Exorcist Falls) for a shattering experience in supernatural terror."

SIPHON by A.A. Medina     @freeman_ac
". . .a workplace accident ushers in a bizarre, but empowering experience that evokes a new sense of self, forcing repressed memories to surface while encouraging him to pursue his fantasies with unconventional methods. "

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DUMMY by R.L. Stine     @freeman_ac
"When twins Lindy and Kris find a ventriloquist's dummy in a Dumpster, Lindy decides to "rescue" it, and she names it Slappy. But Kris is green with envy. It's not fair. Why does Lindy get to have all the fun and all the attention? Kris decides to get a dummy of her own. She'll show Lindy. Then weird things begin to happen. Nasty things. Evil things. It can't be the dummy causing all the trouble, Can it?"

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16180230-the-shell-collector?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35226186-providence?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25739768-cruelty?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37172520-widow-s-point?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15729539-nos4a2?ac=1&from_search=true
 

THE SHELL COLLECTOR by CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN     @freeman_ac
"Out lobstering, Richie sees something nightmarish in the surf one day, catches a bare glimpse of it beneath the surface. He doesn't dare speak of it for fear of what others might say-he doesn't want to become the town crazy. But he's having a hard time sleeping at night, and several days later, while out hauling in his traps for the winter, Richie finds one of them stuck on something. When he finally hauls it up, there's a corpse attached, a corpse that has been eaten at by sea creatures, including something large . . ."

PROVIDENCE by CAROLINE KEPNAS     @MotherHorror@freeman_ac@barkbknonsense
"A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping."

CRUELTY by EDWARD LORN    @sjgomzi
"On a lonely stretch of deserted Texas highway, Will Longmire breaks down. But he's not alone. In the dead of night, Innis Blake hits someone - or something - with her car. The figure should not be getting up. But it is. An unstoppable force is after Will and Innis. And before the night is over, both strangers will know the face of Cruelty. Forgiveness is only a few miles down the road, but safety is nowhere in sight. Every monster has its origins."

WIDOW'S POINT by RICHARD CHIZMAR    @sjgomzi
"“This is a bad place. I don't think people are meant to live here.”"

N0S4R2 by JOE HILL    @IainMacCallum2
"NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17674968-the-necromancer-s-house?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20893407-the-lesser-dead?fr  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27246149-the-suicide-motor-club  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23168805-nightwise?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/362854.Mandibles?from_search=true
 

THE NECROMANCER'S HOUSE by CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN           @IainMacCallum2
"Christopher Buehlman’s new novel—one of uncommon horrors hiding behind the walls of the house next door…"

THE LESSER DEAD by CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN       @IainMacCallum2@barkbknonsense
"The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry—"

THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB by CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN     @boxermommyreads
"a chilling and thrilling tale of dark evil lurking on the lonely, open road..."

NIGHTWISE by ROD BELCHER       @iainMacCallum2
"The acclaimed author of The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana launches a gritty new urban fantasy series set in today’s seedy occult underworld"

MANDIBLES by JEFF STRAND     @scifiandScary
"Fire ants. Even when they're normal sized, they're horrible, wretched insects whose sting causes burning pain. But these ants are far from normal. And the city of Tampa, Florida has become infested with the oversized creatures."

 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36416812-best-horror-of-the-year-volume-10?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40604732-tamer-animals?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32920015-bone-white?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40499855-something-borrowed-something-blood-soaked?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36440711-obscura?ac=1&from_search=true


BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, Vol. 10 edited by ELLEN DATLOW      @ScifiandScary
"For more than three decades, Ellen Datlow has been at the center of horror. Bringing you the most frightening and terrifying stories, Datlow always has her finger on the pulse of what horror readers crave. Now, with the tenth volume of the series, Datlow is back again to bring you the stories that will keep you up at night."

TAMER ANIMALS by JUSTIN M.WOODWARD    @SteveStred
"IT WAS JUST THE WORST NIGHT OF THEIR LIVES
From the moment they arrived, strange noises echoed around them… a sense that they were being watched pervaded the campsite… and that was just the beginning.

BONE WHITE by RONALD MALFI   @Truebookaddict & @KealanBurke
"A landscape of frozen darkness punctuated by grim, gray days.The feeling like a buzz in your teeth.
The scrape of bone on bone. . .

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLOOD-SOAKED by CHRIST CARMEN    @ErinAlMehairi
"In her debut collection, Christa Carmen combines horror, charm, humor, and social critique to shape thirteen haunting, harrowing narratives of women struggling with both otherworldly and real-world problems."

OBSCURA by JOE HART     @losingandrea
"She’s felt it before…the fear of losing control. And it’s happening again. In the near future, an aggressive and terrifying new form of dementia is affecting victims of all ages. The cause is unknown, and the symptoms are disturbing."


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220785-certain-dark-things?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/201645.Resurrection_Dreams?from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40023909-the-moor?ac=1&from_search=true  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35964638-worship-me?from_search=true

CERTAIN DARK THINGS BY SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA      (@boxermommyreads)
"Welcome to Mexico City… An Oasis In A Sea Of Vampires…"

RESURRECTION DREAMS BY RICHARD LAYMON (@barksbknonsense) Because no summer is complete without reading the underwater, burnt to a crisp, zombie boob-grabbing scene!  You're welcome, haha.

"Recently released from a mental institution, Melvin is acting stranger than ever. His experiments with the dead have progressed and as soon as he can get Vicki - or rather her body - where he wants her, he can realize his most chilling dream of all..."

THE MOOR by SAM HAYSON    (@RedLaceKitty)
"It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other. But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen."

WORSHIP ME by CRAIG STEWART    (@Barksbknonsense)
"Something is listening to the prayers of St. Paul’s United Church, but it’s not the god they asked for; it’s something much, much older. "So there it is, enough horror goodness to keep you busy all summer long. If you read a book a day you might even be able to read them all before summer ends!

The Girl Friend by Michelle Frances

The Girlfriend - Michelle Francis

This book promises a “gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller”. It is gripping but it isn’t any of the other things. If you know that going in and you love reading about horrible people as much as I do, you’ll likely enjoy it much more. I requested it so long ago that I didn’t remember a thing about the blurb until I just went back and read it now and I’m glad of that!

 

Laura’s life is one of wealth and privilege but her marriage is devoid of warmth and love. She’s focused all of her love on her grown son Daniel. He loves his mom and seems to be a decent son, despite her smothering, but when a new girlfriend enters the picture Laura quickly decides that Cherry is nothing but a pretty, little gold-digger and she does not like her.

 

The first half or so of this book is an intense character study of Cherry and Laura. We get to know them, their motives, their desires, their vicious inner thoughts and their incredible flaws. You can see a true mess in the making and it so much fun to read. As things progress, you realize just how far these two women will go to have things go their way. They are both deviously awful humans. One is smothering, selfish, mean-spirited, and more than a little evil. The other is shallow, materialistic, vindictive, and totally evil. Horrid, terrible people and I loved reading about them.

 

Even though there are really no true surprises here and not a lot happens in the first half, the book is incredibly infectious. Once I started reading I just had to keep going to find out what nasty thing was going to be said and done next. When a whopper of a lie is told by one of the women, the book spirals into a pit of doom from that point thereafter and I read it straight through until the end.

 

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley but it was only the first 13 chapters. Why would they do that to anyone?! I ended up getting my copy from my local library but had to wait a few months before my number was called.

Reading progress update: I've read 370 out of 454 pages.

The Girlfriend - Michelle Francis



These women are horrible creatures!"

Servant of the Undead by Isabelle Drake

Servant of the Undead - Isabelle Drake

I don’t think this book is going to be a book for everyone but if you like a little monster mixed in with your erotica it may just be the book for you.

 

Hayden is a young guy doing a little zombie sex-cult research for a junk rag in the library when he is approached by a gorgeous woman wearing little more than a mini-skirt and a few scraps of rags. She’s dripping (it’s storming out, you pervs), she is icy cold and she smells weird. He knows deep down that something is not quite right here but he has sex with her anyway (hey, she offered!) and now he’s in way over his head. Turns out she’s the sort of zombie that he has just been researching. What are the odds, do you think?! She lets him know that he is her newest sex pet and he must perform whenever she feels the need to “feed” which is quite often, it turns out. She feeds off of sex, by the way, instead of brains and he has no way to fend her off because she easily compels him with her eyes and her beautiful body.

 

“You don’t understand yet, do you? Let me explain. You belong to me now. Until I’m done with you, that is.”


She chains him, she drugs him and, if you ask me, it serves him right! He has a girlfriend who he has cheated on and now because of his dick and his weakness, she’s caught up in all of this weirdness. He is one of the world’s worst boyfriends and feels bad for brief moments but not bad enough to figure a way out of the situation. And nearly not bad enough for me to feel bad for him as I reveled in his debasement!

 

This book is something else. I cannot honestly say that I liked any of the characters with the exception of Rachelle, the cuckolded but good-natured girlfriend, because they’re all pretty despicable creatures who do terrible things and think terrible thoughts but I couldn’t put it down. It’s a sexy, strange read with loads of dubious consent and a few humiliating episodes but nothing overly gross or truly disturbing (says me who has read some AWFUL stuff in the past, pee & poo stuff if you must know, so your mileage may vary). Be warned though, if dubious consent or the inability to consent scares you off because that stuff is here in several scenes. None of it gets too dark or disgusting and it’s not filled with angst and emotional despair. It was all rather amusing in a dark, dubiously sexy sort of way.

 

I’d give it a 3 1/2 because the story did get a wee bit convoluted towards the last half but it still managed to keep me entertained.

 

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for providing me with an ARC.

Friday Reads & Stuff

Reading progress update: I've listened 30 out of 619 minutes.

Naked in Death  - J.D. Robb, Susan Ericksen

I'm rereading on audio. I read this book back when it was first released and as I started the audio I quickly realized my memory is not at all good! I wonder if it'll live up to my painfully vague memories of it?

 

 

The Axeman of New Orleans: The (boring) True Story

The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story - Miriam C. Davis, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I am DNFing this book. For a story about the axeman, it is so incredibly dull. The author has clearly done her homework but she's included too many sidelines that have nothing to do with the murders. If I wanted to learn about the origins of the Italian Mafia in New Orleans I would've picked up a different book.

 

This story was also one of the subplots in American Horror Story’s season of “Coven”. The "axeman" is the guy Jessica Lange gets cozy with. The gals over at MY FAVORITE MURDER also covered the case in one of their many disturbingly amusing podcasts. I’d say listen to that instead. Life's too short and stressful so I'm picking up something else rather than struggling to stay awake during this one.

Worship Me by Craig Stewart

Worship Me - Craig Stewart

We all need a little darkness in our reading lives, if only to escape the darkness of reality, right? Well, I sure do and this book was gruesomely dark, unrelentingly evil and I loved nearly every black page but especially those where selfish hearted people meet their demise most painfully. 

Does that make me evil too? 

The story begins when a horrible wife abusing man named Rick finds his bliss while praying to a structure in the woods. That structure houses The Behemoth, the one and true God, the God of hellfire, damnation and exquisite pain to all who fail to bow down properly. Rick and The Behemoth infest a local church filled with loyal devotees and demand fealty to their new God as well as make an offering of an innocent child or they all die . . . Just one child though, this Behemoth is not greedy even though there is a basement filled with kiddos.



So, what follows is the evil that happens when humans are asked to make such a terrible decision to save their own hides. All of their ugliness, self-preservation and selfishness come crashing to the surface and spewing through their mouths and thoughts. Some become sheep, just going along with what they know instinctively is very wrong. This all feels so very real and the author does a fantastic job of bringing this terror-filled this scenario to life.

“All was not right in the house of God.”

Terrible, gory things happen at the level of early Clive Barker gruesomeness, mostly to people who deserve it but just know that no one is truly safe, even if they’re not a jerk. I enjoyed the spontaneity of the murders even when I was sad to see someone decent go because it upped the odds. The characters were well drawn and the brief moments of light and hope make the darker bits stand out all the more. My only minor complaint is that there is a bit of head hopping which I noticed most nearest the end. I don’t typically notice such things but there were a few pages that I had to go back and reread to clarify who was speaking.

The ending was very fitting and one I didn’t see coming. I loved the visceral brutality of it all and the picture it paints of the most horrible creature of all: humans. 

Read this one if you dare!

The Outsider by Stephen King, narrated by Will Patton

The Outsider - Will Patton, Stephen King

This is the story of an atrocious murder of an innocent and the investigation that turns into a “ f*cked up nightmare of a case” for all of those involved. 

That description about sums it all up. The murder, the ensuing rush to jail a suspect and the follow up are all horrific. To say anything more about the plot, truly, is to ruin it for anyone wishing to read it. It’s not just me being lazy! I’m seriously tired of having things spoiled for me so I’m refusing to say much of anything. If you want to know more, check out one of the zillion spoilery reviews out here in the internets. 

If you want to read a book by a master storyteller who grabs you early and doesn’t really let you up for air until well into its second half, I cannot recommend this audiobook highly enough. I was hooked into the story so hard that I found myself making up chores so I could stay plugged in and listen to “just a bit more” before I had to return to reality. I even took my lazy dog for a long neglected walk in order to have an excuse to keep going. He pooped out way before I was ready to call it quits on The Outsider and pull out my earbuds.

This isn’t a straight up murder mystery and you need to know that before going in. It has a horror angle and a tie-in to a previous series. If you don’t like either of those two things in your books, you might not be overly thrilled with the second half of the book. Me? I loved it. I want more books like these and I want them all to be narrated by Will Patton! His voice is just so down to earth, calming and listenable (is that a word?). He breathes life into the characters and that’s a skill that isn’t an easy one to master. 

I’m not giving this book five stars because:

1. I’m a jerk and only give fives out to the rare book that I personally feel fit my idea of perfection.
2. It gets a little sloggy in its last few acts. 
3. It made me sad and horrified but I never felt fear or creeping dread as I did in The Shining or Pet Sematary. 

Instead I give it 4 ½ stars which is the next to best thing, and a very high recommendation. 

Currently reading

Sadie by Courtney Summers
The Listener by Robert R. McCammon
Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix