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Authors: J.A. Johnson & K.G. McAbee
Title - The Reginald Pantry: A Zombie Chronicle
The zombie outbreak has finally begun. The infection is spread by mosquito bites, as well as from zombie bites. The beginning symptoms are minor and often shrugged off as a mild cold or allergies. Once the person is dead, the change happens rapidly. Newly risen retain short-term memories for a brief while. Residual memory causes the undead to always knock once or twice before they try to open a door. This has saved many of the remaining living humans – including Deputy Nathan Ballard.
Deputy Ballard promises a dying man, Jack Reginald, that he will rescue the man’s family. Jack is one of the few who had the forethought to transform his family’s pantry into a safe room. But travelling to the Reginald home is dangerous. Zombies outnumber the living more than ten-to-one. And these zombies, known as Seethers, are not the totally mindless ones that are found in movies and video games. Seethers can hear well, can smell better than when they were alive (so beware wind changes), they can see out of their clouded eyes, and when a seether spots prey it will let out a loud shriek to alert others.
Little Abby and her younger sister, Stephie, are alone in the pantry. They have only their small dog for comfort. When Abby gets a call from her father she is relieved. But her exuberate joy dies quickly when Jack informs her that he is sending Deputy Ballard to protect them. Until the lawman arrives, the two girls and dog are on their own. All the while seethers lurk outside; searching roads, woods, and buildings. Ravenous for flesh.
**** FOUR STARS! This story is based on the soundtrack by The Gifted Children. What? You did not know that there was zombie music around? Well there is. Authors J.A. Johnson and K.G. McAbee transfer the melodious soundtrack into printed form. The novella is divided into three parts and each chapter is titled. Readers will also be treated to several special features including three deleted scenes, an alternate ending, an image gallery, the making of The Reginald Pantry album, and much more.
Johnson and McAbee complement each other. I am unable to tell which author wrote each scene. I knew this story would be fascinating on the very first page. Instead of simple words describing the zombie outbreak, there is a picture of an article that has obviously been ripped from the front page (above the fold) of a newspaper. The only part of the story I found odd is when I noticed that the seethers breathe course and choppy. There is no reason to inhale oxygen for the bloodstream since their hearts do not pump. But then again, these are not your typical zombies. Prepare yourself for thrills and chills when you begin this tale. When the world begins to die, things such as rules and honor cease to exist. ****
Author: Steven R. Cowan
Title - Dark Eye
Set deep in the South, this story begins in the late 1800's with atrocities committed by the local Ku Klux Klan. An innocent man is lynched, his wife, Hattie, ravaged and left for dead deep in a swamp. An old Seminole medicine woman finds her, nurses her to health and begins teaching her the ways of black magic. Hattie excels at her lessons and her thirst for revenge brings to her power beyond her teacher's knowledge.
Present day brings an affable, local Assistant District Attorney Elvin Hutto on a fishing/camping trip with two cherished college friends. A sudden, vicious storm blows into the swamp, separating the friends and starting the wheels of Hattie's final revenge.
*** THREE STARS! Be aware there are sex scenes in this book and some are very violent. I understand they are integral to the story, but it's because of this that I didn't rate it higher. Otherwise, this is a weirdly-interesting story that flows fairly well. ***
Author: Duncan Lloyd
Title - Elena
Theodore “Teddy” Schoendienst is a brilliant teen, but is cursed with his stuttering to be the target of bullies. He lives in Northern Wisconsin with his younger sister, Ellen, and his father. Teddy’s dad is a psychiatrist that works at a private insane asylum close to the house. When the bullies go too far and Teddy ends up in the hospital’s critical care unit, Dr. Schoendienst removes Teddy from public school. Under his father’s care for education, Teddy finds his workload doubled.
As with most young teens, Teddy is maturing and experiencing all the normal curiosities about intimacy. One night he sees a young girl emerge from his closet. He can only view her out of the corner of his eye, but he can tell she is beautiful. Her name is Elena and she begins to teach him about intimacy; however, in return Teddy must not tell his family about her. Elena is cold to the touch and plays the Dominant role during their time together. Though Teddy understands that Elena is a ghost, he still falls in love with her.
Ellen tells Teddy that Elena has been haunting her dreams. Teddy begins to wonder if Elena is playing some sort of horrible game with his family. Shortly thereafter, Ellen is murdered. Teddy is determined to figure out who killed his sister and why. But soon Teddy begins to wonder if he is going insane. The truth is more horrible than he could ever imagine.
**** FOUR STARS! I always warn readers of anything in the books that I review could be offensive to some. Consider yourself warned that this story has erotic scenes, bits of necrophilism, and talk of incest. That said, I will get on with the review.
This story follows the main character, Teddy, and tells the tale from his viewpoint. It is well told and kept me guessing from its gripping beginning until its shocking ending. Overall, I found this to be a combination of several genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller, and Horror. Unlike most authors of today, Duncan Lloyd does not hold back any punches or shy away from what the public considers to be taboo. This author seems to have a clear view of the world’s dark side. His writing is realistic and I applaud, what my family would call, his gumption. It is very refreshing to me. I sincerely hope to read more by Duncan Lloyd. STELLAR! ****
Author: Alice Henderson
Title - Fresh Meat (Supernatural TV Series Tie-In)
Sam and Dean Winchester meet up with Bobby Singer at a little town near the Tahoe National Forest where hikers and tourists have been killed. Rangers think it is a rogue bear, but Sam and Dean suspect that the trouble is due to a wendigo. Bobby Concurs. While hunting in the woods they meet Ranger Grace Cumberlin with the US Forest Service. If Grace did not see the next odd event with her own eyes, she never would have believed it. A naked man, covered in blood, walks out of the trees. The silent man stares straight ahead and does not stop walking, even while in a vehicle en route to the hospital. But that is not all. The walking man has no pulse and he has organs of several other people within him.
After the wendigo is dispatched, the Winchesters believe the hunt is over. That is, until they learn that people are still disappearing. Once back in the Tahoe National Forest, the hunters find a mysterious flying creature attacking them. The tall monster looks as though it has a hide of leather and resembles a pterodactyl. But this sly creature can assume human form.
Sam and Bobby head out to find ingredients to make a weapon against their latest foe. Dean and another hunter remain in the area to ward off hikers from entering the creature’s territory. When a blizzard strikes the area, Dean must battle the elements as well as the creature. As for Sam and Bobby, they are being ambushed by vampires as they rush to complete the weapon. But once done, they will still have to figure out a way to locate Dean before the creature or one of the avalanches kills him.
**** FOUR STARS! The story starts out like many of the television episodes; the brothers are at the end of a mission, being attacked by a very nasty spirit. The author keeps Sam, Dean, and Bobby’s characters true to form. I could easily envision Dean yearning for some type of greasy meat f or dinner. The story takes place during season seven, between “Shut Up, Dr. Phil” and “Slash Fiction”. Therefore, Sam is still fighting off images of Lucifer and flashbacks of the time he spent in the cage. A few of the secondary characters from previous television episodes are mentioned but do not make an appearance.
Author Alice Henderson does a fantastic job at keeping the identity (human form) of the creature from the reader. She had me guessing everyone at various times. (Ultimately, my guess was wrong.) The story slows down and drags for a brief time in the center, but by the time Dean finally gets a good look at what they are up against; things begin to speed up quickly and become intense. The author also seems to know what she is writing about. I checked with a park ranger I know and Henderson describes avalanches and the procedures done for avalanches perfectly. I hope to read more novels from Alice Henderson in the future. ****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Rite of Passage
(Supernatural TV Series Tie-In)
Sam and Dean Winchester consider Bobby to be their honorary uncle. After dealing with some harpies, the trio travel to Laurel Hill, New Jersey. On the surface, the small town seems to be having a horrible run of bad luck. In truth, the unfortunate town has been infiltrated by an invincible creature that specializes in orchestrating bad accidents and causing the spread of diseases.
Sam still has a daily struggle to maintain a vise-like grip on his sanity. Occasionally Sam has trouble distinguishing between what is reality and what is “Lucifer-vision”. Dean does all he can to help his brother cope. Often Sam will squeeze the scar on his left hand, prompting real-world pain to push reality back to the surface of his mind. But Dean worries that someday he may lose his brother to madness. In addition to his problem, the Winchester brothers recently had a couple of dark doppelgangers created of them by the Leviathan. These doppelgangers had gone on a cross-country killing spree. Sam and Dean must continually keep looking over their shoulders in case somebody made them as the infamous serial killers. Therefore, Bobby uses his Fed disguise to work with the local police, while the brothers go undercover as insurance claim adjusters so that they may talk to witnesses of all the bad accidents and deaths.
Sumiko Jones is known in school as the Lion Truth Blogger. The teen is intelligent and extremely observant. She uses these talents to blog school happenings that most fail to notice. Her boyfriend is Ryan Bramble. Ryan has been having trouble with his grades this year. Sumiko is helping by tutoring Ryan; yet Ryan feels that it is a worthless endeavor. It does not help that Ryan has been suffering lately from horrible migraines. If the tension headaches are not enough, Ryan is beginning to experience insane rages. He has no idea what is happening to him. The answer is far worse than he could ever imagine. As the chain of misfortunes escalates, Sumiko expands her blog to include all the recent supernatural events in Laurel Hill. Eventually her blog investigation catches the eyes of Sam and Dean.
***** FIVE STARS! This novel is a media tie-in to the hit CW series “Supernatural”. This is an original story and has never been seen on television. You do not have to be a fan of the series in order to fully enjoy this adventure; however, for those of you who do keep up with the television show, this tale takes place during season seven, between “Time for a Wedding!” and “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters”.
Author John Passarella is well known for writing some dark, twisted, and creepy stories. I have often wondered about this author’s mental stability. That possible imbalance is probably what gives each of his stories their surreal aura. Whatever talent, dark imagination, or paranormal ability this author has, he definitely used it in spades for writing this adventure. I ended up reading the entire book in a single sitting. (Thank heavens I was on vacation and did not mind losing so much sleep!) Unforgettable! *****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Night Terror
(Original Media Tie-in Novel for the hit series "Supernatural")
Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic force twenty-nine years ago. In the years after, their father taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America...and he taught them how to kill it.
When Bobby is alerted to some strange happenings in Clayton Falls, Colorado, he sends Sam and Dean Winchester to do a bit of recon. Lucy Quinn, the daughter of the chief of police, claims that she and two friends were chased by a headless horseman in the park. Lucy and Tony escaped. Her other friend, Steve, ended up running into the street, where he was hit and killed by a '68 Charger. But the '68 Charger did not have a driver and witnesses saw the phantom vehicle disappear into thin air. That same night, a homeless man reports being chased by a Gila monster that had been the size of two Nissans.
Sam and Dean use their counterfeit FBI (Homeland Security) credentials to investigate. Chief Quinn believes his daughter may have been drinking and imagined it all. Same with the homeless man. He refuses to believe any of the crazy reports coming into the station are true...even those from his own officers, who insist that Nazi zombies are attacking the locals. The brothers soon find themselves fighting the stuff of nightmares. A tree uproots itself and impales a man on a limb. A giant tarantula dines on a jogger. A sinkhole that is deep and wide enough to hold a gymnasium forms. And those are only the beginning.
Sam and Dean must figure out what is causing the terrors that are stalking the nights within Clayton Falls. But they had best do it quickly, because soon the living nightmares will never end.
***** FIVE STARS! On a personal note, I would like to state that this is some creepy stuff! This novel is a media tie-in to the hit CW series "Supernatural". This is an original story and has never been seen on television. If you have not watched the show, I believe that you will still thoroughly enjoy this tale of paranormal horror. For those of you who never miss and episode, "Night Terror" takes place during Season Six, between "Frontierland" and "Mommy Dearest".
Author John Passarella writes with a type of malignant zealousness that is highly contagious to his readers. My husband said that any time the real world dared to interfere with my reading of this story (and this includes whenever he gently tapped on my shoulder to ask a quick question), I would have an antagonistic glare in my eyes until I could return to whatever lethal creature was causing havoc. Needless-to-say, interruptions were kept to a minimum.
Whether you want an extra "Supernatural" episode or simply to read a dark story and feel cold fingers run the length of your spine, this novel is perfect. *****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Shimmer
For thousands of years various branches of the Walker family throughout the world have been responsible for finding and sealing rifts in our space-time continuum. Over the course of millennia and thousands of rifts, they have become experts. Often creatures from the other planes, referred to as Outsiders, have crossed over to our world. Some are harmless and the Walkers help them return to their home planes. Some are violent or otherwise dangerous and if the Walkers cannot make them return to their home planes, then the Walkers must find a way to destroy them. Each Walker member develops at least one paranormal talent and trains to use it to defend our world. They are our dimensional security. But their numbers are dwindling.
Young Logan Walker is a douser. He knows when something horrible is about to happen. The sicker Logan feels, the worse the event will be. When his talent tells him that something horrible is about to happen in Hadenford, New Jersey, the family quickly relocates to the town and begins searching for rifts. Another talent of Logan's is to recognize other people with paranormal abilities. On his first day at his new high school, Logan meets Fallon Maguire.
Fallon is astounded to realize that she had sketched Logan's face in her dream journal two weeks prior to meeting him. After speaking with Logan's great-grandfather, Ambrose, Fallon learns that prescient dreaming is not her only talent. Fallon is "unbound", which basically means her powers may grow and/or other talents may develop during her life. She has unlimited potential.
Oily black rifts are appearing in Hadenford and something is reaching out to slaughter people or pull them into the rifts. Thalia, one of the Walkers whose mind is crippled due to a journey through a rift, paints horrible pictures of blood and destruction while babbling about the coming of the Butcher, the Reaper of Flesh. Each time the rift appears it is larger than the time before. Eventually, the rift will be wide enough to allow the Reaper passage into our dimension. Hell is tired of waiting and has found a way to come for us.
***** FIVE STARS! Pleasant dreams will be all but impossible as you read this incredible story. The Outsider in this tale kills without a scintilla of remorse and in unique ways. This book could very well be the first of a new series. (No, I have not heard that it will be, but I can sure hope!) There are more Walkers than I mention in my synopsis. Each character is well developed and has at least one interesting ability. This is a very intense story. I could not read fast enough and was eager to find out what would happen next.
For now this book is only available electronically; however, the author's web site states that a paperback version will be available via Amazon's online store soon. I am going to add the link for the future print version (though it is not up on Amazon as of yet). I urge all fans of horror or the paranormal to purchase a copy. Shimmer gives me shivers! *****
Author: Karen Wiesner
Title - Classic Tales of Horror Retold, Vol. I
(Woodcutter's Grim Novella Series)
"Papa" (Loosely based on Hansel & Gretel)
Six months ago Randall Parker's ex-wife, Josephine, had died in a horrible car accident. With Josephine had been their children, Henry and Grace. Randall's new wife, Amy, feels that the car accident would never have happened had Randall not left Josephine for her. Randall keeps explaining to Amy that there had never been any love in his previous marriage. He had been miserable, so he would have left Josephine eventually. Over the last couple of months, Amy has fallen into deep depression. Randall finally convinces Amy to come away with him to an isolated cabin in the northern part of Wisconsin, in the town of Woodcutter's Grim.
Upon reaching Woodcutter's Grim, the pair cannot help but notice all of the oddities. It is Halloween, yet the town looks deserted. The city's population sign only claims two. The church's sign proclaims that Judgment Day had arrived. Randall's watch, as well as Amy's, has stopped working. And what is with all the piles of sugar that are showing up everywhere?
When the couple reaches the cabin, more sugar piles are seen. Amy insists that Josephine has sent the children back from their graves for revenge. She has been seeing and hearing the kids for months. Until they arrived at the cabin, Randall never heard Henry and Grace calling for him, but now he does.
***** FIVE STARS! This story gave me the exact same eerie feeling that I experienced as I watched the movie titled (based on a video game) "Silent Hill". This tale is the first of a novella series about the Great Evil that dwells in the town of Woodcutter's Grim and its surrounding woods. The Great Evil likes to manifest itself in dark, twisted versions of fairy tales. My advice is to not read this story at night if you are alone. *****
Author: Jayne Waggoner
Title - Celic (Book 1)
Nineteen-year-old Celic dumped his possessive girlfriend, Claudette. The scorned lady was not only quite insane, but also a witch. In retaliation Claudette slipped Celic a potion, transforming him into a vampire. It was not long at all before Claudette had him staked. For years she kept his mummified corpse hidden, occasionally playing with the still lodged stake, knowing Celic felt agony at every touch. When she stopped visiting his corpse, Celic thought she was either dead or had forgotten about him. Many years passed.
A Pennsylvania lawyer's web site clearly shows his avid interest in vampirism. When an anonymous lady gives him directions to Celic, the wealthy lawyer jumps at the chance to own and display a possible vampire. He sends his son and friends to pick it up along with a small cargo of wolves. But on the return flight the plane goes down. Celic's stake is dislodged, freeing him at last. Celic and the wolves flee into the woods, yet keep each other company. Celic knows very little about the curse within him, other than his hunger for blood. He begins his new night life in a nearby city. He is torn between his desire to be a normal human teen and the need of his inner demon to feed. Staying in the area may very well call the attention of the local law, but how could a short while hurt him? Later Celic will search for Claudette. If she still lives, he will deal with her. For now he will feed, learn more about himself, and try to figure out how to blend into this new generation's time.
**** An interesting tale that may very well turn into a series. There is no graphically detailed horror and no real romance, so the novel defies my attempts to classify its genre. Horror is the closest I can decide upon. There are editing problems, but nothing major or too distracting. As the reader, this story let me begin to know and understand Celic's character. His background slowly develops, leaving more for me to learn in the next novel (which is currently in progress). I look forward to the next release. ****
Author: Brian Lumley
Title - The Taint & Other Novellas
The Horror at Oakdeene
(Printed before by Derleth's Arkham House.)
Martin Spellman is an aspiring author. For research, he goes to work as a trainee mental nurse at Oakdeene Sanatorium. After the odd death of a resident, Spellman begins to wonder if one of the other nurses had been involved.
Born of the Winds
(Originally printed in the Dec. 1975 issue of "Fantasy & Science Fiction" magazine.)
David is a meteorologist of some note. He goes on a (medical) holiday in Canada and ends up residing in the home of Judge Andrews. It is there David learns about the mysterious death of an English professor.
The Fairground Horror
(Originally printed in the anthology titled "The Disciples of Cthulhu" in the early 1970's.)
Hiram Henley, an ex-professor fired due to researching certain myths and aeon-lost legends, stumbles upon a section of a fairground labeled "Tomb of the Great Old Ones". Believing the horror house may actually contain something of the tomb, he decides to enter.
(Originally printed in "Weird Shadows Over Innsmouth".)
James Jamieson is new to a seaside town that is slowly becoming a ghost town. After getting to know a few of the local residents, James finds himself playing close attention to them, especially Geoff, the village idiot, and Anne.
Rising with Surtsey
(Created during his first year of writing, 1967. Published in 1971 in the anthology titled "Dark Things".)
Diagnosed insane after killing his brother, Phillip writes out what really happened.
Lord of the Worms
(Originally printed in "Weirdbook 17" in the year 1983.)
Titus Crow, before he became known as one of the world's foremost occultists, takes a temporary position as a secretary for a cult leader.
The House of the Temple
(First printed in "Kadath" volume 1, #3.)
John McGilchrist is summoned to Scotland for the reading of an uncle's will. Should John obey a few conditions, he will inherit much, including a house and its pool.
**** Here are seven tales having to deal with Cthulhu in some form or another. Each tale begins with a short notation by the author. Though each story is written in a long-winded style, all will leave the reader feeling extremely uncomfortable. If you do not know what/who Cthulhu is, don't worry. The author will educate you in a dark way. Interesting stories, but not overly frightening. I rate this book 3.5 out of a possible 5 stars!****
Author: Marianne Mancusi
Title - Razor Girl
When Molly was fifteen-years-old, people thought her dad, Ian Anderson, was a mad scientist. Ian was a scientist, but just because the man totally believed that the end of the world, as we know it, was about to happen did not mean he was insane. Ian bought an old fallout shelter, packed it with food and supplies, and gave it a timer so it would unlock after six years. Convinced the end was close, he made Molly come home directly after school and practice martial arts with him for several hours.
When a super flu begins spreading, no one really gives it any serious thoughts. But when rumors begin about hospitals turning people away, no matter how sick they were, Molly and Chris Griffin (a neighborhood and school friend) listens. The pair go to a local hospital to see if rumors are true. Not only do the two learn that it is true, but they see their first zombie! Of course, they tell no one. Who would believe the daughter of an insane scientist? But after Molly sees a zombie kill someone, she agrees to her dad's numerous suggestions of allowing him to perform surgery to give her a few enhancements for defense. It is very shortly thereafter that Ian escorts Molly and her mom into the shelter beneath their home and locks them within for six years.
Twenty-one-year-old Molly emerges from the fallout shelter a different person. After hearing the shelter unlock, Molly's mom dies. Once her mom is cared for, Molly begins her journey to Florida (two states away) where she is to meet her dad at Disney World. According to Ian, while Molly was in the shelter, he and some scientist friends of his would be creating a safe haven for any humans that manage to survive the apocalypse. Molly has no doubt she can make the trip alive. Thanks to her dad, Molly has four inch razors under her nails (that she can extract and retract at will). She also has ocular implants (to see in the dark), mirrored plates covering her eyes (fused to her skull), an internal GPS navigation (linked to an old-time satellite to allow her access to special databases Ian left up and running), and her body has nano computers (which make her stronger and faster).
It does not take Molly long to come face-to-face with her first zombie. She also meets up with Chris. He is now called Chase and explains that the "Others" may be cannibalistic zombies, but unlike the old horror movies, the Others are smart and often hunt in packs. Chase and a few guys have a small camp set up in the toy section of Walmart. They take care of eight kids found since the apocalypse. Disaster strikes, leaving Chase and the kids alone. Molly, Chase, and the kids must band together and struggle toward Disney World in hopes of finding safety.
***** This book will appeal to a large audience, especially for those gamers out there who played "Fallout". This book runs much like two stories. One chapter shows before the apocalypse, the next shows afterward, and it continues to alternate. Normally I detest this type of set up; however, the author did a terrific job and this method actually works extremely well. Molly and Chase are easy to identify with, no matter your age. (Anyone teen and up anyway.) There is a romance which blooms between the two main characters, but the story remains focused on the plot at all times. As with all good books, this opens with danger and will grab your interest immediately. Stellar! *****
Author: Lee Hunt
Title - Vampire of New York
To solve a present day serial killing case, New York detective Max Slattery finds himself teamed with an archaeologist, Carrie Norton, and an impossible being, one who claims to be Dracula himself. Finding the truth about the murders and his ally will lead Max on a quest that has ties going back to the Civil War and into present day dangers.
*** Set equally in the past and present, this is an unusual read, quite different from most vampire tales these days. Mr. Hunt clearly shows the value of history for modern people and has interpreted the Dracula legend quite intelligently. ***
Author: Norman Partridge
Title - Dark Harvest
Our story is set in 1963, on Halloween night. As for where, any small midwestern town. Everyone in town knows everyone else. You would think there would be no secrets in such a tiny town. That is true if you are age seventeen or more. Until then, one dark secret is kept by all the locals.
If you are age sixteen, then you must participate in the Halloween ritual. School is out for an entire week at the end of October. All sixteen-year-old boys are locked up in their rooms and starved for five nights. Halloween is the fifth night. It is then that they are all released and leave their homes to hunt down and destroy the entity known as the October Boy.
Sawtooth Jack, Ol'Hacksaw Face, October Boy... No matter what you call him, he comes from the corn field wielding a knife, heading for the middle of town. He knows that each human boy wants to win the Halloween ritual by destroying him. For this ritual, this game, a human boy must kill October Boy before the stroke of midnight. As for Ol'Hacksaw Face, his task is to make it to the church, in the middle of town, alive. The human boy who kills October Boy wins a huge prize and it is very tempting indeed. But is winning the ritual really worth it?
**** Other than the story seems to ramble on a bit too much and it is very expensive, this oversized paperback novel is worth your time. The reader follows the story from the view of several people, but the main two are Pete McCormick, a sixteen-year-old boy, and October Boy. I did not find anything surprising, but the author did add a twist or two that I highly enjoyed. A terrific story to send a few chills down your spine, but do not worry about having any nightmares... unless you are a sixteen-year-old boy reading this. ****
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Title: The Devil's Right Hand
(A Dante Valentine novel, book 3)
It seems that Dante "Danny" Valentine just cannot get away from having to deal with Lucifer. (Yes, Lucifer, Prince of Hades.) Dante no longer has to work to pay off her mortgage. It is done. Now she dwells in a huge fortress with layers upon layers of the best wards and shields (Necromance and "Fallen" Demon). She has even come to trust Trierce "Japh" Japhrimel.
When Japh tells Danny that Lucifer wants to meet with her again, dread hits her hard. But one simply does NOT tell Lucifer no. Lucifer needs a new Right Hand and wants Dante. By the time the negotiations are done, Dante is contracted for the next seven years. Dante must hunt down four rogue demons that have escaped from Hades. Dante's new and fragile trust of Japh begins to crack when her new home is attacked by demons while Japh is conveniently absent. From then on, Dante is on the run. But if Dante is being hunted by demons (and more) while she must hunt down four Greater Flight demons (the highest level demons can become), then she needs a bodyguard. Who better than the merc Lucas Villalobos (a.k.a. Deathless)? He is a man that has done something so vile that the god of death refuses to let Lucas embrace eternal rest. As for Lucas, he hopes Lucifer might be able to kill him since no one else can.
When Japh reenters the picture, Dante notices that he has full demon powers again. Trust all but crumbles. Japh begins acting strangely. When Japh refuses to tell Dante what is going on, acts like she is his prisoner, and even has a creature with him that is neither human, nor demon, trust totally fails. Dante is on her own.
***** The only really irritating thing about Dante's character is that her paranoia causes her trust issues to bounce around like crazy. But hey, isn't that what paranoia does to one? And Dante has very valid reasons to be paranoid! As for this story, it is just as good, if not a tiny bit better, than the previous titles (Working for the Devil & Dead Man Rising) ... and that is saying something! It has been a long time since a series has held me in its grip as tightly as Dante Valentine's. Very highly recommended reading! BRAVA! *****
Author: Karen E. Taylor
Title: Twelve Steps From Darkness
Laura Wagner's life is in itself a horror story, but then she hits bottom when she hits a police car and that's the turning point. Instead of jail, she is sent to rehab, and instead of anger, the cop who arrests her offers her love and support. When she comes out clean and sober, her home is waiting for her, but unbeknownst to Laura, this is a house that has a tragic history. Now, specters of that past are reaching out and trying to bring her down into their world, to draw her into a darkness deeper than any she has ever faced.
**** This is a truly classic ghost story, reminding you of What Lies Beneath, the Uninvited, and so forth. Subtle terror is woven throughout the pages skillfully, making this an impossible to put down book, and one you should avoid reading late at night or when you are alone. Yet, despite this, there is a message that rings through in the end that will resonate with the Judeo-Christian audience. Ms. Taylor has never written a bad story, and this is no exception. ****
Author: Richard Taylor
Title: The Haunting of Cambria
Theo Parker's wife, Lily, dies on the same day they sign the escrow paper for Monroe House. Parker never even saw the SUV cross over the lines, into his lane, and hit his vehicle. His coma lasts six weeks. Parker blames himself for Lily's death. Lily's grandmother, Lillith DeMay, blames him too; and she is determined to keep Parker from getting his hands on any of Lily's assets.
Eleanor Glacy (her last name is misspelled on the dust jacket's blurb) is hired by the court-appointed conservator to manage the Monroe House property, a bed-and-breakfast. Parker and Eleanor experience odd happenings. It actually seems as though a ghost is trying to take Eleanor's virginity. Believing there to be safety in numbers, the two share a bedroom. But that does not stop whatever is in the house. Using Lily's image, it entices parker out of the room and attacks Eleanor. At times the entity can even take corporeal form to do harm.
A lawyer, a professor of the paranormal, and even a physic enter the picture in hope of figuring out what is going on. But what if the answer is too horrible to even image?
***** Be warned, readers, that there are graphic scenes within this story. But few horror stories do not contain them, right? Okay, so you are warned. I found the story to be engrossing, in some sort of twisted way. As the progresses the author slowly reveals what is really going on, how the evil can take solid form, and (most chillingly) exactly what is happening to those within the bed-and-breakfast. If you read this on a late stormy night, you are inviting some frightening dreams. (You will have to trust me on that one.) Fantastic! *****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title: They Hunger
Set in the wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains. Special Agent Jim Castle and his partner Derek "Rook" Samford scout for the insane mass murderer named Robert "Ace" Goodall. The FBI does not believe "The 'Bama Bomber" is really hiding in those mountains. But they are wrong, and Ace is not the only danger residing in the area.
When Rook is taken by a flying blind monster, Castle begins to believe that he hears Rook's voice inside his own head. Sure he is slowly going insane, but determined to capture Ace, Castle tracks the killer, and the woman with him, down a raging river.
Also in the vicinity is a group of whitewater rafters, testing their company's new products, one of which is a new light weight raft. The group has also seen the flying creatures and lost a few members to them. It looks as though an unnatural and immortal band of creatures have been awakened from their deep, dark cave. And they are hungry!
**** Not as creepy as this author's previous titles, but more than worth your hard earned time and money. King and Dean fans that have never tried this author are missing out on one of the best horror writers of the decade. Highly recommended reading. ****
Author: P.C. Cast
Title: Divine By Blood (Sept. 1, 2007)
As Shannon gives birth to her daughter in Parthelon, her evil cognate, Rhiannon is called from her enchanted coma by the dark god so that she can do likewise. The price he demands for this rousing is her soul and service as well as that of her daughter. Yet, somehow, she finds the strength to renounce evil and find forgiveness so that the dark god will have no claim on her or her baby, Morrigan. Her final request is that baby Morrigan be raised by Shannon's parents in Oklahoma. Eighteen years later, Morrigan has grown into an unusual, gifted young woman who does not suspect the truth behind her heritage, though she is aware, to some extent, of her powers. Learning the full story sends her into a spiral of conflicted emotions that takes her to a cave where the rocks have called her "Light Bearer." Shortly after her arrival, a cave-in and spilled blood sends her to the world where Shannon lives, to the land called Sidehatha, where she is hailed as the Light Bearer and a High Priestess of the goddess Adsagsona. Morrigan is unsure of what is going on or where she fits in this world, but she realizes she has come home. All is not well. The dark god still wants her and is willing to take all that she loves to gain her allegiance.
***** Though there is not as much humor as one might expect with P.C. Cast's name on the cover, this is one of her finest books yet. Character development is intense; you are drawn into the story and can feel its passion in every word. A book this intense must be read slowly, though it will hurt to not rush through to see how it comes out. Making it last is worth the wait. This is the sort of story you do not want to end. *****
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Title: No Humans Involved
Jaime Vegas thought she was just going to get some good publicity and possibly an in on getting her own TV show when she agreed to be part of the latest reality show that was supposed to raise Marilyn Monroe's ghost. Instead, she found herself involved in helping the ghosts of the unfamous find justice and peace while trying to prevent more ghosts from being added to their number. Someone is using very dark, strange methods that involve death and rituals in a quest for power. Jaime knows she needs help, so turns to her friends on the magical counsel and soon, Jeremy, a sinfully sexy werewolf, joins her in sleuthing. She also has Eve, the disembodied soul of a powerful witch and her equally dead lover, Kristoff, to offer assistance. As things progress, it starts to become doubtful that even such formidable beings are puissant enough to deal with such evil.
***** The Women of the Otherworld universe has expanded and gained further definition with this latest entry. Jaime's story involves both her external battle and dealing with her own issues as she realizes how best to use her gifts. Eve and Kristoff provide some humor, but decidedly not silly humor. If Kelley Armstrong writes it, then you should add it to your reading list if you want a darn good tale. *****
Author: Shane Christopher
Title: In Dreams
When five people are found locked in a room, all the victims of torture that lead to their agonizing deaths, it is up to one police detective and a daring reporter to team up and stop the killer. As they discover connections between the apparently unconnected victims, the pair realize that the murderer's goal is still unfulfilled and that if they do not hurry, another room filled with death is inevitable. The next one might hold one of them.
*** With minimalist prose, the author weaves a web of horror, not of the conventional kind that involves vampires, werewolves, and things that go bump in the night, but of human evil. Right until the end, he continues to draw his plot into a tight noose, much like the wire rope used by the killer, until it ends with a gasp-wrenching conclusion. ***
Author: Steven Savile
(Bk 2 in the Von Carstein Trilogy)
Our story begins in the harsh winter of 2052. Kallad Stormwarden, the young dwarf prince, fights the undead by his father's side at the walls of Grunberg Keep. The king and many of his followers sacrifice themselves to give Kallad a chance to save the few women and children left of Karak Sadra. Kallad now lives for retribution. He makes a promise on the dead. He will bring all of the vile creatures to their unnatural deaths. But within Kallad's chest beats the rare bleeding heart of a hero. Kallad and his precious axe, Ruinthorn, travel slowly. They join every battle they come across involving the undead. Kallad makes many friends along the way. With each death a little more of Kallad's spirit seems to die. Yet the last dwarf of Karak Sadra continues onward.
Vlad von Carstein fell at Altdorf. Those he sired battle among themselves for dominion. Though Mannfred von Carstein was not Vlad's favorite, he was still the first Vlad made. Mannfred wanders alone and forgotten by his kin. Yet Mannfred has not forgotten about them. As the other Von Carsteins fight, betray, and kill each other for the throne, Mannfred seeks knowledge. Upon his finger resides Vlad's signet ring with its restorative magic. Within his cloak is a book with the incantations crafted by the first and greatest necromancer, Nagash. Even as Mannfred bides his time learning and growing ever more powerful, he keeps a watchful eye on his brothers in Sylvania via some well placed spies.
Konrad von Carstein currently rules the court. He prides himself on his cruel savagery. Though the Blood Count hand picked each member of his elite guards, he grows too paranoid to trust any but one. Konrad is in the process of creating an undead army, a vampiric horde. He keeps his pet necromancers busy with raising the dead and his prisoners screaming in a spiraling chorus of suffering. Konrad will not fail as his sire, Vlad, did before him. All of humanity will bow before him! The dead are coming!
***** The first book in this trilogy is INHERITANCE. You do not have to read it in order to understand and enjoy this novel. If you have not read the first title, but plan to, do so before you begin this one. In my opinion, this book is even better than the first. Within these pages is one of the goriest tales I have ever read (and that is saying something). I sat up long past bed time to see what would happen next. A dark and compelling tale that I highly recommend! *****
Author: Mike Wild
Title: Hell on Earth (Caballistics, Inc. #1)
High in the Swiss Alps is an imposing snow-capped mansion built with Mount Olympus in mind. Within resides Ethan Kostabi, owner of Caballistics, Inc. (among other things). The company was originally known as Department Q, a secret department within the British Ministry of Defense that was tasked with investigating the supernatural. Caballistics, Inc. currently has six employees, chosen by Kostabi. Jonathan Brand and Jennifer Simmons for their encyclopedic occult knowledge. (Jennifer is now much more than human.) Hannah Chapter and Lawrence Verse (an ex-priest) for their abilities with damage control and extermination expertise on the bizarre. Solomon Ravne because he had unique experience of the deepest arcane affairs. Michael Ness... well simply because this Scotsman is a psychopath and gets along with Ravne.
The residents of Boswell, in 1944, heard a thundering voice ordering them to "SHOW ME YOUR SINS". It was the last sound they ever heard. The people of Boswell spontaneously combusted. Their lifeless bodies were then reanimated and used like puppets. But Department Q handled the problem. Everything was covered up, sealed, and all known traces erased. It was over. Until now...
***** There are many stories about fallen angels and the possible upcoming of Judgement Day, but I must admit that this novel is the most entertaining one I have read to date. Author Mike Wild has created a cast of characters that I could not help but like. Each member of Caballistics, Inc. has something odd and unique about them. The owner of the company, Kostabi, is just as strange. I am hoping to learn more about the seven in future stories. The offices of Caballistics, Inc. is just too good for only a single visit. Excellent! *****
Author: Jack Priest
Title: Night Witch
John Coffee is a thief. While vacationing in Port of Spain, Trinidad, he stole what looked to be a child's locket and sent it to his eleven-year-old daughter, Carolina, in the US. Problem is that the old woman John stole the locket from is a Night Witch. She is possibly the last of the soucouyant, a Southern Caribbean cousin to the vampire and the werewolf. She can shape shift into any animal form except a creature from the sea. She lives forever because she wears a locket that contains a magic potion. But little Carolina now wears the locket and the Night Witch wants it back!
Carolina's best friend is a fat boy named Arthur "Arty" Gibson. The two watch each other's back whenever they come across the school bully, Brad, and his two shadows, Ray and Steve. But at night time, Arty watches over Carolina. Even knowing that his abusive father would beat the tar out of him if he is caught, Arty sneaks out at night and climbs into Carolina's bedroom window. Why? Carolina's mother is out almost every night, dating men, while Carolina stays home alone with someone stalking the house. Carolina knows that someone is outside, someone with red eyes and large fangs. Someone that she and her ferret, Sheila, cannot battle alone.
***** A great horror tale for adults. I stress "adults" because the back cover has the picture of a green, nude, young lady on it. She looks nothing like the "old woman" described in the book though, except for those wicked red eyes! If the picture was not there, then I would say that anyone over the age of thirteen would love this story! The tale is absolutely fascinating. Carolina and Arty are wonderful role model material too. If this story should ever hit a second printing, and it certainly may, my only advice is to change the back cover picture so the target audience may expand to include teens/young adults. Riveting! *****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title: The Farm
Katy Logan did not marry Gordon Smith because she loved him. Instead, Katy wants a fresh start for herself and her young daughter, Jett. Katy hopes that getting away from the big city and settling in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Solom would benefit everyone. Katy would feel as though she is loved by her new husband, Jett would get away from drugs, and Gordon would get a dutiful wife. But after residing only a short time on the Smith farm, things become strange. Kate is obsessed by Gordon's first wife, Rebecca. In fact, Kate often smells Rebecca's perfume and hears the dead woman's words. Rebecca's spirit still lives in the farm house. But is Rebecca there to help the new wife or seek some sort of revenge?
Legend says that Harmon Smith was a Methodist preacher that rode the mountains in the early 1800s. Legend also states that the preachers from the three different congregations had conspired to slay Harmon Smith, the old Circuit Rider, in the woods. No one knows where Harmon's body really is. Some say it is in the river. Some say Harmon's remains are in three different graves. Every now and then, the Circuit Rider returns to claim a sacrifice before leaving again. The townsfolk know that Harmon has returned. But one sacrifice does not seem to be enough this time. Harmon seems able to control the area's goats, the carnivorous goats. Harmon is after something different this time. Something evil has been dormant and is now growing. Soon a bloody harvest will begin.
***** It gets no creepier than this! Fans of King and Koontz are finally beginning to see that Scott Nicholson's dark tales are just as devious, if not more so. I had nightmares for two nights after reading this latest work of horror. For those of you brave enough to open the cover of this title I can only give this bit of advice: Do not read while you are home alone. Stellar! *****
Author: Steven Savile
(Warhammer, Bk 1 in Von Carstein trilogy)
As usual, the beginning began at the end. It was late in the winter of 1797, within Drakenhof Castle, during the last few minutes of Otto van Drak's life. The old Count of Sylvania refused to die because his brother, Leopold, would inherit the title. So the old man held onto life, each breath filled with agony, in hope that something would change. His wish was granted by the arrival of a nobleman, Vlad von Carstein. By marrying Otto's daughter, Isabella, Vlad cheated Leopold of his title, only seconds before he cheated Leopold of his life. Vlad became Count of Sylvania. The ending had begun.
In the year 2009, Vlad finds one page from the nine Books of Nagash. The single sheet holds powerful necromantic magic. Thus Vlad begins raising the dead to create his own army. His legion of the dead soon begins its quest to overthrow the Empire. His vampiric wife, Isabella, stands at his side. His vampiric sword, keens in his hand, demanding blood.
Zombies, ghouls, and vampires kill the living. Then the newly dead raise and turn on the very people they had fought with only moments before. As each living person dies, Vlad's undead horde swells. Even though some of the vampires are slain for good by decapitation, Vlad remains standing. That is not to say that Vlad did not ever get decapitated. Yet somehow, Vlad always raises again, a scar on his throat being the only sign that his head had ever been cut off. There seems to be no way to stop him. Humans have become cattle.
***** This is the first in a trilogy. From the first page to the last, author Steven Savile brings you the stuff of nightmares. This book's tale goes until the late winter of the year 2051. (Book two will begin from there.) Readers are given the first chapter of the second book at the end. It promises more nightmares. There are so many chilling scenes that I am amazed the pages do not freeze into chunks of ice. All gothic, Vlad, and vampire fans simply MUST read this novel. *****
Title: Badass Horror (Anthology)
This anthology of horror stories is not for those with weak stomachs. Therefore, if you are looking for a chill, but nothing hard core, go elsewhere. It seemed to me that no one was spared or granted any mercy within these pages. If you are still interested, this is what you will get:
Pool Sharks by Gerard Brennan is the first tale and is about just that...pool sharks. But in this game you win or die.
The Stray by Garry Kilworth is about a slow man that some ladies of night let hang around their place of business. Until, that is, a customer takes offense.
Hardboiled Still by Michael Hemmingson is the longest tale in the anthology. It is also the strangest. The way it is written, it reminds me of the old Dick Tracy comics. A private investigator wakes up one night to find out that he is a zombie.
All the Pretty Girls by Ronald Damien Malfi will appeal to you classic car lovers. The story revolves around a possessed 1962 Mercury Comet S-22 Coupe. (I sense you drooling already.)
Moving Pictures by Gord Rollo is my personal favorite. A new tattoo parlor is about to open in the area. When the enforcer appears to collect the protection money, the oriental man offers a free tattoo to buy time until he can get customers and make some money. But his tattoos are VERY special indeed.
The Essences by Davin Ireland refer to the emotions of people in the world. Each city has a Keeper (Watcher or Caretaker) who cares of the vials containing that city's essences.
Bloodbath at Landsdale Towers by Michael Boatman is my second fave. Two dark and menacing figures with interesting powers are out to get the names of all the dealers in the area. They also have the most interesting pet, a Death Puck with legs. You have to read it to believe it.
**** Each story is well done. However, the first story or two uses slang words that some people will not understand. Yet they will easily figure it out by the way the words are used. All of the stories are good, none below average. Those searching for talent in the horror field will be pleased with the choices made to create this anthology. I will be checking back to see which, if not all, of these authors make the big time. Excellent reading for stormy nights. ****
Author: Nancy Kilpatrick
Title: To The Third Power (Jason X series)
If you have kept up with the "Jason X" series, then you already know that "Camp Americana" was once a girls' camp for the rich and spoiled; until Jason came along from a nearby military complex. Jason, a cyborg even then and just as deadly as ever, invaded the camp's AI (artificial intelligence). Then Jason did what he did best. The moon, Elysium, was restricted immediately. Later, however, the military complex was used as a prison for the most violent. The prisoners resided within the top two layers of the military complex, leaving the rest of it abandoned.
Jackson Mansfield, the wealthiest man in the universe, has recently purchased Elysium from Earth II. The prisoners are to be transferred to the other moon. To do this, the Universal Unmanned Space Arc "UUSA" will be used. It works like a pendulum from one place to another while grounded in space. While this is going on, Mansfield has six people set up base at the abandoned Camp Americana. Their goal is to create a cybernetic being that emulates the mental abilities, physical capabilities, and even personality of a real human being. They are to make the perfect cyborg, unable to be told apart from a real human. To assist them, the camp's AI has been reprogrammed and is no longer invaded ... or is it?
Due to a tsunami, with a magnitude of eleven point seven on Earth II, the UUSA's anchor is altered and it hits the military complex's dome. Nine prisoners enter the story. A few of them know about the previous military experiments, Jason, and the slaughter twenty-odd years ago. Worse, Jason is now loose again.
***** The first half of the book reads much like a cybernetic sci-fi novel. Just like the previous novels in this series, Jason does not really enter the story until the second half. But do not fret, the first half is NOT boring! I, as the reader, had a few chills and shocks during the set up phase. The author also introduces some interesting twists into the story once the prisoners enter the tale. More I cannot say without ruining the story. Author Nancy Kilpatrick did an excellent job of merging sci-fi and horror that I could not pull myself away from. *****
Author: John Passarella
Title: Kindred Spirit
(Paranormal Thriller / May 27, 2006)
Heather and Hallie Moore were identical twins. As children the two were so closely connected that they could actually speak directly into each other's mind. That ended at the age of ten. Heather fell from a tall tree and was in a coma for a week. Things were never the same again.
The girls grow up into adulthood. Hallie becomes a reporter for NBN-7 News in Pennsylvania. Her segment is called "Hallie's Comet". She gives out awards for "the best" in businesses.
Heather gets married to Tom Galloway and has a son, Shane. She even has a home business involving homemade gift baskets. However, she only gets to see her son reach the age of five. Heather is violently murdered on a roadside one night while driving home from her yoga class.
On the first anniversary of Heather's death, Hallie goes to the site of her sister's murder. A small white cross marks the spot. The instant she touches the cross, Hallie is mentally bombarded with visions of Heather's last moments. Upon awakening, Hallie finds her sister's golden locket. The locket had disappeared the night Heather died; which means the killer had come back to the scene recently. Feeling her sister is with her some how, Hallie begins looking into Heather's last days. Hallie has been close to Tom and Shane, seeing them almost daily. Therefore, it is not difficult for Hallie to talk Tom into letting her go through Heather's home office. Odd things begin happening to Hallie, especially in her own apartment. Visions, all the electrical appliances go wild, floating objects ... and that is only the beginning. Hallie better work quickly, because Heather's murderer is getting prepared to kill again.
***** I could not decide if this should be labeled as "Horror" or "Paranormal Thriller". One thing is for sure, this story will send chills up and down your spine. It is so creepy that I had to stop twice and take a breather. When the phone rang near me I actually screeched. Yes, I SCREECHED! Author John Passarella is well known for his skills in creating horror stories, but his poison pen is even more lethal in the paranormal thriller realm. I feel sorry for anyone who misses out on this outstanding novel. I cannot recommend it highly enough. *****
Author: Laurell K Hamilton
Thanks to a family emergency, Larry Kirkland is unable to fly north to raise a zombie slated to act as a witness in a federal case, forcing Anita Blake to take over, more out of friendship than duty. The woman who has faced down chimeras, master vamps, rabid lycanthropes, and is not afraid of Death (in more than one sense of the word), is terrified of flying, so this really is an act that proves she is Larry's friend. Micah tags along as moral support and to help with the ardeur, just in case she needs to feed. Besides, it's the first time they have been alone since meeting. That should be the most dangerous part of a simple case. Of course, what should be simple never is when Anita Blake is around.
**** Long time fans of this series will be relieved to know that this marks a return to being more in the spirit of the early Blake books. The pesky ardeur only takes up a small amount of space, so there is a real plot. Anita is much more human in this book, less of a super being. The characteristic humor and fast pace that mark this series are in full force. Fans will be pleased, and it is possible that new readers could jump in at this point. ****
Author: Dan Abnett
Title: Fell Cargo (A Warhammer novel)
Captain Luka Silvaro, a.k.a. Silvaro the Hawk, was thought to have been dead a year. Yet he appears, with an unknown at his side, to reclaim his ship, the Rumour, and his men, the Reivers. The high seas are now more dangerous than ever. This new menace is called "The Butcher Ship". Captained by a daemon lord and his band of zombies, the daemon ship sails the seas killing all it meets, giving no quarter. No ship dares sail and trading has come to a full halt. Therefore, there are no ships to pirate. Luka announces to his crew that he carries a letter of marque and reprisal, signed and sealed by his grace, the Prince of Luccini. The pirates are turning privateer! They are going to hunt and sink the Butcher Ship. The unknown gentleman is Sesto. Sesto will witness the job done. Upon completing the quest, Luka will return Sesto to the prince for report and claim his crew's reward.
Luka and his men must face daemons, curses, zombies, treachery, and even a leviathan before they can even clash swords with the Butcher. But Sesto is more than he appears, much to Luka's surprise and delight. They may have a chance after all.
***** If you enjoyed The Pirates of the Caribbean then you will LOVE this tale of horror, daemons, zombies, and pirates! Luka's attitude and wit is very much like Captain Jack Sparrow's! I used Johnny Depp's imagine as I read and could see little difference. In fact, I found quite a few similarities between this read and the "Legend of the Black Pearl". Consider this a MUST READ for fans of Depp's movie (soon to be two pirate movies). But those who simply enjoy the chaotic and bloody realm of the original Warhammer will find a strong attraction to this novel as well. Out-freaking-standing! *****
Author: Savannah Russe
Title: Past Redemption (April 4, 2006)
There's a new drug on the street, a dangerous one, susto, and getting it off the streets is the latest assignment for the Darkwings, a group of vampires who help keep the world a little safer. Daphne Urban is among that force, and perhaps the case is what she needs right now. Her heart has just taken a severe blow when her human lover turned on her after she brought him across. There is no loyalty to Darius to stop her from getting romantically involved with Fitz, the weakest link in the powerful family that is helping keep susto in circulation. It's just when she is beginning to heal that Darius returns, making impossible demands upon Daphne. It's also then that the danger becomes so high that there will be loss of lives among those who should not die.
*** Imagine the heroine of Alias or La Femme Nikita as a vampire; she might be a lot like Daphne if she was. This is a fast paced, easy to read book, if you read book I. Interwoven in the action are flashbacks to Daphne's long lost human love, Lord Byron, complete with poetry. Though there is not a lot of romance, there is just enough to make it appealing to fans of that genre, but not weigh it down for those who prefer more action. ***
Author: E.F. Watkins
Title: Black Flowers
It all begins when an apparently drug crazed ex-employee of her husband's, their housekeeper's son in fact, attacks Allie's family and is killed. His death is especially gruesome, leaving his body in a condition that can not be explained by drugs. Allie's husband, David, begins acting strangely, secretively, and there are more deaths, more unusual events. Their autistic son begins exhibiting talents that are truly out of the ordinary. Allie overhears and sees messages that frankly give her the creeps. The key to all this is in David's past, but delving into the mystery will either free her from a madman, or cost her more than her life.
*** What makes this horror novel so frightening is its sense of "this could happen". Tension is kept low key, but very present from beginning to end as the reader follows Allie's quest for truth and deals with the betrayal she has suffered. Horror need not be filled with slashers and monsters. True fear lies in the commonplace turned against us, and that is captured here. ***
Author: E.F. Watkins
When Lu Bauer overhears a group of thugs on the verge of assaulting a crone, she takes action that saves the old woman's life. In return, Desma gives her a small gold heart with instructions to take it and place it inside a statue formed to represent Lu's ideal man. Within weeks, that ideal man will come into Lu's life and bring her riches and happiness, as long as she never questions his past. Lu obeys, and sure enough, Eric walks into her life on schedule. Lu is even able to ignore the way those who would harm Eric in any way meet with misfortune until she slips and does ask something about his past. All deals or off then, and Eric not only turns to other women, but becomes the worst sort of playboy. He has a plan, an agenda to fulfill for himself and for his unholy father that includes world domination. If Lu will not oppose him, Eric is even willing to give her a few crumbs, but Lu knows Eric is anything but human and has to stop him, no matter the price.
*** Subtle horror effectively moves the plot to a chilling conclusion. Lu is a very sympathetic heroine who finds that good intentions are often simply not enough. Ms. Watkins is a true master of terror. ***
Author: Dan Abnett, Mike Lee
Title: Bloodstorm (Malus Darkblade, Bk2)
Malus Darkblade is a dread lord of Hag Graef. He is a dark warrior, betrayer, and one of the fiercest among the Dark Elf race.
Malus is still possessed by the foul daemon, Tz'arkan. Malus has one year to locate five unholy artefacts or his soul will be forfeit. In the first book, Malus retrieved one of the needed items. Now he seeks the Idol of Kolkuth. To do this, Malus must betray, double cross, and even triple cross his dark elf siblings as he uses them to locate an island belonging to their enemies, the Skinriders.
Skinriders worship a god of decay. Therefore, their skin literally rots away. They attack ships belonging to the dark elves as they return from raiding for slaves. Skinriders consider flesh as treasure and take as many slaves and prisoners as possible from the ships. These poor souls are skinned alive as tribute to their god and for new skin to adhere to their own rotting bodies.
Maulus Darkblade does not expect his task to be easy. But he does expect to spill a lot of enemy blood.
***** Once again Dan Abnett and Mike Lee give readers exactly what they want; more blood and violence in less time. Malus has turned blood and treachery into an art form. Since Malus betrayed his sorcerer brother, Urial, in the first novel, I believed there was no way possible to convince Urial to team up with him. But I am proven wrong. Malus is a master of his art/war craft. I stand by my words in the review of the first novel: Horrifyingly addictive! I want more! *****
Author: Dan Abnett, Kev Hopgood
Title - Darkblade: Reign of Blood
(Warhammer novel comic)
Malus Darkblade is a dark elf warrior, ruthless and untrustworthy. Yet one battle led him to the treasure that would change his life forever, and NOT for the better. Malus Darkblade is cursed by a bestial abomination, the daemon named Tz'arkan. Malus has one year, four seasons, in which to seek out and bring back five unholy relics. If he does not, he will die. If he succeeds, the daemon will lift the curse. What Malus does not realize is that even should he succeed and the daemon keep his promise to lift the curse, things will never be the same again.
***** I had no idea that this Warhammer novel was actually all the Darkblade comics published thus far, collected into one convenient novel. I am so happy to have gotten this book! It is full of battles, gore, sorcerery, mayhem, and all the wonderful things Warhammer readers enjoy to the fullest! And remember, Malus Darkblade is a "dark elf warrior". No running off to save damsels in distress for him! Within these covers readers will find four complete books. Don't ask how many comics are within each book. I did not count. I was too busy enjoying the high rush of excitement that comes from Darkblade's adventures. The script is by Dan Abnett. The lettering and art is by Kev Hopgood. The cover is by Clint Langley. Very highly recommended reading! *****
Author: Nancy A. Collins
Title: Looks Could Kill
Sherry's modeling career has finally taken off. She is now one of the most beautiful women in the world, sought after by many. But her life changes when she gets a vision of the near future. (To know how and why, you will have to read the book.) Sherry knows the ship everyone is boarding will never get out of the harbor. Everyone, including herself, will die. Sherry tells all her friends and co-workers exactly what is about to happen. Several are convinced enough to stay off the ship and the group watches as the ship they were about to board goes down to a watery grave. Sherry is the only one harmed on the dock, hit by flying debris.
When Sherry finally gets released from the Burns Center she is still horribly scarred. Her career is over. Those she saved are waiting in her apartment with a surprise party and a gift. Only one out of the group ever came to visit Sherry during her months of hospitalization. That was Cabernet, the pregnant one. Then the group gives Sherry an extremely thoughtless gift, a Venetian mask molded to her previous facial features so her scarred face would not scare those around her.
Then DEATH offers Sherry a deal. DEATH will give Sherry back her full beauty and spare her life, if she kills her so called friends. Sherry must kill them in the order they were due to die months ago. With each death, some of her beauty will return. However, all must die before the baby of Cabernet is born.
***** As the reader, all I could think was that if her friends/co-workers had not ignored her or humiliated her, Sherry would never have agreed to help DEATH. This is part of the "Final Destination" series. But you do not need to have read the previous books. (I have not.) Each book is a story in itself. And oh! What a story this one is! This takes the "What If" question to a whole new level. Highly Recommended! *****
Author: Steven Deighan
Title: A Dead Calmness (Horror Anthology / Jan. 06)
Author Steven Deighan has taken the short stories he has published in various horror magazines, added a few extras, and now offers them to the world in an anthology of horror.
**** Within these dark pages are fourteen tales of unimaginable woe. Good never wins. There are stories of violent child abuse, nuclear explosions, demons, doppelgangers, and (my personal favorite) an author's worst nightmare come to life. In fact, if you have ever been published or dream of being so one day, one of these shorts could be considered a type of warning. I give readers fair notice: Do NOT read just before going to sleep. Enough said. ****
Author: Jason Arnopp
Title: Hate - Kill - Repeat (Friday the 13th series)
Hayley "Halo" Harlan is a pregnant nineteen-year-old lady with an abusive boyfriend who has yet to find out he will soon be a father. Halo dreads the thought of telling him too. Trey wants nothing to do with changing diapers. The world MUST revolve around him! (Or so his ego thinks.) Halo decides to wait until after their weekend camping trip with some friends at Crystal Lake.
Norwood and Penelope Thawn may be married and may look like respectable upper crust members of society, but in truth they are serial killers on a bloody crusade. When ever they spy someone committing a sin, Norwood and Penelope redeem the sinner by sending him to Hades with their blessings. The couple head to Crystal Lake in hopes of recruiting Jason Vorhees, who they believe is on the same crusade. The FBI is hot on their trail, but the Thawns believe God is on their side.
As for Jason, he is IN Crystal Lake, at the bottom. He would probably have stayed that way too, if some police divers had not seen a head sticking up from the lake floor and proceeded to dig up the body.
***** Lots of blood. Lots of gore. Lots of death. Hey, this is a "Friday the 13th" novel. What else would it be like? So this is PERFECT for all Jason fans. Recommended! *****
Author: J.M. Jeffries
Title: Blood Lust
In 1745 Mignon Du Plessis had been a black slave. Her white owner, Charles Rabelais changed Mignon into a vampire so he could keep her forever. But history shows us that times change. In New Orleans, where most of this story is set, Charles Rabelais is a rogue vampire, being hunted by his brethren. Charles is out to turn all the dangerous mortal criminals into vampires. Mignon is a member of "the Praetorium". (This is like a vampire government.) The Praetorium was formed long ago to protect the vampires from the humans. A sect of this organization is the "the Venator". A Venator protects the humans from the bad vampires. These vampires hunt down and execute rogue vampires. Mignon is such a being. She has orders from the Praetorium to hunt down and execute Charles. She has two other Hunters with her, Solomon ben Zafir and Maximus Severus. The three go hunting each night to exterminate the vampires that Charles has recently created. No one uses guns in these fights. They would not work anyway. Executions are done with all different types of blade weapons.
Detective Ryan Lattimore is a former Special Forces Operative. He does not get paid much at the New Orleans Police Department, but he believes in justice. Lieutenant Barton, his boss, has him staking out the county morgue. Someone has been going into the cold room and decapitating the dead bodies. This is how he meets the babe with the axe! He believes she is crazy and is about to try to arrest her when the dead bodies begin coming to life. Mignon ends up saving his life from the new vampires Charles had made that day. Mignon tries to enchant Ryan into forgetting everything, but he is a rare type of mortal that is immune to vampire enchantments. Of course, Ryan cannot tell his boss the truth of what happened in the morgue that night. So Ryan lets his boss think he was sloppy in his job that night. But Ryan refuses to just forget all he has seen. He shows up at the home of Lucas Du Plessis, a descendant of Mignon. Surprisingly, Lucas has been expecting Ryan and escorts him to Mignon. Ryan and Mignon are attracted to each other, yet neither trusts the other either. Ryan cannot arrest Mignon for killing someone who is already dead and the stories Mignon is filling his head with are straight out of a "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" show. It is all unbelievable ... at least it was until he began to see it all for himself.
Mignon and her two partners begin teaching Ryan to fight with blade weapons. The only way to convince Ryan that what they say is true, is to show it to him and let him experience it all himself. The Praetorium rule is to kill any mortal immune to enchantment in order to protect the brethren. Yet Mignon finds herself reluctant to kill Ryan. He is not evil. In a way, they are on the same side, the side of Justice. So Mignon teaches Ryan. Once Charles has been taken care of she can decide whether to kill Ryan or not.
Things become much more complicated when a secret branch of the U.S. Department of Defense begins popping up. They are after Charles, but once they learn of Mignon they decide to capture her too. They call themselves "The Vamp Squad". They plan to recruit vampires into becoming a special military group that would deal with terrorism. All the Vamp Squad members are immune to vampire enchantments. One member, Ursula Carlson, is undercover in the NOPD. She is pretending to be with the FBI and out to help Ryan with his case.
***** If you love dark romance blended together with vampires, then this book has been taylor made just for you! Author J.M. Jeffries is a team of two authors who have proven themselves to be dark masters of the underworld. Do not let the cover fool you. No matter what race or background you are, you will find yourself sucked into this story and engrossed in the believable tale that will weave itself before your eyes. Mignon is a lady that you cannot help but cheer on as she fights for what is right. I not only recommend this title to those who enjoy vampire romances, I strong urge them to buy this book! *****
Laurell K. Hamilton's story occurs in the interval between BLUE MOON and OBSIDIAN BUTTERFLY. Of course, Ms. Blake is the main character. She is asked to hunt for a girl who is under age and determined to be changed.
Charlaine Harris, my personal favorite vampire series author, gives us a short story involving the characters from her SOUTHERN VAMPIRE series. Sookie Stackhouse has inherited a legacy from an out of touch vampire kin. Bubba (we all know who this famous, supposedly deceased, rock star is since people still claim to have sightings of him) and Bill are the two vampires helping out in this tale.
Then comes Mary Janice Davidson's Dr. Sophie character. She may be a vampire, but she is also a vet. She protects the people in her area AND cares for their animals. If ever there was a good vampire, Dr. Sophie is it.
Next up is Angela Knight whose character is a witch who must team up with THE Sir Galahad (vampire) and enter a horrible super natural battle.
Last, but not least, is Vickie Taylor's enthralling tale of a man whose invention of synthetic blood, to help millions of humans, is stolen by a strong and nasty vampire. The human man needs to be changed into a vampire in order to get his formula back. He ends up joining with an unwilling female vampire and starting a vampire revolution.
**** Five authors of five vampire series have gotten together to create short stories, spin offs of their own series. I give a glimpse of each story in my synopsis. I purchased this book solely for Charlaine Harris's story. I L-O-V-E her SOUTHERN VAMPIRE series! The other tales are good too and this book is worth your time and money even if you read only one of these authors often. As for me, I've read all the authors and can honestly tell you that all five of these authors are terrific! ****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title - The Home
Freeman Mills is diagnosed with rapid-cycle manic depression (bipolar) with suicidal tendencies, kleptomania, antisocial behavior, cyclothymia, and mid schizophrenia. As long as Freeman can remember, his dad had used him as a guinea pig for experiments. Dr. Kenneth Mills (a.k.a. "Dad") was once an esteemed clinical psychologist. Then Freeman's mom was killed and Dad was locked in an insane institution. However, the damages to Freeman were already done and ran deep. But that was years ago. That is all in the past. Now Freeman is twelve-years-old and has just been transferred to yet another group home.
Wendover Home is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. The Wendover Home, itself, has a long and dark history. During the Second World War it had been a state mental hospital where inhumane experiments were conducted on mentally unstable patients. Many people died within cells located in the Home's basement. Though the Home is now used as a group home for children, the basement cells remain. Some items have also been added within the basement. There are glowing generators, metal cylinders, Liquid Nitrogen, advanced superconductors, and so much more. All of it is hooked directly to Room Thirteen above.
Dr. Richard Kracowski treats the children in Wendover Home. Room Thirteen is where Dr. Kracowski gets to play God. The doctor calls the electroshock treatments "Synaptic Synergy Therapy". He kills his patients to help their brains align harmonically. When the children come back to life they find themselves altered. For a temporary time the kids have telepathy, clairvoyance, and/or precognition abilities. After each treatment, the abilities last longer.
Freeman finds an unlikely ally in another child named Vicky Barnwell. Other than Freeman, Vicky's powers are the greatest. As the two warily learn about each other, they begin noticing new oddities around Wendover. The experiments in Room Thirteen have awaken those in the basement from their eternal rests. Being covered up long ago and forgotten are returning.
***** Author Scott Nicholson has become my favorite writer of the Horror genre. No one else can quite resurrect horrors that will haunt your dreams for years to come. Scott Nicholson is simply unforgettable. Don't believe me? Pick up a copy of this novel. I dare you! You'll never think of your basement again without wondering if anything in its past may come back to play with you. Highly recommended! *****
Author: Rachel Lee
Title - Something Deadly
Dogs howling in unexplained distress all over the island herald the first horrifying death. A middle aged man in seemingly perfect health collapses and dies, his insides liquified. Declan Quinn, the head medical examiner is terrified by this outre event, and feels that it is only the beginning. He's right. Markie Cross, the local vet, is drawn in by her wolf hybrid's strange behavior, and the effect these deaths seem to have on the dogs in the area. Something evil has risen from the grave, something that craves death and revenge. Dec and Markie race against time to stop the ghost of a woman who rivalled Elizabeth Bathory for evilness before she can wipe out the entire island.
**** Ms. Lee keeps her readers on the edge of their seats in this taut drama. The fast pace will hold you captivated until the end. ****
Author: C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp
Title - Moon's Web
(Aug. 2005 Sequel to "Hunter's Moon")
Tony was one of the best assassins for the mafia until he was turned into a werewolf. Now he is the best assassin in the world. Tony is still trying to learn the rules of being part of a pack. His human mate, Sue, has to quickly adapt as well. But Tony is about to face even more changes within himself. Talents that only a rare few shifters are gifted with are beginning to emerge from within Tony as well, and he does NOT like them!
Something is kidnapping the female shapeshifters. This is not something that would normally affect humans, but the most recently kidnapped shifter is the girlfriend of a human named Carmine Leone. Carmine is the Mafia don and Tony's former boss. Unless Tony, Sue, and an elite group of shifters can locate the kidnapped shifters quickly and destroy an unknown menace, Carmine is prepared to wage an all out war. Even though the shapeshifters would win a war against the Mafia, doing so would expose their culture to the humans.
**** An exciting sequel to "Hunter's Moon" but it does start up too slowly. Readers learn more about shifters, pack members, and the super natural world these two talented authors have created. I cannot tell more without spoilers, which is something I refuse to do. But rest assured, you are going to enjoy this one! ****
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Title - A Stroke of Midnight
(Bk 4 of Meredith Gentry series / April 12, 2005)
Meredith Gentry is more than just another P.I. She is also the princess and heir to the throne of Fairie. She is still learning to deal with her powers. Princess Merry NicEssus, as she is known in the Unseelie Court, must get pregnant and produce an heir quickly. Otherwise all that is faerie may be destroyed. This is much easier said than done. Merry must leave the protected beds of the Queen's Raven to lay with other men. This ends up leading Merry, and her new lovers, to a magical and mysterious place.
Now Princess Merry will face the most dangerous time of her entire life. She may even be forced to ally herself with her greatest adversary. She will face goblins, kings, assassins, and more.
**** This suspense filled series continues, much to the delight of Hamilton's fans. Parts tended to get a bit choppy at times, but that does not detract too much from the wonderful adventures of Princess Merry. If you have not read the first three novels in this series, then go back and do so. Otherwise you may find yourself lost at times. An excellent continuation to the saga! ****
Title - Trespassing Time: Ghost Stories From The Prairie
***** Here are sixteen ghost stories by four tantalizing authors. Barbara J. Baldwin, Jerri Garretson, Linda Madl, and Sheri L. McGathy team up to give readers thrills and chills all night long. There is even an introduction by Troy Taylor who is the founder of the American Ghost Society.
As you begin reading each tale you cannot help but wonder how it will end. Take nothing for granted! Some ghosts are nice and mean the living no harm at all. Others are pure evil and seek only the demise of the living.
The title clearly states that these haunting stories are from the prairie. However, there is no certain time line. Some are present date, others are from the past, and one is even set a couple of years in the future. No matter the time, all are set in prairies. I hope in the future to see ghost stories from the mountains, the beach, the woods, and other such places. BRAVA! Give me more! *****
Author: Carrie S Masek
Title - Twice Damned
In the near future, a young doctor works to cure Hitler's legacy. Stoker's syndrome claimed the life of her infant brother, and in Faith's scientific opinion, gave rise the the legends of vampires. She never imagines that vampires might be real, or that the very young man hitting on her is actually old enough to be her grandfather. Ritter is one of the few survivors of Hitler's experiements to create super soldiers, and now, he and another vampire seek not only a cure, one Faith is working on without realizing its scope, but also to stop a new breed of vampires from rising. Enlisting Faith in their effort is both a blessing and risk. Before it all is over, heart breaking sacrifices will be required of them all in order to surpass the danger for the greater good.
*** Fast moving action and bittersweet decisions make this a memorable book with a logical premise that makes it believeable without stretching one's credulity level to greatly. ***
Author: Margaret L Carter
Title - From The Dark Places
**** Not truly comprehending what frightens her, Kate runs into the street into the path of an oncoming car, and destiny. When she wakes in the hospital, she is introduced to people who will change her and her daughter's lives forever. Despite her unbelief, Kate is forced to accept that her daughter, Sara, is the target of an Ancient evil, and take her into hiding. Their liason with the outside world is Ray, a man she grows to love as they battle darkness together. All too soon, their fragile joy will be threatened, requiring all their resources of love in this life and the world beyond to be utilized to save everyone.
Even before the author began quoting CS Lewis and Madeline L'engle, I was thinking of this as something that people who enjoyed their books as children would eagerly grab. Within the action packed thriller is a message of hope and overcoming that speaks to so many today and shows that joy is not separate from sorrow altogether. ****
Author: Jeff Strand
Title - Casket For Sale (Used Only Once)
Andrew Mayhem has had trouble finding a steady job. Let's face it, with Andrew's track record of killing people (in self defense, of course) getting hired is not easy. And anyone in close proximity to Andrew always ends up having his awful luck spill over onto him. But Andrew is really trying to be a responsible adult. He has two kids and a pregnant wife to consider. So no more accepting jobs in a bar from beautiful women offering him lots of money or jobs that pays big money for one night of work. Things are looking up for Andrew.
His best friend, Roger Tanglen, seems to be having better luck too. Roger now has a gorgeous blond girlfriend named Samantha. Andrew cannot help but feel threatened by Samantha though. Andrew was in short supply of friends and he feared Samantha might take Roger away. So Helen, Andrew's wife, decides they all need take a vacation for a short while.
Andrew rents a camper (pays extra for insurance too since he is now being responsible) and they all take off for Wreitzer Park. Someone suggests a short cut, but Andrew's luck has proven bad when it comes to short cuts. Therefore, Andrew refuses to stray from the map. So that is how they end up trapped in the woods by crazy people wanting to take them to a mad scientist's lab. Andrew's luck remains constant.
***** I have often been quoted as saying that this author, Jeff Strand, is one sick puppy. Well, I now stand corrected. Jeff Strand is NOT one sick puppy. Jeff Strand is one totally insane, foaming at the mouth, rabid demon. And yes, you may quote me on that too. This is the third book featuring Andrew Mayhem and his rotten luck. If you do not like your horror involving children and innocents being killed and/or tortured, do NOT read this. If you like your horror to be at its worst, but with some laughter thrown in, then this is the book for you! There were parts that had me laughing aloud and there were parts where I wondered if I really wanted to continue reading. Sound like a book for you? Then snatch up this book as soon as you can. Highly recommended for totally sick people. *****
Title - Cold Glass Pain (Horror Anthology)
Edited by Chris Cudbertson
If you enjoy dark, thrilling stories such as those in the famous comic and television series "Tales From The Crypt", then you will enjoy this anthology collection, edited by Chris Cudbertson.
This eerie novel contains twenty-three stories from twenty-one new authors of fantasy and horror. Each tale is between five and ten pages in length. Each has a startling or surprising ending. And each will thoroughly entertain even the harshest critic. Do NOT let the fact that these are new authors fool you into thinking the stories cannot be good! After finishing this book, I have no doubt that several of these authors will become big names in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres within the not-too-distant future. The editor, Chris Cudbertson, has shown natural talent in his selection of stories as well.
***** For best effect read late at night during a storm, if you dare. After all, is that not when we all read those old spooky comic books or watched those chilling shows on the televisions? However, even if you read this book on a bright, sunny afternoon you will still get that chilling sensation of uncertainty. I highly recommend this tomb to all. *****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title - The Manor
Ephram Korban had been an admirer of art in all forms - literature, painting, photography, music, sculpture, and more. He died in an October on the night of a rare blue moon. Miss Mamie, his last living relative, still abides by Ephram's last wish. The deluxe manor is tucked away in the Blue Ridge mountains and serves as an artists' retreat. The manor is isolated from the rest of the world. It has no electricity and is totally self sufficient. Miss Mamie often chooses an elite group of people to stay in the manor for six weeks. During this time, artists will concentrate on their form of art uninterrupted.
Yet even though it all looks serene at first glance, it is anything but. Within the halls of the manor something is feeding off the energies of those in the manor. Something determined to reclaim life at any cost. And the next October blue moon is due.
***** Author Scott Nicholson sends cold chills down the spines of his readers. The dead actually seem to come back to life due to his dark writing talent. This time Nicholson has managed not only to keep me awake reading long into the night, but also to invade my dreams with dark visions. "THE MANOR", in my opinion, is his best novel yet! *****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Wither's Legacy
(A Wendy Ward novel)
There was an ancient evil formerly known as Elizabeth Wither, an evil that had existed in dozens of human hosts over the thousands of years of its existence. Wendy Ward destroyed Wither and thought the evil was defeated. She was wrong. As Wither died she cursed Wendy and now the young Wiccan must use her supernatural gifts to defeat it.
The curse calls upon a seven-foot-tall monster with razor-sharp teeth and a taste for human flesh. An enchantment camouflages the beast so it looks human. It views a magical line, like a rope, that leads straight to Wendy no matter where she roams. Once it kills Wendy it will be free. Its hunt begins.
Wendy is aided by Alex (her boyfriend), the Crone (Hannah's future self), ten-year-old Abby (who is a shapeshifter), and Kayla (who is still contaminated with Wither's black blood). Wendy must learn more magic and quickly. The creature is closing in and time is running out.
***** Books by John Passarella make it very difficult to sleep at night. If you have an over active imagination, you may never sleep again! This one will chill you to the very marrow of your bones. Excellent! *****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Monolith (Angel: The Series novel)
Set sometime in the time period between Connor's return from the alternate dimension and Cordellia's pregnancy, Monolith returns fans of the unfortunately cancelled series to a familiar world. As usual, Armegeddon is on the horizon, this time its heralds are a band of demons that must be killed in a certain order to die permanently and a giant monolith in the middle of LA. Only our heroes fully realize what's going on; an ancient demon is trying to take over the world. The ritual sacrifices are complete, and now all that needs to happen is for Hell to break loose, literally. Angel and Connor must set aside their parental issues and fight together to keep Earth out of demonic hands. It won't be easy, it may even cost a few lives.
**** Reading this book is like seeing an episode in 4 D. Not only can you picture the action in your mind, but see inside the characters' minds. The sardonic wit that is Whedon's hallmark is perfectly captured here, along with all the angst and action. ****
Author: M.K. Sherlock
Title - Evil Blooms
Back in the year of 1402, an Indian brave sealed some deadly red seeds into a pouch. Those seeds had been sent straight from the Evil One. The brave buried the pouch in a deep hole of a barren and lifeless land. Then he covered the hole with the heaviest rocks he could locate. The red seeds would lie hidden in their darkened tomb for many centuries.
In Caddo, Texas, an old farmer named John Peters finds a pouch of red seeds on his land. He does what farmers do best, he plants them. Thus began the horror brought about by unholy plants germinated with human blood. The plants have beautiful red blooms and are extremely fragrant. If a dark soul inhales the scent, he tells of the lovely fragrance. If a light soul smells them, he tells of a rancid scent. The plants spread throughout the small town of Caddo. Almost over night every man, woman, and child would not sleep without having vivid nightmares. Shortly thereafter, normally gentle people begin to murder, rape, and do other unimaginable horrors.
January Rainwater was a descendant from the tribe of so long ago. Stories of the blood-red plant had been passed down for generations. January's dreams warn of the approaching evil blooms and of the Evil One returning to spur his newest minions to evil heights. His grown grandson, Michael, comes to January's aid. An angel explains it all to January in a dream and shows the two men a small rag-tag group of people who would be his army. They are given the task of destroying the satanic plants that currently flourishes on the Peters' farm. If they fail, the world is doomed.
*** Here is a dark horror novel that will keep you up late at night! A big problem, in my opinion, is that the author could have told the story in half the pages. For example, there is a twenty page prologue that goes into detail on several members of the Indian tribe that only appear for a few paragraphs and adds nothing to the story or its plot. The rest of the book is the same. There are chapters that go into detail of horrors committed to and by people, which is fine, except there is no need to tell about their background when they are only in the story to show the reader what they are doing in the immediate time. However, other than being long winded, the story's plot is wonderful! The author even had a stroke of genius when it was decided to use a beautiful flower to disguise the evil held within. A very good story that is recommended. ***
Author: Brandon Massey
Title - Dark Corner
One hundred and sixty-eight years ago there was a great battle in Mississippi. A small group of men fought the undead. The leader of the humans was William Hunter. The leader of the vampires was Diallo. In the end, Diallo was entombed within a cave. There, he slept.
David Hunter never really knew his father, Richard, who had been a famous author. But when Richard had a boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico, David inherited everything. In hope of learning about his father, and himself, David moved from his Atlanta residence to the home where his father had dwelled in Mason's Corner, Mississippi. It was not long before David learned that he would be called upon to fulfill his responsibility to the family and continue "The Hunters' Legacy."
Within a few days of David's arrival in Mason's Corner, another newcomer arrived and moved into a house on the hill. This dark man seemed to easily settle into Jubilee, the old mansion that was rumored to be haunted. Not long afterward, people began to disappear and dogs became vicious and attacked.
Diallo had been wakened by his son and wanted revenge.
***** Fans of Dean Koontz will love this talented author. Brandon Massey takes his readers to a new height of terror, where vampires are even worse than we once imagined. The author adds in a few sub-plots to keep things moving in several directions at once, such as David's girlfriend having a stalker.
Here is an author to keep your eye on. I foresee many awards in Brandon Massey's future! Highly recommended reading! *****
Author: Katherine Irving
Title - Demons, Daughters, And Father God
Making a deal with a demon has effects that reach into the future for one family. Danielle thought it was just a story when she was told the crystal ball had magic, but it was no story. As her family and friends watch in horror, a normal, albeit bratty child is turned into a monster who is capable of saying the most shocking and hurtful words. Her psychic games take on a deadly turn, and then the truth is revealed. A blood price has been paid for her foolishness, and the toll will rise higher if the devil is not stopped.
* Like Stephen King, the story makes the ordinary a source of fear. The shock comes from the sudden and graphic interjection of terror into the mundane. As a sharp counterpoint, Biblical verses are used to separate the sections of the story. *
Author: Katherine Irving
Title - Shivers
** Fear is a complex emotion. Evoking horror is not dependent upon the circumstances so much as upon how the circumstances are used. Drawing upon techniques mastered by Stephen Crane and Edgar Allen Poe, Ms Irving uses minutae to create a sense of dread from events not always fearful on the surface. Using everything from spiders to children, she tells tales to keep you up at night. Watch the shadow carefully, you never know what might lurk within them. **
Author: Matthew B.J. Delaney
Title - Jinn
Begins in May 1943:
On a remote island in the South Pacific a squad of United States Marines do battle with the Japanese soldiers on the island. But something else is on the island, something ancient, and it is hunting humans. Bodies begin to pile up. Worse, the demon makes it off the island and onto The Galla, a WWII Merchant Marine Liberty ship. Only to be trapped aboard when the ship goes down.
Continues in July 2008:
Boston Homicide Detective Jefferson and his partner, Lieutenant Brogan, are after a serial killer. Bodies are being found posed and mutilated in bizarre ways. Their investigation will take them in many directions - from a sunken WWII ship, now in a Boston museum, to Blade Island, a prison where the inmates are terrified of something in "The Pit", and a few side trips.
***** Jinn is a dark novel, full of action and suspense. Things just never slowed down. An intense read that had me jumping at any sudden noise. I loved it! This one will keep you engrossed in each dark page. Hard to believe that this is the author's debut novel. Highly recommended! *****
For your convenience you may read more about, or purchase this book, from Amazon by clicking HERE!
Author: Susan Sizemore
Title - Deceptions
(Laws Of The Blood #4)
Let us hop on over to Washington, D.C. Hey, it is the capitol of the USA's mortals, why not for the capitol for the USA's vampires as well? Olympias has long reigned as the Enforcer of Washington, D.C. She is the one ultimately responsible for every strigoi in the country. With "the Enforcers' Enforcer" away on a long overdue vacation, Olympias has even more to deal with.
Sara, Maggie, and Gerry are Olympias's slaves. They are the ones that Olympias delegates most of the work to. Sara is the one considered to be Olympias's right hand person. And it is she that is sent to talk to Andrew, a suicidal vampire in the area wishing for Olympias to kill him. Why? Because Andrew thinks he is going insane. Andrew is convinced he is seeing ghosts.
The local vampires are upset at Olympias, who is demanding all the nests to vacate the area within a month. Rose, a local nest leader, is the most upset due to the fact that she has lived in that area longer than any other vampire. It is the only place she has ever considered to be "home". Her companion, Roger, sees potential and begins using everyone in an attempt to kill Olympias and eventually take over as leader.
Then there is Colonel Mike Falconer, who is over a government project, the Walker Project. His group are very "gifted" and walk the astral plane. And for the first time in centuries, Olympias is considering having a companion. It all adds up to trouble with a capitol T.
***** Excellent! Very well executed! (Pardon the pun.) Book 4 is even better than the last, and that is definitely saying something. I hope to see these main and secondary characters again in future books. With all that I am seeing, this is shaping up to be series that fans will want to keep reading about for years! *****
Author: Susan Sizemore
Title - Companions
(Laws Of The Blood #3)
This time the setting is Chicago. Selena Crawford is a Chicago homicide detective. She is the unwilling companion of Istvan, Chief of the Enforcers. Istvan is considered "the Enforcers' Enforcer." He is the dhamphir. Due to the bond between vampire and companion, they cannot help but come into contact with each other. But they try their best to meet as rarely as possible.
The Law of the Blood states "A companion is a vampire's property. They may do with their companions as they will." It is a law that many companions want changed. But for a companion to even think of changing things is like an act of treason, with a high punishment. Even so, there are a few brave ones. They have an elite chat room where they secretly speak with each other and plan what they will do differently once they have grown fangs. None of them knows the real names of the others or where they reside. The ID of each is gender-less. No one speaks of what they do for a living. They vent about their "Friends" and make plans.
Selena and Istvan must join forces to investigate the murder of a vampire and maintain the secrecy of the vampire race. But when they find the killer and learn her motive, they find out that there is an even bigger threat and it hits even closer to home! Things are about to get very, very personal.
***** Outstanding! Author Susan Sizemore has outdone herself in this one! The story is well written, believable, and the main characters are so wonderful that I could not help but like them. There are even a few cameos, which I did not expect to happen so soon in this series. Highly recommended! *****
Author: Susan Sizemore
Title - Partners
(Laws Of The Blood #2)
This time the setting was in the city of Seattle. Charlotte "Char" McCairn was new to being an Enforcer. While at Starbucks Char heard the dhamphir inform her of her first mission. The Council had decided to kill a vampire hunter named Jebel Haven. Char was chosen to do the deed. Shortly afterward, a nest leader (Helene Bourbon) asked Char to help locate one of her younger vampires named Daniel. Char decided to search for Daniel first.
Jebel Haven was searching for a missing teenager who may have been abducted by vampires. Since Char and Jebel both searched for the same teen, they reluctantly joined forces. Neither were totally honest with the other and both had deadly plans for the other once Daniel was located.
A dark cult had formed in the streets of Seattle. Getting to Daniel was much harder than they believed it would be. The cult had Daniel. The main cult leaders were a sorcerer and a demon. The sorcerer would be no trouble; however, a demon was a child of a lower god. One Law of the Blood read "It is death to any vampire who interferes in the affairs of the children of the lower gods."
** Unlike the first of this series, I found the second difficult to get into. The first half was so slow and the scenes were scattered and choppy. Yet the second half was non-stop action.
By the time I found this series, books 1 - 5 were already published. By reading the back covers I learned that each book was a different city and a different Enforcer. Char and her companion will return in book five. Therefore, I must guess that these main characters will interact with each other some time in the future. You CAN skip book two, but if you intend to read the whole series DO NOT skip it. This book will explain Char and Jebel. Since they WILL be returning in future book(s), this one is worth your time to pick up. But search a used book store first. **
Author: Susan Sizemore
Title - The Hunt
(Laws Of The Blood Series #1)
Even vampires have laws. Humans have police to uphold their laws. Vampires have "Enforcers".
Enforcers are an elite group of vampires. Selim is the Enforcer in Los Angeles. Much time has passed since the vampires in the city last tasted fresh human blood. A hunt is needed ... and soon. As Enforcer, it is up to Selim to name the time, the place, and the prey.
Because ONLY Enforcers kill other vampires, Selim's job does not make him popular. He can never waver or show any weakness whenever he gives the Laws. To do so could easily cost him his life and the life of his mortal love/companion Siri.
**** A very solid beginning for this series! When an Enforcer must go hunt another of his kind, one of them WILL die. It looks as though this will happen at least once in each of the books in the series.
This series is NOT for readers who want a vampire like the one Stoker created, nor for the ladies wanting a vampire hero to dream about. You should ONLY consider this book if you like the idea of vampires living among us in the world today, in clans. Recommended reading. I hope the second book is as good as this first. ****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title - The Harvest
Set in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Dr. Tamara Leon teaches down at Westridge. She has always had the "gift" of being clairvoyant. She called the darker feelings "the Gloomies". She lived in the little town of Windshake with her husband and two small children. Her marriage is a bit rocky, since her husband HATES hearing anything about the Gloomies. He did not believe in the mess at all. Yet the Gloomies were getting stronger lately. In fact, ever since the weird object fell from the heavens and landed somewhere in the mountains. Things and people began to change. Whatever landed in those mountains was growing and assaulting Tamara's mind in a psychic invasion.
Chester Mull KNEW something was going on! His dog has been turned inside-out, literally! People he used to call "friends" have drastically changed too. Their eyes glowed an eerie green and their skin seemed to be melting.
The zombies sought out other living beings to "convert". Their master, Shu-Shaaa, was hungry and must be fed. It was assimilating itself into the biosystem of the planet, slowing learning and eating everything. As it fed, it searched for the meaning of one set of syllables that seemed to nag at its core. The syllables called "Taa-maaa-raaa."
***** Stephen King and Dean Koontz fans need to sit up and take notice of this talented author. Scott Nicholson has created a new terror that will keep you up late into the night! (Don't say I did not warn you.) Nicholson seems to be destined for fame. Highly recommended reading! *****
Author: Robin McKinley
Title - Sunshine
Rae(Sunshine)Seddon has found her place in the post Vodoo Wars world, making cinamon rolls beginning at four a.m. every day. Life is quiet and predictable, until she is kidnapped and thrust into the midst of a vampire feud. Her captors leave her chained beside a vampire who is also bound. She is there as a temptation for the starved Constantine, for her blood has been poisoned. Only by calling on powers she has chosen to ignore can Sunshine free herself and the unexpectedly "human" vampire with her.
Now, Sunshine and Constantine share a bond that makes her a part of the ages old war between Con and Bo. She is also brought under the scrutiny of the secret police, enlisted in the ever present conflict between humans and others. One thing is sure, Sunshine's life will never be quiet and predictable again.
***** Sunshine is at once edgy and haunting. Con moves through his heroine's world in the shadows, much like Vincent in the Beauty and the Beast show. Sunshine is a cross between Stephanie Plum and Anita Blake, fighting to stay ordinary in a world of wonders. However, Sunshine can not be pigeon holed as just another vampire romance. It has it's own flavor, quite unlike any other you have read. *****
Author: Selina Rosen
Title - Fright Eater
Three years have passed since Rabbi Tracy Cohen had battled against the undead in Arkansas. Her life partner, Jane Weston, felt invisible and worthless in Tracy's life. In fighting the undead Tracy did God's work. How could Jane ever compete with God? Fed up, Jane accepted a TV job elsewhere and left.
Tracy joined an intelligence agency that dealt with the extraordinary. The agency sent Tracy and her small group of fighters to Wako City. The city was torn by racism and the vampires had gathered among a group of Neo Nazis who were preparing to march through a part of the city heavily populated by Holocaust survivors. Tracy's estranged family lived in that part of the city as well. And Tracy needed to see them, needed to forgive them for what they had done to her. This was made even harder since the soulless seemed to be targeting her family.
Jane happened to be in Wako City as well. She noticed the bizarre happenings and just KNEW that Tracy would be the one in town to help out the police, with her golom at her side. Realizing how much she wanted and needed Tracy in her life, Jane began her search in hope of reconciliation.
**** This seems to be book two of a series. I missed book one, but have the third book waiting for me to begin. Even so, I did not feel as though I had been thrown into an abyss. The author did a wonderful job on the characters and the novel had closure. It could be read as a stand-alone book, however, it left me eager to see what the agency throws at Tracy's little group next! Tracy's life is much like the "Twilight Zone". Recommended! ****
Author: Richard Cloutier
Title - Caveat Emptor
Diane and Doug Garant purchased the house at the end of Hopeworth Street with pride. They had two young sons named Thomas and Marc. As they began to settle in, the small town residents began telling Diane about the tragic history of their new home. The owners before them had been elderly. One died of fright. The other had been found at the bottom of the stairs. Before them, two male friends from the military had owned the house. They disappeared suddenly. Some say they were lost at sea which bordered the property. Others claim the two met with foul play.
Diane had always been sensitive to the after life. Since her husband was a skeptic, Diane had learned to keep silent, least he believe her crazy. Yet she knew that their new home was haunted by an unknown and restless spirit. Diane had to figure out WHO the spirit was and what it wanted, before her family became another tragic piece of the house's history.
**** Caveat Emptor is Latin and means Buyer Beware. This is a wonderful ghost story that sent chills down my spine. A short read of 133 pages, so it is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon or evening. Chapter One is a vision of Diane's and had me a bit confused. However, once I finished the book I went back and reread the chapter and realized that the author had given a few subtle clues. You mystery fans out there may want to pay very close attention to the first chapter.
Diane, needless-to-say, is the main character. The reader follows her as she tracks down the history of her home. For a small town, not many people are friendly. Neighbors are far apart. Woods surround the home and a path leads down to the beach, so Diane's family is pretty isolated. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING! ****
Author: Nancy Baker
Title - A Terrible Beauty
Twenty years ago Simon Donovan betrayed one of his college students. Out of the blue, the dying scholar of antiquities receives a letter from her. Sidonie summons him to her secluded northern home for unknown reasons.
Matthew Donovan, a struggling painter, undertakes the journey in place of his dying father. Deep in the wilderness he meets the mysterious Sidonie Moreau in her fantastic mansion. He finds the darkness that surrounds Sidonie engrossing even though it also repels him.
When Matthew asks how his family can make up for the wrongs done to her, the answer is shocking! She wants his blood, given freely! She promises never to harm him, yet he can never leave. He must remain with her. Each night she will ask for his blood. Each night he must answer. Matthew vows never to surrender to her, but each night it becomes harder to deny her.
***** An astounding read that will suck readers in quickly and never let them go! This book was first printed in 1996. Haunt your local stores, Amazon, eBay, and used book stores ... anywhere to find a copy! It is a dark role reversal of the "Beauty and the Beast" tale. Only this time, SHE is the beast and HE is trapped. An awful, yet compelling dark novel. *****
Author: Jeff Strand
Title - Mandibles
Giant Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) invade Tampa, Florida in a killing spree.
***** How was THAT for a synopsis? I have had the privilege of previewing/reviewing many other books by Author Jeff Strand. I am quoted as stating that Strand is warped and one sick cookie. I still stand by those words! This book is just more proof that I am right!
Be warned that I give this awesome book a "Rated R" heading due to a lot of blood and gore! I cannot stress that enough so I'll repeat ... "A lot of blood and gore!" Got that? Okay.
Even the book's "Author's Note" and "Another Author's Note" at the beginning of the story is warped. This strangeness has come to be known, by me and all Jeff Strand fans, as the author's personal signature. If it's horror, warped, and funny, then it has to be by Strand! *****
Author: Laurell K Hamilton
Title - Cerulean Sins
(Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series )
Belle Morte, the vampiric "mother" of Jean Claude and Asher's bloodline, has sent her representative, Mussette and her entourage to St. Louis a month early, causing a whole slough of headaches for Anita. She has to figure out a way to protect Asher from being claimed by this beautiful sadist, handle Richard's being well - Richard, the increasing ardeur that is making her need more erotic feeding, and a serial killer. Her police friends are making life no easier, since Dolph is having a melt down on her. The mother of all vampires is waking up to make life really interesting. Anita's life was so much simpler when she could just shoot something and make things better.
***** With every new book, Anita Blake's romantic life gets a little more complicated. Each book in this series gets more fascinating. Though Anita breaks all the rules and sets up her own, it all makes a certain kind of sense. The characters continue to grow in depth and complexity. The only missing thing is Edward. *****
Author: Gabriel Devlin Kessler
Title - Devil's Soul
This book shows the world from the Devil's point-of-view. Since the beginning of time Satan has been there offering people the things they want and getting no respect or love in return.
The book's characters range from Ireland in the famine year of 1846, to present day in Massachusetts. The Devil even has a son, Pal. However, even though Satan can create life, he cannot give it a soul. This means a soul must be gotten from someone else. The soul must be given freely.
That is where the Katz family in Massachusetts comes in. Satan must figure out how to con ... uh, I mean ... Satan must give the family what they want in exchange for their item.
**** This is a dark glimpse into an even darker world. Fans of Jeff Strand's novels and of Stephen King's book "Needful Things" will especially enjoy this story. It is unpredictable and a bit confusing at points in a "Beetle Juice" kind of way. Interesting reading to say the least! ****
Author: Wade Hunter
Title - Judgment
Five years ago, Detective Sam Yeager's entire family was brutally murdered. Sam managed to shoot the killer, but to no avail. The killer was no really human, after all. Since then Sam has changed his name, moved, and became a hermit. He knows the monster will come for him, the one who got away.
Heather Jones may only be nine-years-old. But she has a gift that was handed down by a gypsy relative. When little Heather witnesses the slaughter of her family her mind did the only thing it could do to protect itself. The gift made itself known. Heather became Ravyn. The would-be victim became the huntress!
Seth Joiner and his girlfriend were attacked by a monster. Now he fades in and out of consciousness. He must figure out what his dreams are trying to tell him before it is too late.
Author: Sarah Roark
Title - Ravnos
(Dark Ages Clan Novel 6)
Zoë is a young vampire who has lost everything dear to her. She hails from the city of Constantinople, which she had been forced to flee. Her sire was killed, burned during the Inquisition. All she wants now is revenge! To that end, Zoë follows Isidro to Paris. It is there she hopes to corner Isidro and hill him.
Zoë meets Anatole, of clan Malkavian. He is a mystical priest, thought a bit insane, among Cainites. To save her, Anatole "adopts" Zoë. Together they will face the world, such as it is.
**** "Ravnos" is a seductive horror novel that I could not help but find attractive. The author, Sarah Roark, managed to make the main character, Zoë, innocent and lethal at the same time. It is a feat not easily accomplished. A wonderful glimpse into the Dark Ages, while walking on the darker side! Excellent! ****
Author: Scott Nicholson
Title - The Red Church
In the 1860's Reverend Wendell McFall had a church built in Whispering Pines. It was painted red to summon the First Son to defeat the Second Son. When Wendell sacrificed a child his congregation hung him from the rafters of his own sanctuary.
The red church stood empty for twenty years. It was going to ruin until Archer McFall purchased it. It was called the Temple of the Two Sons and most of the town's residents quickly joined, as their ancestors had before. The zealous worshipers had no idea that they would be simply pawns and sacrifices as the demonic Archer exercised his revenge!
***** W - O - W! Now here is a novel that will send chills up your spine. I often found myself repelled and attracted at the same time as the grizzly plot unfolded. Fans of Stephen King and Dean Koontz will LOVE this talented author! I am eager for Nicholson's next release. *****
Author: David Niall Wilson
Title - Lasombra
(Dark Ages, Clan Novel #5)
The city of Constantinople is in ruins. Vampires from all clans seek easy prey or power during this time of chaos. Bishop Alfonzo is considered to be head of the city, but there is no true prince, though some are building power to assume the role soon.
Lucita is the young envoy of Clan Lasombra. With her is a strange monk called Anatole. Together, they must decide who best to become Prince of Constantinople and become indispensable to him, or die in the task.
***** "LASOMBRA" is book five in an epic thirteen-part series of Dark Ages Clan Novels. Author David Niall Wilson did a splendid job in making this story come alive for me! Each character's dark traits are powerful and lethal. Wilson's talent drips vividly on every page of this dark fantasy. I can only hope the rest of this saga is even half as great. Highly recommended! *****
Author: Karen E Taylor
Title - Resurrection
Deirdre Griffin returns as the star in this latest installment of the VAMPIRE LEGACY. She and her beloved Mitch have made a fairly happy life for themselves, opening a small pub to sustain their needs for money and blood alike. The shadow of the enemy Others hangs over them. It is only a matter of time until the next attack comes they know.
When it does come, the couple is unprepared for the insidious nature of it. Deirdre drinks from one of them, and finds that the blood is poisoned, and though she spits it out, the venom is in her long enough to have an effect. When a catalyst in introduced into her bloodstream, the less obvious poison that she was not able to avoid takes effect. Its intent is not to kill her, but slowly rob her of her memory. In desperation, Mitch and Deirdre reach out to their allies; to Vivienne and Dr. Sam and Lily and Victor. At the same time, they are presented with a mystery, one that may either be a gift or a curse. Two mortals come into their lives, a mother and son. Mitch has a strange attraction to the boy, and when they find out why, the truth is more horrifying and more welcome than they could possibly have dreamed.
***** The final secret is not revealed until the last page. It will leave you gnashing your teeth (or fangs) while you wait for the spring of 2004 for the next book. If you just can't wait, go over to Horrorfind Fiction and check out Ms. Taylor's spectacular BLOOD OF THE ROSE. It elevates her to a master horror writer, with skillful language and tone creating a sense of terror more than the actual events. It surpasses the VAMPIRE LEGACY for sensuality, and is far scarier.
RESURRECTION is definitely one of the finest vampire books I have ever read. It lacks nothing in continuity and has strong, developing characters who grow and have not stagnated. With each novel, the familiar players reveal new aspects of themselves, and old territory is never rehashed. It is a further note of excellence that the story is told so well in first person. Many times this point of view is ill used, and only the best can utilize it well. *****
Author: S.D. Lucas
Title - The Burden
Marduc Rouen was born in France during the 13th century. He never knew his father. His mother raised him alone and told him fanciful tales about the man she claimed was his deceased father. Marduc never questioned her stories. He was not to learn they had all been lies until after she was burned alive as a heretic, at the hands of the French monarchy. Marduc turned to the Devil, and a strange immortal woman named Lia, for the power to avenge his mother's death. He received more than he bargained for though. His life became a nightmare of bloodshed, witchcraft, immortality, torture, ... and worse.
***** All fans of Anne Rice should take a close look at this talented new author! The story is written in the first person viewpoint, just as "Interview With A Vampire" is. The reader sees through the eyes of Marduc. Therefore, as new twists come to life the reader is able to feel the shock and confusion as Marduc does.
Do not be deceived by either MY synopsis of this book or the one on the back of the book itself. This is NOT the tale of a vampire. Yet the story is full of the blood and gore you would find in such a book. I highly recommend this one for all true horror fans! *****
Author: Melodie Romeo
Title - Vlad
This novel is based on the history of the REAL Vlad Dracula, Prince of Walachia, who lived during the 1400's. The author added her own fictional characters, Nicolae of Cozia and Maria, so this story is a work of fiction. However, most of the other characters were real.
As the reviewer of my own web site, I took the liberty of placing this title under "Horror" instead of "Fiction" due to all the awful acts described in the book. Many impalings, massacres, acts of torture, etc. are revealed within these pages, all of which really happened in history. Yes, it is actually documented that Vlad would drink the blood of some of his victims, but NOT as Bram Stoker's vampire did. The truth can be found within the pages of this awesome novel.
***** Author melodie Romeo did much historical research while creating this book. She more than earned the five stars I have rated it, not only for the research, but also for the well crafted story. I highly recommend it to all. *****
Author: John Passarella
Title - Wither's Rain: A Wendy Ward Novel
On Halloween night in 1999, a group of young people defeated an ancient evil known as Elizabeth Wither. They thought they had destroyed it. They were wrong!
The second book began on the same night. After her defeat, Wither escaped her human host's body. Wither's blood had but a short wait before a new host arrived. Angelina "Gina" Thorne changed the instant Wither entered her body. Any good within Gina was quickly corrupted. Slowly, Gina learned about the demonic entity, as well as, the extent of her new powers. Wither needed a new coven. Wither wanted revenge!
Wendy Ward was a college student, gifted with white magic. Wither had left Wendy with doubts as to her magical abilities. When "the Crone" began appearing before her, Wendy thought she had finally gone mad. Instead, the Crone began teaching Wendy the lessons she must learn - QUICKLY! For Wither was on the hunt and Wendy was to be her prey.
***** Nine year old Abby and baby Hannah was not left "normal" after their ordeal in book one. They appear in this exciting sequel to John Passarella's first novel, "Wither". The story mainly targets Wendy and Gina though.
Be forewarned of dark magic and hard sexual scenes, but that is expected in any book that I could ever consider as a "true" horror novel involving the dark arts. The story clearly showed that Passarella did a lot of deep research in his Wicca topic. The casual referrals to subjects, such as making the circle, and steps detailing rituals, make the story even more realistic.
John Passarella is a powerful voice in the horror genre of today. I expect him to quickly become the Master of Horror! Highly recommended reading here! *****
Author: J.G. Passarella
Title - Wither (Book One of the Wendy Ward series!)
Windale, Massachusetts has a heritage of witches. Three evil women were accused of witch craft and hanged over three hundred years ago. However, Wither, Rebecca, and Sarah did not die. Now, they are little more than monsters with a caretaker who is more of a slave to them. He must feed them and then dispose of the remains. It used to be cattle. Now they mainly feed off the college students who dwell in town.
THIS Halloween, the three witches plan to drain the life force of three women, so they may "live" again. Wendy is a college student who dabbles in white magic. Karen is a single, pregnant professor. Abby is an eight year old who stumbles across the graves of the three witches. The circle is cast. The battle begins.
***In a word, "WOW!" I wish I could make all horror fans go purchase this one! It's hard to believe this is J.G. Passarella's first novel. From page one chills went down my spine. I never put the book down. A definate "Keeper" to be read many times in the future. It is a dark, irresistible, and demonic story to keep you up at night!***
Damion Kirk: title - Reflections Of A Vampire
Every one thousand years a vampire must take the millennium rest. A vampire must find minions that can be trusted to watch over their place of rest for eighteen months. Gérard Arnaud St. Laurue had one week to find such minions. He chose a teenage boy named Fury and a lovely girl named Elka for the task. But he still had to change them and be sure he could trust them. During that week he intended to write his memoirs and have a publisher tell his story as well.
Brigitte was Gérard's younger sister. They had been blood feuding with their father, Marquis Antoine DeMalberet, for centuries. Their father had always been a major thorn in their sides. But for now, Bigitte thought little of Antoine. For now, she had to make Gérard realize he was spreading a disease. She also had to convince him that he was slipping. Human homicide detectives and not-so-human agents from Motherhospice were on his trail. She had to be quick! The full moon was coming!
***** Fans of Anne Rice and Dean Koontz will love this book! I found myself to be attracted and repelled at the same time! This story is filled with twists to keep its readers on their toes. I was unable to put it down, having to know what was going to happen next! Recommended for all vampire fans who dare to take a good look at what the night's shadows conceal! Excellent! *****
P.N. Elrod: Quincey Morris, Vampire
Quincey P. Morris helped Professor Van Helsing, Mina and John Harker, and the rest kill Dracula. Or so he thought.
The quest also killed Quincey. Or so he, and everyone else, thought.
Quincey woke to the night, surrounded by hungary wolves. One of them, the leader, was Dracula ... quite alive, figuratively speaking.
Quincey had become vampire. However, he was a different breed than Dracula. Quincey still had his soul. To survive Quincey must quickly adapt to his new type of life. Once done, he planned to return to his group of friends who still grieved over Quincey's death. But he was not sure they would accept him in his new state. And Professor Van Helsing believed the only good vampire was a dead vampire!
***** This book ROCKS! P.N. Elrod has done an excellent job continuing the story. I fully expect this book to win awards. Highly recommended reading! *****
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