Quick listing

 

  • Christina Barber, SEELY’S POND
  • JERRY BAYNE, THE GATHERER
  • Michael Boatman, THE REVENANT ROAD
  • Angela Cameron, NOCTURNE
  • Marcus Damanda, Teeth
  • Rick DeCost & Robert Griffin, THE BEST OF HORROR, FANTASY, & SCIENCE FICTION 2009
  • Sean J. Lachlan, DANNEVIRKE
  • Tim Marquitz, Demon Squad Book 1: Armageddon Bound
  • Margaret Marr, Grave Keeper Book 1: Dark of the Moon
  • Margaret Marr, Grave Keeper Book 2: Rage Against the Dying Light
  • K.L. Nappier, Full Wolf Moon Book 1
  • K.L. Nappier, Full Wolf Moon Book 2: Bitten

 

  • Brian L Porter, THE NEMESIS CELL
  • Lea Schizas, THE CARPATHIAN SHADOWS: VOLUME ONE
  • Lea Schizas, THE CARPATHIAN SHADOWS VOL. 2
  • Yolanda Sfetsos, Better Off Alone
  • Ted Torres, THE PETRIFIED CHRIST
  • Lee Clark Zumpe, JARS IN THE CELLAR
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SEELY’S POND

By Christina Barber

How do you tell an author to stop scaring the bejeebies out of you?

If the author is Ms. Barber – you don’t.  You go along for the ride, hold on tight, and be glad you did.

Yes, another phenomenal read.  And I can’t give you any details.

Why?  Because, “Seely’s Pond” is a read that you must take alone and allow it to unfold and sweep you up into its tense and frighteningly silent menace.

In, “Seely’s Pond” Julia Tayte, her Minister husband, and son have moved to a new home in Western New Jersey.  Their new home comes with its own pond and secret history.  Only, when Julia starts finding skulls washed up from the pond does she question what’s in the pond.

You do not want to know.

This starts the creepiness of “Seely’s Pond.”  What is in the pond and what does it want Julia?  Will Julia be able to convince her closed-minded husband, she isn’t crazy?  Can one woman destroy an ancient evil?

Okay, you do want to know.  But, trust me – do not read this when you are alone.  Do not read this at night, in a darkened room.  Do not read this near any body of water.

Do read “Seely’s Pond.”

How soon till “Seely’s Pond II”?

THE GATHERER

By JERRY BAYNE

Some secrets should never be unearthed.

Detective Mike Sams has his hands full with a couple of grisly murders. Murders with no DNA evidence, but appear to have been caused by teeth, teeth never before seen by forensics or zoologist.  Murders similar to those happening in Italy.

In another part of Boston, Father Frank Daniel calls upon Dr. Cary Blake, ancient language expert, to help decipher a newly discovered scroll.  A primeval scroll the Catholic Church holds under lock and key.  A scroll that appears to be the instructions to release something from the depths of Hell.

Is there any question both Mike and Cary are working the same case?

“The Gatherer” is a gem among the self-publishing industry.  I mention this only because there has been discussion for and against self-publishing.  Yes, I have read some that were very weak and disappointing.  “The Gatherer” is a page-turner thrill ride.

Mr. Bayne captured my attention from page one and held it through to the end.  I had to force myself to put it down; I do require sleep even when reading an exciting tale.

Mr. Bayne created a good old fashion devil-monster hunt.

I’m sure there are flaws, I remember questioning a couple of bits; however, now I can’t remember them.  “The Gatherer” feels as good in the hands as it scares did in the middle of the night.

Mr. Bayne where’s your next book?

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THE REVENANT ROAD
By Michael Boatman

Not only do you see dead people, but you see them as they were at their time of death…death by monster isn’t pretty.

Obadiah Grudge is a monster killer.  Well, he will be by the end of “The Revenant Road.”  First he has to learn about his father’s true profession; learn monsters are real (and some are his book reviewers); learn about the Wraithing; learn about The Dreamers who guard the gates between the Wraithing and us.

All this within a week’s span, sure Obadiah will understand, he’ll accept this new career, after all his ‘blood knows the truth.”  Let’s face it, even for a horror writer; Obadiah has a lot to accept.

Obadiah’s tale is a fast-paced oh-my-god-now-what roller coaster of disbelief turned lightening-fast belief.  Honestly, I don’t know where to begin, you must read it for yourself.

Mr. Boatman incorporates dry humour, blood gore, monster scare, and even hope into a fantastic nighttime read.  I’m hoping there’s more Obadiah.

What’s next, Mr. Boatman?

NOCTURNE
By Angela Cameron

Werewolves, vampires, humans, all still enemies?

Alyson Wingate is a newspaper reporter and on a dark and rainy night a woman stumbles in front of Alyson’s car, dead.  The woman’s throat has been ripped open…from human teeth?

So, why are the corner and police detective denying everything?

Why is there a mysterious woman invading Alyson’s dreams?  Why is ex-fiancé, Wil, acting extra strange?

I won’t be giving anything away by telling you the mysterious woman is Nocturne, a psychopathic vampire.  She wants Alyson’s power.  And, that’s about all I can tell you.

One hundred-fourteen pages were not enough to tell this story.  Just as I felt comfortable with the story more back history (future history?) was added which took me out of the current tale.

NOCTURNE offers some promise, if the author decides to revisit and expand on her world.

In the end, NOCTURNE, in my opinion, would have been a stronger read, if kept to a simpler telling.

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Teeth

Marcus Damanda

School’s out…forever.

Welcome to Nicholas’ world.  His father beats him.  His mother self-medicates.  The bullies love him.  And the only girl who ever looked twice at him needs to kill him.

Not your typical hero, but then again “Teeth” isn’t your typical vampire book.  Nicholas, never Nick, is an albino.  Nicholas has been forced to dye his hair, wear coloured contacts, and join the school’s wrestling team…anything to fit his father’s definition of normal.  Then, one night, he meets her…Alexis Damworth.

Alexis is part of the Family Damworth.  They, in turn, are Cabal’s children and they haven’t been following the rules.

Mr. Damanda has taken the myths of vampires and shift-changers and made them his own.  While I was uncomfortable with the losing virginity scene, it was written tastefully and in context in regard to the two characters’ relationship.  You could almost say that it was somewhat vital to the continuation of the story.  However, still made me a little squirmy.

What made this a good read was the quickness of the story and the simplicity of the telling.  The whole adventure starts and ends in approximately three days or so.  There’s no room for clutter or sub-stories, just straightforward suspense.

We’ve been given hints to the Damworths’ history and that they are running from ‘Father.’  We’re also shown who/what is hunting them.  I am curious what happens next, actually curious enough to want to read the next instalment.  However, “Teeth” is a stand-alone book that is fulfilling.  The reader is not cheated.

As a mother of a 6 year-old, I would be comfortable letting my daughter read this around age 14…about the age I started my own horror reading.

Interesting addition to my personal library.

 

THE BEST OF HORROR, FANTASY, & SCIENCE FICTION 2009
Presented By: The Absent Willow Review
Edited By: Rick DeCost & Robert Griffin

Anthologies are trips through writers’ world, are you game?

Anthologies are, also, difficult to review due to the diverse content within their pages.  There are stories you will mix with and others will miss your mark.  The journey through any anthology is one of hidden treasures and missteps.

The Absent Willow Review’s anthology is filled with a mixture of stories.  Each will find its own reader.  I’ve listed a few I found winning.

CHIMERA by Justine Graykin

It has been said we are two halves of a whole, both male and female.  What happens when someone is a perfect blend of both, neither one nor the other?

CLAIMS by Timothy P. Remp & Peggy McFarland

What is property and who defines its worth?

THE LAST FAIRY TALE by Lynette Mejia

Just an old woman’s tale, right?

DEMONOLOGY by Niall Boyce

You’ll never read any piece of paper the same way again.

SQUIRE WILLIAM’S NEW CHARGE by Rick Hipps

It’s been said never send a boy to do a man’s job; however, sometimes that is exactly who you need.

THE DOOR OF HOURS by Joshua Reynolds

So this is where all my lost time has gone.

Anthologies are best read slowly and over time.  The Absent Willow Review, Mr. DeCost, and Mr. Griffin have presented stories for everyone.

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DANNEVIRKE
By Sean J. Lachlan

How can farmers and villagers hope to win against an army?

DANNEVIRKE is both a horror short and a thinking story.  Given the actions of those in need did they still deserve their ending?

Because this is a short story, I really can’t tell you much about it without risking giving it all away.  DANNEVIRKE is an artificial ridge between modern Denmark and Germany, to the best of my understanding.  The story’s time period is 1864. Here a battle between the Prussian army and the Danes is reaching its conclusion.  Will calling upon the men of old help?

Mr. Lachlan’s writing placed me inside his tale, beside his characters.  My reading moved with the tension of their worries and fears.  Something I crave in everything I read.

DANNEVIRKE is not my first Damnation Books’ read.  It is my first review for them.  A few more are being written today, but I’ve come to expect strong stories with unique views on the Horror genre.

Thank you, Mr. Lachlan and Damnation Books.

Demon Squad Book 1: Armageddon Bound

by Tim Marquitz

Blurb:

 Half-devil and miles from anything resembling heroic, perpetual underdog Frank "Triggaltheron" Trigg is the last man standing against Armageddon.

 As the favorite nephew of the Devil, Frank has led a troubled life, but he'd always had his uncle's influence to fall back on. Now, with God and Lucifer coming to terms and leaving existence to fend for itself, his once exalted status of Anti-Christ-to-be does little to endear him to the hordes of angels and demons running amok in the Godless world.

 With help from the members of DRAC, an organization of wizards, psychics, telepaths, and low-end supernatural beings, Frank must thwart the pro-Armageddon forces and rescue an angel in whose life rests the fate of humanity.

 Better luck next time, humanity.

 My Review:

 Once again I’m coming in late with my review. I had received this copy from an earlier publishing, but that in no way diminishes the ride or the fun of finding a new favourite “hero.”

 Frank “Triggaltheron” Trigg is an all-out lust-filled, sex-on-the-brain, somewhat arrogant Mike Hammerish equivalent demon. And he’s a hoot. Granted, I did get a little tired of his semi-constant horny-talk, there’s only so much one can take before it becomes a repetitive slowdown versus a character trait. But, author Time Marquitz pulled back just as I noted this repeating.

 ARMAGEDDON BOUND is to be read by those who want escapism. Who are not looking for politeness or correctness in their reading. When I mention Mike Hammerish that’s the character I mean…someone who isn’t apologetic for being out and out male. Frank is rough around the edges, he is Lucifer’s nephew after all. His ex is a succubus. And he can’t keep his mind clean when talking with his “cousin” the angel Scarlett.

 We’re also talking the feel of duelling old time mob families. Hey, so what if one side is supposed to be angels.

 One point here, because I wasn’t able to read straight through, within hours or a day or two break, I did find myself losing track of characters. I wasn’t sure who was who or where they first showed up. Again, whether this is a situation brought on by how I was able to spend time reading or perhaps too many introductory characters in this first book of the series, I don’t know.

 Which leads to me letting you know this is the first book of at least nine books, according to Amazon. Tim’s Amazon author page

 I will be adding these books to my wish list as well as Tim’s other books. I’ve enjoyed the humour of ARMAGEDDON BOUND and look forward to discovering if this continues in Tim’s other books or what else I may find.

 Thank Hell there’s more books! I loved the ending line of this one.

 

Thanks, Tim.

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Grave Keeper Book 1: Dark of the Moon

by Margaret Marr

Excerpt via publisher’s website:

As sudden pain shot through his ribs and one of his wrists grave keeper Rush jerked awake. He tumbled out of bed and landed on his knees with a teeth-rattling jolt.

Disoriented, a sour taste in his mouth and a rapid heartbeat, he crawled toward the window, and then back to the bed. He clutched at the ratty, block quilt that barely kept him warm at night, and fought back the acrid taste of vomit. As he tried to pull himself up, pain burst through his side, and he clung to the quilt, panting.

A vision of a terrified young girl racing through dark trees flashed across his mind.

“Jesus, someone’s in bad trouble.”

My Review:

You’ll have to trust me that I do like this book. Really, I do. It’s different, almost a little awkward because it surrounds a couple of average people going about their plain day-to-day lives. Think of those you see when you walk into your local coffee shop. Everyone is there semi-locked in their thoughts, some interact with small talk, and some sit and mind their own business. You’d never know who’s bored and who’s writing you into their next novel.

Here we have Brody and Helena…each knowing the other and passing time without much more pushing them together. Bring in Rush and life turns on its head and everyone’s in a race against time and death. Who knew the local grave keeper was a psychic. Since coming home from Iraq he’s felt others’ pain. Will his connection to a young woman save her or just find her?

All this within roughly fifty-three electronic pages. A simple straightforward quick read and yet writing this review has haunted me.

Ms. Marr has started a series with an unlikely character…a grave keeper. She’s thrown me into upfront action and I found myself racing to catch up. And like Brody and Helena, I’m trying to figure out Rush and everything as if I’m the one hurrying to save the girl. There’s little time to know if I believe Rush or if I even like the characters, I’m learning about them purely through their story actions and nothing extra.

It works for me. Every time I think of Grave Keeper: Dark of the Moon, my head spins and I wonder what’s happening with Rush.

Yes, this most certainly works for me.

Grave Keeper Book 2: Rage Against The Dying Light

Margaret Marr

Book Blurb from Publisher:

From Grave Keeper: Rage Against the Dying Light...

Not again.

Clutching his left shoulder, he labored to push himself to an upright position. Blood seeped through his T-shirt, turned it bright red inch by inch, and soaked his hand.

Crap. This better not be some idiot cleaning his gun while it’s still loaded.

Pain exploded in his right thigh, and he howled in agony. Moisture leaked from the corner of his eyes as he panted, fighting to stay conscious. No. Not him. The victim.

Black out, man. Black out if you want to survive. Play dead or he’ll shoot you until you are.

Rush closed his eyes and tried to slow his breathing. His heart pounded hard enough to shake his entire body as it thumped in his ear, growing louder and louder until it drowned out all other sound.

My Review:

Thoroughly love escaping into Margaret's imagination!

I'm still getting used to Rush. Still not sure I'm a fan of his...he's a tad rough around the edges, but that is what makes him interesting. Besides his connection to people in trouble. And, The Creepers...shhh, they're not too fond of that name.

Yes, the story is short and punched. Yes, I wish it was longer and a little more detailed. But, it's punched. It's a fast escape. It's funny where maybe it shouldn't be, but hey all Billy wanted was to get home, not shot.

I had fun reading Rage Against the Dying Light and that's what I want from a short read. Simple, take-me-away-and-let-me-forget fun. When finished I want to feel like I had the break I needed. And, I do.

Okay, so maybe I did scream...AHHHHHH, Margaret!! When I hit the tease about Rush's next victim. The fun thing about becoming cyber friends with an author, you can say that directly to them ;)

Enjoy!

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Full Wolf Moon

by K.L. Nappier

Blurb via author’s website: 

Eastern California, 1942: Alone, Tsuko Ataki strolls the boundaries of Tulenar Internment Camp. Too late, he sees the silver wolven creature waiting in the full moon's light. The creature leaps. His head trapped in the werewolf's jaws, Tsuko Ataki is dragged through the barbed wire.

Be prepared for a wild werewolf thriller with bizarre twists never read before. In the aftermath of Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Captain Maxwell Pierce commands Lakeside Assembly Center, where Japanese-Americans are processed for internment camp. Bitten during another tour of duty, Max believes the beast was nothing more supernatural than a rabid timber wolf.

The head of Tulenar Internment Camp is political hard-baller Doris Tebbe. Like Max, she doesn't believe in werewolves. Only David Alma Curar, a Navajo healer who has tracked Max's bloody trail, believes in the evil that stalks the camp. But this werewolf hunter doesn't want to kill Max. He has his own reason for keeping him alive.

My Review:

Ms. Nappier has taken me on a new trip down a once familiar storyline...the werewolf. She's weaved a story set during a time of its own fear and uncertainty. A time quick to blame one group of people for the pain of Pearl Harbor. Who better to feed upon then those who society wants to look away from. But, who is doing the feeding?

The main character isn't someone I quickly liked. Maxwell Pierce is a bit of a stuffed shirt. Not exactly cold, but a little too formal for me. The fact he butts heads with Doris Tebbe makes for an interesting relationship. Doris is an outspoken, standing-up for all type lady. Someone who is also a tad difficult to connect with. However, basically these two characters are fighting for the same side...fair treatment for those living in the internment camps. Both want to find the killer.

I silently want these two to get together, but then enters David Alma.

David Alma. Now this is a character I can quickly like. He knows the killer and has been hunting the killer. Problem...he would rather help the killer than destroy it. This is where Ms. Nappier takes her readers on her own path of the werewolf legend.

She gives us a logical explanation for the origins of the creature. How it travels, hunts, and moves on. I have the perfect word to use, but I won't...can't, it would give too much away. With her combination of characters, Ms. Nappier moves you to cheer them on. Maybe - cheer - isn't the right word. I wanted the characters to succeed...needed them to win, but was never fully comfortable that they would.

Ms. Nappier makes her readers acknowledge the human cost. Not just those butchered, but the cost to the soul of the killer. Her impact is haunting.

Book Two is sitting waiting to be posted, but not yet. No, need to give you a chance to discover FULL WOLF MOON for yourself. And though you may want to "keep the lights on" turn them off and enjoy the ride.

 

Full Wolf Moon Book 2: Bitten

by K.L. Nappier

Blurb via author’s website: 

In this action packed sequel to award winning "Full Wolf Moon," the boom times of post World War II have arrived ... as the ancient Incarnation of Fear slaughters and feeds with evermore speed. The Second World War may have ended, but the battle against the Beast rages on. Eight years after Maxwell Pierce’s return to humanity, he and David Alma Curar stalk and destroy the pervasive werewolf where ever and whenever they can, a pursuit that takes them over national borders, land and sea.

But nothing they have experienced before can prepare them for where this journey leads them.

My Review:

Well I sure didn’t expect this sequel.

Okay, rephrase. I didn’t expect Ms. Nappier to take the story in these directions and boy oh boy what surprises. I had thought_____. Okay, that won’t work, will it. No matter what I say I’ll end up giving something away, even if this review is a tad late in arriving. There are always new readers to be discovered.

And that’s what I like about this sequel. Not only did Ms. Nappier set her werewolf story during a time most wouldn’t think about using for this genre, but she didn’t follow the assumed sequel path. (Don’t think that gives too much away). She still has her mix of characters, those you wouldn’t think of being friends. There is still the survival instinct of both human and beast. The internal battle to be won.

I have to admit, I was shocked over a certain kill. Could feel my eyes widen and I did shake my head over one twist. Another piece of this pie sets up a conflict the blurb’s last line words perfectly. In the end, I just don’t know…no, I do know. Ms. Nappier’s Full Wolf Moon world is stronger without it’s full on happy ending. It’s stronger for having an author who dares to follow the truth of her characters and tale.

I know I will miss reading about David. I never thought I would miss Max and Doris. No, I’m not giving anything away, just revisiting with fictional friends.

Hope you enjoyed reading Ms. Nappier and if you haven’t yet, please say hi to David, Max, and Doris for me.

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THE NEMESIS CELL

By Brian L Porter

Nature or nurture or pure science?

I’m not sure if I’m more troubled over Doctor Margherita Dumas’ cloning techniques or her version of motherhood, either way both are a tad terrifying.

I did enjoy “The Nemesis Cell.”  However, I wanted more.  I am a fan of scientific ‘what ifs’ and how man/womankind will end up perverting their knowledge, ending up destroying their promising brilliance.  Mr. Porter gives us a glimpse of what one consequence of this brilliance could conquer for our future.  With this story, do we dare continue?

It is because of this very concept that I wished for a more fleshed out “The Nemesis Cell.”  For it to slow down and delve more into the details of the lives affected.

Mr. Porter acknowledges that “The Nemesis Cell’ began as a short story, I am curious how the immensity of the story was captured in that form.

While I still want more, Mr. Porter’s story concept still intrigues me and I hope he revisits “The Nemesis Cell” either adding to the original or following up on the lives he lives he created.

 

THE CARPATHIAN SHADOWS: VOLUME ONE

Edited by Lea Schizas

Join Lea Schizas as she brings together William Koonce, Eric Keith, Marcia Berneger and Charles Mossop for a romp through the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.  What exactly haunts Lord John Erdely’s castle and who will make it out alive?
Each author tells their own tale of unsuspecting travellers who stumble into the dangers and mysteries of the castle.  Who is Arminius?  What haunts Charlie Alexander?  Is there anything stronger than a mother’s love?  What is the curse that stalks the castle’s walls?

With short stories it is too easy to give away their secrets, so allow me to give my quick impressions of the author’s tales and the overall feel Ms. Schizas has accomplished.

In this first volume of “The Carpathian Shadows” I have found four entertaining stories, but two are haunting emotional gems.  One is from new author Eric Keith; this story is his first published piece.  These four stories will fit whatever reading times you have…quick horror fix or snuggle under the covers and slowly meet the horror.

Ms. Schizas has brought together and given four authors the same underlying theme and each have woven unique tales.  She has offered up a haunting castle, which once belonged to a mysteries black arts practicing Lord.  She entices our travellers to visit the castle with free invites.  Then she throws in the malevolent storm that forces our travellers to spend the night (or two) within the ghostly walls.  From there her writers’ imaginations take over.

Thank you Ms Schizas, when is the next offering…oops, I mean Volume Two.

 

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THE CARPATHIAN SHADOWS VOL. 2

Edited By: Lea Schizas

Another Triumph!

Once again join, editor, Lea Schizas and her latest team of six authors as they take us on a tour of Lord John Erdely’s castle deep within the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, Romania.

Contained within these pages are:

“A Visitor From the Past” by Carol A. Cole

A haunting of true love.  This story pulled me in with its lost voice.  Married life has its ups and downs and we know all relationships have their strained moments, but when truly tested which survive.  “A Visitor From the Past” delivers Anna and Rob their greatest test.

“Divine Curse” by Kristin Johnson

A haunted seduction that goes so terribly wrong.  I’m still making up my mind about “Divine Curse.”  I like the friends, Ghillean “Earp” Morgan and Jack “Doc” Onizuka.  I am thrilled with Ms. Johnson’s choice of stepping outside of the cookie-cutter male/female predator/prey relation.  After all blood is blood, isn’t it?

“By the Light Of the Moon…” by Kevin R. Tipple

I demand a full-length novel of this tale!  Talk about a twist on good cop/bad cop.  Mr. Tipple takes secret police to a whole new level.  More!

“Thicker than Stone” by Christina Barber

I can’t tell you what Ms. Barber’s story is about, but it has my favourite gothic creature.  Harry and his wife, Meredyth, were ready for an average ancient castle tour; they were not ready for what was left behind.  Another, want more!

“The Scholar” by Seana Graham

Howard Green is a one-track man.  Due to his one-mindedness, and ghostly fate, he stands to lose what he once held dear.  What could he possibly gain?  Ms. Graham reminds us, we must keep our eyes open as we live or life will pass us by.

“Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” by Donna Amato

Journalist, Dani Jamison, soon learns not all hauntings come in the shape of ghosts. Her and others will learn the spirits of the paranormal demand a high price.

 

Ms. Schizas and her group of writers have haunted my reading and my thoughts.  Each story explores and paints more of the surrounding country, village, and castle, blending into a tapestry of chills and emotions.

At times the story of Lord Erdely takes a backseat to the human quality of a tale.  Then he, or his followers, steal centre stage and rip into a tale with fervour terror.  But, forever the secrets of Lord Erdely and his castle within the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, Romania will remain protected.

Bravo!

Better Off Alone

by Yolanda Sfetsos

Blurb via Publisher’s website:

I’m coming 4U

Nell has been forced to leave the safety of her basement. As the dead chase her along the familiar streets of her suburb, she stumbles on a group of survivors who offer her shelter. But all she's concerned about is finding her way to Todd, the only person who's helped keep her sanity.

She intends to ask this group of survivors to help her save Todd from his predicament but changes her mind when she spies the sick and twisted way they ensure their safe existence.

My Review:

Yeah, this one is a little freaky, especially since I’ve been watching The Walking Dead. I’ve never really been into zombies…okay, the black magic ones I used to love watching in movies. The brain eating ones, okay I watched one or two movies, but they were campy.

Yolanda Sfetsos writes my nightmare. She’s taken the What Ifs of my middle of the night thoughts and turned them into a frenzy of I can’t stop reading. You know that feeling. When you know you’re reading faster and faster to reach the end simply because you HAVE to.

There’s no solution to Nell’s situation. All she can do is survive. Alone.

Ms. Sfetsos does make me wonder, though. In a world crisis of nightmaric proportions…are we better off alone? Where there may be strength in numbers, isn’t it always easiest to trust only yourself.

I don’t know when the best time would be to read Better Off Alone. Right before bed and you’re sure to not have a pleasant sleep…unless dreaming of zombies, well, let’s not go there. On the bus or train to work/school, try to not scream out loud. At work or school, don’t let them see you shudder, might send strange looks your way (more strange looks?). Not while eating, no that’s not a good idea.

Hmm, guess you’ll have to take your chances…just like Nell.

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THE PETRIFIED CHRIST

By Ted Torres

What really happened to Christ’s body when he ascended?

I do not like it when I don’t mix well with a book.  I accept requests when I feel there is something glimmering in the book’s description that intrigues me or sparks my interest, so it troubles me when (and only ever in my opinion) a book misses the mark.

In my opinion, “The Petrified Christ” misses the mark.  Mr. Torres’ idea is fascinating –“ “The body of Christ,” Daniel whispered. “What if it was simply…left behind?” “

And from there Daniel Foster begins a journey of a lifetime.  As part of an investigative theological team, somewhat secretive organization within the university walls, he stumbles upon the answer to his question.  And with the answer comes so much more.

It is that, so much more, that I found missing.  If not exactly missing, it felt rushed and unfulfilling.  In the end, I wanted less front story and more story after Daniel’s discovery.

Mr. Torres’ concept and question still grabs me.  I just couldn’t find it in “The Petrified Christ.”

JARS IN THE CELLAR
By Lee Clark Zumpe

If you dislike going down into your cellar now, you’ll really dislike it after reading JARS IN THE CELLAR.

I don’t even know where to begin telling you about this short story.  It has scares, inherited traditions, entrepreneurism, and plain old freakiness.

Henry Bickleworth is lost.  His entire life, he hasn’t had to prove himself; his daddy’s money has made life easy, too easy.  Travelling along the back roads, Henry ends up on Orrim and Luvenia Metcalf’s rundown porch.

Orrim needs help.  I really can’t tell you what type of help that would give it all away. But, without the help his town will dry up and die.

The only downfall to JARS IN THE CELLAR…too short.

Let me just say, this story kept me reading and I’m still shuddering when I think about it.

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