Sorry, Wrong Country review by: Mandy Tyra

THIS WAS GREAT!! So raw, so raucous, so damn witty.
Hilarious and thought-provoking. Over 200 pages, almost 40 piercing little look-see tales from the strange and somber side of Greece.
The wayward, the nutters, the naysayers, the downtrodden, the optimists, the pessimists, the lost and never founds…

Complied over a period of 8 years, Konstantine observed and documented the strange all around him. Then hand-picked a few dozen blossoms, assorted a colorful arrangement, and delivered this most bountiful bouquet of oddities. So fragrant, and flagrant.

It is quite simply, a series of completely unrelated micro stories and all they have in common is Konstantine as the often speechless and stunned observer, and his homeland of Greece.
Just delightfully insightful, all these side-splitting tidbits, amusing musings, and off-the-wall taxi-cab type confessions.
For instance:
~ The not so fair meth housing act-up
~ The art of blackmailing God into being your bitch
~ A pack-rat aficionado so devoted to his craft even the cockroaches croak
~ The student on a spirit animal dream quest
~ Satan takes a sweetheart
~ A roving gemstone infused ejaculate box for beating the meat outta cancer (talk about a DIY proper!!)

Such a nice change of pace from my usual slice and dice horror books.
I can’t even remember the last time I read a non fiction book, maybe…ummm does my 60 pg ‘Health Care Plan: Exclusions’, count???
I pictured this as more of a coffee table book, IF I had a coffee table, I would display it there and if I entertained guests, I would amuse them with a rousing vignette here and there.

You will crack up laughing at some of these….revelations, scratch your head at others, and kind of wish you were there (but just out of sight) at most.
YES, laugh out loud humor, dry humor, head scratching humor, with pangs of sentimentality, and at times bitterly, bitingly candid…. this writer has quite an impressive way with words and easily lures you into his mad, mad world.
You almost feel like a voyeur.

Yea….people are weird. Anecdotally worthy in all their weirdness.
They always say ‘write what you know’, even if you don’t understand it ~ just write it!

“And the crazies….the crazies pretty much own the street.”

But hold on, first I have to interrupt myself right quick.
Because I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Greece, I lived there for a few years in my teens, on the island of Crete and I ferried to Athens a few times. Simply gorgeous in all it’s preserved culture, iconic beauty, and easy-going street style. I remember all those street vendors, just parked and packed all up and down them streets! So unpretentious and laid back.
Back in the early 90’s, that was my Greece anyway, I hope it still is and they didn’t go all ‘Americanized’.
Oh and the poster perfect beaches!! Just WOW…
Quite a few topless too, I barely had boobies back then though, so… :/
One day I’ll go back, I try to convince myself of that.
I think I might miss gyros the most, he talks about gyros quite a bit in this and my mouth always watered. Mmmm souvlaki gyros, extra tzatziki. Oh and Greek salads, extra feta. YUM!!
Reading this sent me on a full-stop nostalgia trip, that’s for sure.

Most of these quirky little quips are customer related, our writer has run-ins (hide from and near misses) with all sorts of crazed and unfazed people from his many places of employment, for instance:
jewelry and watch repair shop/including wind-up house calls, a mobile sandwich shop (we called them Roach Coaches!! no idea why…), hubby and wife tag-team realtor biz, airport booze and sugar peddler, paperwork hell in the Army bureau, a tutor for ‘Damian’….

And often all he did was ask a simple ‘How are you today?’
The TMI flows rapidly, rampantly.
Some of them acquaintances, some actual friends, some complete strangers, and a fair few are of a familial relation.

He nicknames his bit players with catchy and telling little monikers, for instance:
The Hoarder, Cutie Wreck, Mrs. Quirky, Flyguy, Mrs Sneer, Little-Don’t-Know-Better, Grave Digger Junior… ~ for ease of reference and entertainment purposes or….legality reasons.

Also peppered with some morose, personal inner writer reflection type segments as well, like the BIRDS, BEES AND STD’s one, where as a preteen he learned (can’t be unlearned) some precise tricks of the trade tactics from the more audacious men in his family.
And the FUTUREPACT one, where as a 19-year-old aspiring teen writer still living at home he tries to man-up and help out but instead, inadvertently, slips-up.
Learned a tough life lesson there.
And the DIAGNOSING WRITING one, “Whenever someone confides in me that they are ‘writers’, my heart sinks down to my gut. I ask them how long they have known. If they can, perhaps, get a second opinion from a qualified professional. How long has it been, since the symptoms began?”
Awwww the call of the writer really is a tough as nails, iron fisted bitch, huh…
More often than not, a thankless gig, I’ve heard.
WELL, I thank you Mr. Paradias! I thank for an ARC copy of this here fine book. It was a most pleasant international departure for me!
Round trip…but eh, we’ll work on that. ๐Ÿ˜›

I was unsure at first because I’m such a creature of habit and this is smack-dab in the middle of foreign breed book land for me, but I’m so glad I tried something new and different.

Konstantine has a fantastic writing presence, it leaves a lasting impression. You can tell he put a lot of time and heart into this…as well as all that wit!!
I really admire indie writers for having the confidence to just…put it all out there, even though they often feel half crushed by the weight of crippling uncertainty. It takes guts full of grit!

This is not your average book though, it won’t be everyone’s cup of Ouzo.
But if you like your humor shaken, spiked with candor, 96 proof, topped off with a fruit loop twist and all served up with a gaudy umbrella, then put your dribble bib on and toss back these shooters.
No hangovers, I promise…you’ll only be thirsting for more.
So yea, not so much of a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul‘ kind of true-tales read, this is more like a…’Hard Knock Spirits for the Psyche‘ good time read ~ and such a smooth burn it is.
Flowers aaaand nightcaps…..can’t wait to see what he brings for our next book-date. ๐Ÿ˜›

I wonder if he does have another collection of tell-all tidbits of the brutally blunt, non garden variety kind, in the works???
Oh I bet he does, probably notebooks full!
Could call it….’Still Apologetic: Greece Calling, Line 2‘. LOL

For a fun time, and oddly educational read, pick this Greek gem up. OPA!!
Oh and be very leery of them pilfering pamphlet prophet profiteers!!

“But that was the Greece of plenty for you: Never-Ever land, in the flesh.”

 

You can buy the book here:

Blessedly Bound review by: Mandy Tyra

Blessedly Breathtaking….
I was spellbound from the very first chapter where we meet our witchy heroine Gwen and her faithful trusty familiar, Lewis.
It’s charmingly chalked full of delightful and exotic, multi faceted, shiny and sparkly characters.
ALL of it is incredibly well written, quite addictive.

I read it very slowly, savoring and taking it all in. This is not the sort of book you wanna speed read through, it’s too entrancing…enchanting.
You can vividly picture it all and it’s awe-inspiring, awe-tastic…just spirited away to this other-worldly world and totally zen out on the ambiance of it all.

Yea….just flat out AWE-mazing.

I do believe I have found my new favorite female author, Ms. Lucretia Stanhope.
I already fell in love with her bewitchingly beautiful writing style after I read her first published book, the highly imaginative and monster rich, Rather Be Fishing.
She has such a hypnotically elegant prose going for her, creating this most magical and majestic (yet reeeal feeling) of fantasy worlds, and they all converge.
I picture myself easily getting lost in her worlds/words, often.

This is primo storytelling at it’s pristine finest, folks!!

Gwen is an orphan, her mom died when she was really young. She comes from a long line of witches but didn’t learn of this (or her own abilities) until she was much older.
Now with her shape shifting familiar Lewis by her side, she travels to the stately estate of the grandmother she never met, trying with all her untapped might to solve her brutal murder.

Is it witch related, is Gwen in danger too??
The neighbor Sebastian fears that she is. He was a close personal friend/confidant of her grandmother and Gwen takes an immediate like to him.
He’s so damn likeable ~ that smile, those eyes!!
He was also a familiar back in the day, a powerful one, but was disgraced after an incident with his witch.

Her grandma Lizzy was a very well liked member of the town, and most of the townspeople go out of their way in support of Gwen and her long overdue homecoming.
She feels whole and warmed for the first time in her solitary life.
Menace lurks close by though, she can sense it.
Is it true that she is actually a supremely powerful witch, capable of so much more than simple visions?
Why would this be kept from her?
Why was she bound in the first place??
It’s all so overwhelming for our big-hearted Gwen.
And with both Lewis and Sebastian harboring secrets from the new and insecure witch, those insecurities resonate into an even deeper bind.
Poor Gwen, has a hard enough time understanding her own place, let alone everyone else’s.
The journals of her grandmother and the pick and choose advice/confessions of the familiars help her fit some of the pieces together, as the plot thickens.

Gwen is a wonderful character, you really like the little gal. Sweet and innocent but with no filter, she says the first thing that pops into her mind. She’s painfully honest which sends her into a whiplash whirlwind knowing that things are purposely being kept from her.
For what purpose??
Who can she really trust??

A family debt, a family curse, a stumped family tree, non shapeshifting shifty people, white magic, black magic, voodoo, blood bonds, romance, passion, humor, knitting.
Mystery and suspense with a beguiling lure ~ this book hasit all!!
So much going on in this spellbinding story and lucky for us, it’s a saga, the start of many many more, that are available NOW.

The epilogue of this book gives you the first chapter of part 2: Burning Captivation, where we’re introduced to a whole new exciting supernaturally threat, plus all the old ones that still linger with their jagged scars, casting doubt.

This is going to be a fantastic series, the center stage is set brilliantly!
I can totally picture Gwen and company finding themselves in a myriad of wicked aaand whimsical entanglements, including those of self discovery, and almost always in a perilous passion fueled frenzy.

I’m not now nor have I ever been a fan of romance novels. I don’t consider this a romance though, even though it has strong emotional elements of intimacy cast throughout.
Right now, it’s more of an undercurrent drift but I know it’s going to come on stronger as the books continue. I can honestly say though, with such an awesome jaw dropping supernatural storyline…bring on the sappy, mushy, angsty, achey, lusty, hanky-panky, lovey-doveyness.
Come on, I can handle it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ hehehe
I would recommend this book to all those who are also on the adverse, ew romance bandwagon.

Oh dear Goddess, I wanna be a witch….
Gwen and I actually do have a lot in common too; we both drink a ton of coffee.
That’s pretty significant.
Oh and I don’t have a very functionable filter either. hahaha
And I actually did try it out once but there is that whole ‘do no harm’ fine print. Pfft.

I wonder exactly how many books she has planned, there are 6 listed on Goodreads already.
Yea…it’s probably just taken a fiery, spirited, juju infused life of it’s own by now and they will keep her in the loop, when suited.
She is blessedly, blissfully, bound.

Jeez, I’ve rambled long enough, I tend to do that….just read the book!! It’s phenomenal. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

You can buy the book here:

Maniacs with Knives: Unapologetic Horror review by: Mandy Tyra

SUCH A BANGING BLAST TO READ!!!
Holy Hell Hupp….I agree with the consensus, you really are a sick pup. Downright rabid but oh so cute, and in need of a good home. Awwww puppy dog eyes, gets ya every time.
So yes, I flat-out LOVED THIS!

It’s been too damn long since I’ve cozied up to some Hupp and right from the top…My God, that warning disclaimer love letter to his readers…..”Fuck You”, no…fuck me….yea, we’re all just fucked and it feels pretty damn good.
There are way too many sensitive people out there who get offended at a bit of gleeful and demented fun so writers are having to get super inventive to avoid unfair/unwarranted bad reviews from said pansies.
A simple ‘WARNING EXTREME CONTENT’ banner in big bold letters across the cover just doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.
I know that some readers are just more sensitive and that’s all A-OK, just don’t read anything with any sort of warning label then.
Personally, I ain’t the least little bit peevish, it takes a lot to trigger flip me into my ‘find a happy place’ corner. As longย as the story is strong, I’m down for any sort of shock and awe/stomach churning hellish ride and this story was STRONG.
Roid Rage Strong.

That is a perfect title too, Maniacs with Knives: Unapologetic Horror. Simple and to the point, you know exactly what you’re getting into. If not, fuck off, you’re dumb.
SORRY, Hupp rubbed off on me. He’s a rubber. ๐Ÿ˜›

I do have to admit though, I was a bit hesitant about starting a new Hupp serial caaaause I’m still waiting on his Shaun Hupp Collection Volume 2, which was a jaw dropping favorite read from last year. The way he grouped all those previously released short stories together with a weaving wrap-around tale was ingenious. And seamless.
I WANT MORE!
Not to mention another episode of Valentine Rodgers, that bumbling self-professed/obsessed private dick(wad)/umbrella peddler. Just hysterical!
Yea, this guy can do the most eye-bulging brutal horror then flip that tripled sided coin of his, and hilarious slapstick satire ensues…ensnares.
Ohhhh, I’ve tried holding my breath in defiance for more Valentine but the blue hue clashes with my rosy cheeks.
I WANT MOOORE!! Damnittt….

So, you got knife wielding maniacs and their marks.
Simply as that, buuuut its not so simple, it’s actually quite complex in it’s execution…like some kind of comfy double flesh padded corpse quilt he looms with the most tenderest loving care.

~ We got the artistic maniac with his eye on a masterpiece.
~ The seasoned/semi retired maniac who feels entitled to some bragging homage retrospect.
~ The sudden snap psyche maniac whose repression is feeling a bit cagey.
~ The brooding, towering Leatherface-esque maniac who pawn stacks his duress board.
ALL of whom take very different terror tactics to accomplish their #sliceoflifegoals.
Some of their marks are down before the fight or flee has time to register and some of them are spry and just sly enough to post-initiate a little cat and mouse play.

It may all seem random and aimless but it’s quite targeted, with dead-on precision.
I love how it all bleeeeds together to form a big ole plot clot, requiring more than just a bacitracin’d up bandaid, that’s for damn sure!

These are the best kinds of stories and I’ve only come across a handful of new authors who are able to pull it off and pull it off well ~ yea…pull that steel wool over our eyes!!

Some books I can pretty easily give a spoiler free, thorough plot run down but there are some books, some books, that…I just don’t wanna. This one definitely works best knowing very little beforehand.

Ok so, if you pair this story alongside his Volume 1 collection, I’ve come to the conclusion that Shaun’s niche is the weave. I’m a beweaver. These 3rd act holy shit (No Way!) reveals, but then when you go back and reread it, the shadowing was foremidable….he perfectly overcasts his stratospherically written skies in a hot peppered laced fog.
It’s all there, even if he is quite undeniably…not.

Shaun NEEDS to write more, he’s a natural. Gots appropriately hasmet labeled bucket fulls of charm, charisma, and repulsion, in unbalanced yet equal parts.
But I hear he has one of them debilitatingly life draining full-time day jobs and that’s bound to stifle that ripe and raw writer mindset.
Plus about half a dozen kids to cramp and crimp that wild and smooth style of his.
Totally understandable, we just…get what we get and don’t throw a fit. Got it!
Ooor maybe he just needs to delegate and procrastinate with all of the above better.
So start spawning more unapologetically graphic gooey goodness.
Your fields are obviously fertile. ๐Ÿ˜›

And YES, we are supposed to be getting another Maniacs with Knives in June, next month.
Little teaser epilogue sets it up perfectly to go in a totally new cutthroat direction. AWESOME!!

 

You can buy the book here:ย 

 

Mr. Robespierre review by: Mandy Tyra

Must add this wonderful writer to my repeat hits list! This was a shiny, spooky little gem that deserves to not be so hidden.

Everyone kept whispering (or…chanting) in my ear about reading some of this Daniel Marc Chant chap and I’ve seen quite a few of his more popular titles popping about but I chose Mr. Robespierre first cause I’m just crazy for kitties. Just got a couple of kittens last fall and I was hoping this would also serve as an instructional guide, of sorts. They are rather mischievous, downright devilish, at oft-times.

Plus I love haunted house type stories, love them even more when they are unformulaic and add that weee bit of something special, this one being a cute furry feline at its creepy core, made this quite a unique and terrorific little tail, with a strong emotional focus that actually stays, focused.

Dom and Sandy and their daughter Chrissy are moving into an exquisite home, finally they are able to leave their cramped stifling council estates dump. This lovely family of 3 is moving on up.
To the deep south side…I dunno, but it ain’t a slice of real estate heaven that’s for sure!
Dom got a great deal, paid waaaay under market price. Well, there is always a reason for that…
YEP, the house has a bit of history.
Right after they move in, daddy and daughter are out in their overgrown, unkempt garden when a beautiful cat makes her acquaintance, she’s smitten and begs and pleads to keep him. Won’t take no for an answer actually, she neeeds that kitty….that kitty neeeeds her. Making a deal with her parents, they decide to let the girl keep the cat IF they can’t find his owner.
Awwwww and such a purty kitty he is, all fright-eyed and fury-tailed. :O

Strange sounds, foul smells, flickering lights, bumps in the night, all the standard ‘geeet ooout'(….uh yea, I’d already be gone) type occurrences. Paranormally pair that with messages written in the mirror, a little girl who is becoming a hollowed out shell of her cute vivacious self, and cat that purrs a little too much and awfully loud. Aaaand if all that wouldn’t be enough to freak you the hell out, add in the relentless vocalized assault of circa 80’s Madonna at any and all hours ~ ohhh the inhumane cruelty!
She’s the only thing that can drown out the cat’s purrs though ~ silver lining.
Confused, terrified, exhausted, and at their wit’s end, all of this sends Dom on an exploration quest to family tree map that house and what he finds chills him to the bone.
Lucky for them, one of his forum ‘heeelp uuus’ pleas doesn’t fall on deaf ears/eyes and a couple ~ late to the game ~ experts show up wanting to help. The stakes are high though and the clock is tick tocking off the wall.

Twists and turns galore and jump scares aplenty in this, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and then quickly retreated a few times.
It doesn’t go where you think it will, which made for some double take-slack jawed page turning.
The suspenseful build up and ~not so gentle~ release was spot-on, I got a strong Poltergeist (the original, of course) vibe from this, which is a GREAT thing.
YES, Chant captured that ominous and foreboding vibe very very well!
Set in mOdeon-dayย but with a tender (vittles) nostalgic 80’s touch.
The best decade in my honest opinion.

You really feel for this family as they discover that their most prized possession could easily become something elses prized catch if they don’t act fast.
Fantastic character development, this trio really tugs at your heartstrings.

And as for my cats, well…I think it’s unsafe to say that I am well and truly just shit outta luck. Simply Snookered.
I’ve made my litter box, now it’s time to lay in it….at least it’s virtually dust free. ๐Ÿ˜€

I will definitely be reading more from this talented writer, One Girl Army sounds really exciting.
“With nods to the gameplay of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the altered reality of Requiem for a Dream, One Girl Army is a story of grit. It’s about one girl looking her enemies in the eye, and whispering “Come at me”.”
Oh WOW…that does sound absolutely amazing! I’d be willing to bet it’s another Chant page turner. ACES!!

 

You can buy the book here:

Escapees and Fevered Minds review by: Mandy Tyra

Oh Hell to the Yea!! It’s rare for a sequel to be just as good as the original and I was blown away by this. The original White Walls and Straitjackets knocked me knick….err, I mean, socks off and curled my toes. Yep, it was that damn good and this one was just as, if not better!!

This marks my 9th read and 9th rave review for David Owain Hughes, so I know what I’m talking about, he’s a keeper.
A peeper too.

Ya know, The Wind-Up Toy books have always been my favorites from him but now after reading this sequel, I’m split and torn, I think I may enjoy this picturesque and perverse world a little bit more. Well…until the next WUT read, then I’ll circle back again, I’m sure.
Just too damn hard to choooose.
BIG bonus though, this book had that little extra something stand-out special that I’ll get to later.

Three notable (notorious) inmates from Castell Hirwaun are given the ‘key’ to the asylum, along with cordial personalized letters from a man called Wadsworth. clue, of some sort…
They have not the time to wonder the ‘how’s’, just stoked to be getting outta there ~ escape time, escape clause.
Unfinished business is about to boom again.
It’s totally an inside job….oooor is it???
Through a series of checkpoint instructional notes and gifts from that mysterious Wadsworth facilitator, our escapees find out a little bit of the ‘why’s’; their attendance is requested at a very important dinner party!

Crystal and Harry, lying low fresh off their sin filled spree in WW&SJ, still doing their bawdy jokes and strokes ventriloquist act, always aiming for that fame and glory that’s always ~ befittingly ~ just out of reach. She longs for the pampering prestige of the big city (destined for Broadway!), she knows they are ready but Harry’s a bit wooden on the idea.
A newspaper article pinned to her closet door leaves them on edge, the personalized letter invite attached, sends them on a road trip frenzy.

Mr. Tickles (from both the WW&SJ and WUT universes, albeit in very different…statures), hiding out from his past in full incognito clown face, works the freak show circus tent at the fair. He’s got two whore sidekicks now, Miss Sideshow Necrotic and Miss Sideshow Nightshade, and they really do bring in the crowds.
It’s a one way show stopper for a picked off few though.
Living in squalor in the back of that tent with his with pets, he also receives a mysterious yet awfully knowing letter, requesting his presence.

Everyone has binding ties to someone. Orrrr do they?
Pacts and alliances will be forged in dictated deceit. Secrets, lies, and blood will be spilled.
Oh, that stings. And stains.
All with their own agendas but completely in the dark, off to an ominous dinner party, they head.
What does it all mean, why were they all gathered here under these false and rather contrived pretences….
Impatient and ornery, they refer to the White Walls and Straitjackets book to try to make sense of any of it…
Wadsworth doesn’t seem to be of much use, he assures them he is ‘just the butler’ and they all must wait for the guest of honor, t’s will be dotted and i’s will be crossed for our feigned and forlorn attendees, in due time.
The writing is on the wall, they just have to read it, if they can decipher it.
Shit’s about to get real, it’s the write stuff!

Peppered with Facebook posts, newspaper clippings, and blog reports and with pit stops at our local Hob’s diner (he and Bella are doing quite well with their hush-hush side biz), even a Simone sighting, rounds out this unbelievably intricate and tightly woven tumultuous tale.
With such a jaw drop dropping ending(…s), I like how he just…quite simply ‘goes there’, in fact I think he pretty much just up and leaves. Mic drop style.
He turned this one on its head. Exorcist style.

Ok, so that special something I mentioned, probably my favorite parts of the book and such a pleasant and unexpected surprise (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler, it’s an enhancer!) was….Ohh My God no freaking way ~ it’s CLUE the movie!!
LOVED IT. How genius for David to sample sprinkle a few iconic pieces from that fantastic cult classic 80’s movie into his sequel of a story and it was seamless, fit the tone and flowed upstream with it perfectly!!!
From the:
“Don’t ask me. I’m just the butler, sir.”
“And what do you do, exactly?”
“I buttle, sir.”
To the extra ending with the ‘Or did it end like this….’.
Talk about a cracking homage. And who doesn’t love that movie, if you haven’t seen it yet (Uhhhh what the hell is wrong with you…) ~ WATCH IT.
Tim Curry at his barmy British best as the butler, Wadsworth. The whole well-known cast is a riot and the movie is a hoot!

Hardcore and filthy horror
+
a dash of comical farce
=
a bloody good time read.

The entire concept and execution(s) of this was great, very unique and super clever with that Clue infusion. It did a complete 180 from the tone of WW&SJ, yet still maintained the integrity (or lack thereof) of the characters and stayed true to the storyline.
Just brilliant, Mr. Hughes! ** APPLAUSE**

Utterly beyond impressive how David blends his stories and worlds together, so tight, so taunt, so tittyllating. He is unabashedly filthy and disgustingly graphic yet writes with such a deep sophistication, has complete control and vision for his characters, you can tell they are like family to him. Ehhh…they probably are his family and we’re just reading a bunch of memoirs with names changed to protect the guilty…
BUT yes, all his stories are carefully crafted, nothing is random, it all has meaning and he often adds in some quirky, yet oddly relevant, winks and nods.
He really can get away with any sort of debauchery that warped Welshian mind of his can come up with. Like a raucous shock jock who plays power ballads, and sheds a tear in between the riffing and ribbing and gyrating of it all.
The originality, the humor, and just off-the-wall (off his rocker) cleverness, he’s got it in spades, and hearts. Bit and pieces of an Old Maid thrown in there too, just kind of…scattered about.
I truly believe there IS a little bit of him in all his characters, or vice versa.
So savvy, highly original, and very incriminating. :O

I’ve tried to keep this review pretty vague on the plot, it’s just too damn fun to read in the dark with the rest of the characters.
I wish I could read it again and not know what I know now.

And now I’m gonna quote myself (yes…I’m going there…) from my WW&SJ review that perfectly sums up David.
‘..fear not…there are always rotten rhymes and retched reasons to his methods of morbid madness.’
I taglined ya Hughes, don’t have to force that fit. Like a love glove.
I had to fix a typo in my quote first though… * facepalm, so daft

One little piece of priceless advice for you Mr. Hughes; don’t ever go on meds OOOR don’t ever change-up your meds.
You’re therapeutic excellence, dude.

I know, I know….I get a little giddy, I get a lot silly, I really can’t help it. Some authors I just go batshit looneyย tunes over, and this Welshian Writer Savant is high up on my hits list. Picture me, just a tickled pink purring on cloud 9 lives in 7th ecstasy heaven.
SOOO, bring on the 3rd!!
And yes, I know, I know, half the characters are…ahem, compromised BUT with the skills this particular author has with all his flashbacks, hallucinating, and…erecting they ALL can get ample, supple screen time still. Spin that web wider, no telling what you’ll catch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

You can buy the book here:ย 

Fifty Shades of Hell review by:Mandy Tyra

Oh Miller…
Dirty Dirty Diiiirty. This really was like a Hellraiser erotica!! And yes, I’m sure that Fifty Shades of Grey housewife smut too but I wouldn’t know personally.
Pure erotic romance…ew gross.
I needs graphic dismemberment and castration aplenty with my sexy love-making stories! Otherwise, gag.
Miller pushes my right buttons. He gets me.
* This may or may not have giving me a tingle, or two. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

A sexy super racy slicey dicey supernatural satanic tale that violates your visualization!
I’m still trying to white wall mine. Maybe need to dig out some Judy Blume or Beverly Clearly to reset.
He is such a ballsy blast to read though, I’ve been getting lost in his fun and filthy mind for quite a while now, and he never runs out of full-bodied potent ammo to target shoot his load with.

I have a very high tolerance for extreme horror books and movies, the more graphic the better but Tim always seems to make me cringe with the queasies, I think it must be all the sexy allure followed by the chop chop hack and whack.
BUT, this has a little something for everyone; beautiful love, sultry lust, bondage, voyeurism, creative mutilations, orgies, butt stuff, circle jerks, fresh flesh dildos…gremlins

Very brutal, very explicit, and very graphic. With lots and lots of kinky SEX.
Not for readers afflicted with delicate dispositions.

After a quick little taste teasing prologue, this starts out as a sweet love story. Bruce and Karen, adorable young married couple become new homeowners.
She’s an accountant, boring job but it pays the bills. He’s an aspiring painter, really good at it too but it does not pay the bills. They got the house cheap cause some stuff went down in it (deep down and that can be taken many ways), no matters to them, they ain’t superstitious. Besides, they can always call in the Paranormal Stoners from Karen’s guilty pleasure YouTube show, if things get a bit sketchy.
While exploring their new home, Bruce comes across a hidden door in a walk in closet, it’s leads to an attic. Later, when he has alone time, he decides to go check it out.
Just a boring old attic but there is a chest in the corner, rifling through newspaper clippings and a diary, that’s when he meets Melissa. He is positively entranced, she is beyond beautiful and so very intriguing.
After a brief ‘hello’, she whisks him away to her ‘other side’ bedroom lair for a little introductory peek and play.
He knows she’s dead, but she looks, feels, and tastes so damn real…
He loves his Karen but Melissa ~ HOLY HELL….it’s not cheating if the chic is deceased right???
No, Bruce, pretty sure that’s something else entirely….

She’s a real nightmare dressed as a wet dream, too bad he’s wide awake and not exactly thinking with his northerly head.
Back in his own world, he can’t get her out of his mind, even subconsciously paints her portrait.
He’ll do anything to be with her again. Anything.
And here is where the torture, suffering, as well as extreme pleasure is introduced to our smitten Brucey dog.
Whisked away again, this time meeting the Clerics of Dolor main masochist Gorn. A vile, deceitful, and ruthless man who holds all the punches. It’s his show and they all perform to their groveling, gruesome best, and worst.
They lay out the blood soaked red carpet to unwelcome him to the Halls of Dolor (Latin for pain), it’s not Hell though, they cater to a different kind of sinner, it’s more like….Hell adjacent, in no way affiliated or sanctioned by.
Bruce has to prove himself worthy by withstanding and executing the harshest of gratuitous, relentless, and self gratifying punishments, and pleasures.
Oh, where to begin…Gorn has a few ideas.
She’s worth it. He does realize that he’s been beguiled or penis possessed but he doesn’t have time for rational thought, he’s got too much work to get on with.

Can’t count out his wife Karen though, she getting wise to what’s going on and after calling in reinforcements, is also willing to do anything to keep her man from this whoring temptress.

“There is no death here. Only pain.”

Balls to the wall original and inventive, all these trial and tribulations Tim thought up.
His mind scares and scars me. Yet, he is worth it. Must be, I keep coming back for more!!! Yea, I’m so deviant….nestled in all comfy cozy behind my brightly lit kindle screen. ๐Ÿ˜›

And I love how he doesn’t go for the predictable type endings. You literally have no idea in what kind of fucked up fashion Tim is gonna end his depraved stories. Sometimes it’s a shocking ending, sometimes it’s more poignant, often it’s a delightful mix of the two and always ~always ~ it’s an exhilarating bubbly blood bath.
Never an outright happy ending though, Miller characters don’t get the happy.
His readers sure the hell do though!!

I really feel like he’s got a great little mythology going on with these Clerics of Dolor, I can totally see them popping up in more Miller books, they are just too damn horrifically, sinfully fun to not play and slay around with.
He’s already jazzed (..jizzed) it up with a lot of depth and back story, I just didn’t go into it all.
Yeeea, I was doing a very lousy job at summarizing that part of the story, so I’ll just leave it to our main masochist to spread eagle lay it all out there.
But yes, a lot of story potential to tap into, they’ll show up again, most definite.
So, get them basement bound scantily clad minions of yours on double time Mr. Miller!
It would please this devoted fangirl. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

You can buy the book here:

Collected Easter Horror Shorts review by: Mandy Tyra

SWEET! Another winning holiday horror collection put together by Kevin J. Kennedy.
We got 22 stories (over 400 pages!) of pure frightening Easter enlightenment. Helpful coping tips included.
It really is kind of an odd religious based holiday of bunny and egg worship but these freaky tails will help you double tap into that sinister Easter spirit.
** I’m not the least little bit religious so there may be a fair smidge of fun natured blasphemy in this review. I ain’t sorry, I shan’t repent. ๐Ÿ˜›

With a foreword by Nev Murray, the head honcho reviewer extraordinaire at Confessions of a Reviewer, I agreed with him in his Christmas Collection foreword and I tend to agree with him regarding Easter as well. The chocolate IS the best and maybe even only good part.
Organized religion; bad. Extended family get togethers; very bad. Bunnies; just so damn evil.
“Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes, they got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what’s with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anywaaay? Bunnies, Bunnies, it must be BUNNIES!” ~ The musical stylings and deep musings of Anya from BtVS.
I’ve always wanted to be able to use that, ya know, with relevance. Revelant!

Cadbury eggs are my weakness and I only let myself indulge in them just the one day (not on Easter but the day they hit the shelves), they are like Lays though, can’t eat just one…ooor half a dozen. Lol

For those that know me, you know my OCD compels to me to talk about each and every story, in order. Although it can be somewhat exhausting to read (yea, I’ve been told), it’s relatively painless.
I’ll try my damndest not to get off topic, too much, from this point on.
As incentive, I may have a Cadbury egg in store for you at the end. ๐Ÿ˜‰
So buckle up ~ breeze through or bail out (I take no offence) and let’s hop to it!!

Lamb to Slaughter ~ Amy Cross 22pgs
Poor Oline, she drew the short end of the stick just by being the girl in the family. Every 11th Easter, the eldest daughter has a task to follow through with for the protection and betterment of the family. Old world superstitions in a new world setting, family values at a priceless cost. Is it worth it…
Great story with a mysterious and tense build up and just when you think it would be over, it has one of those ‘final scenes’ after the credits.
Also check out B&B by Amy Cross, it’s a perfect mix of Time crimesย and Triangle. Fab writer!

Sonnes Hill ~ Lex H. Jones 39pgs
Brenden and Milo move to a very nice house in the suburbs, such a great neighborhood. They are especially impressed with those neighbors who are accepting of them, it’s a bigot free community. But when one of them falls ill, it sends the other one on a neighborly excursion to an ancient secret kept deep in the marshes.
Strong Pet Sematary vibe with this one, loved it, eerie and unpredictable. Theism in full bloom.
The intro really gets you, it’s such a treat when the first paragraph is from the 2nd half, then we get to find out what the hell happened to lead us to that sharp and jagged point.

Easter Eggs ~ Latashia Figueroa 30pgs
Brian loves his mom, can’t stand his mom’s live in loser of an abusive boyfriend, Pete. Sad and frustrated when Pete throws a wrench in their Easter plans, at least he has his neighbor best friend Mr. Eldridge to turn to. He’s an old war vet who treats Brian like a buddy, helps look after the family too. He’s collected some Easter keepsakes in his basement and has learned a few things in his world travels. Brian is eager to be taught.
Loved this kid and Mr. Eldridge, add in his sweet mom and the abusive boyfriend, made this a riveting little tale.
From Latashia’s bio, it said her stories are “psychological thrillers with a dash of horror.” YEP, nailed that and Pet Sematary was also my first Stephen King book, you always remember your first King.

The Rebirth ~ Mark Cassell 20pgs
Tracey is full of gusto as a new elementary school teacher, has an Easter egg contest planned for her kiddos that does not go exactly as planned when she brings the mysterious wooden egg that she came across…errr that came across her, the night before. It looks innocent enough and the kids are bound to like it. It’s otherworldly and bound is quite apt.
This one was a creepy little thrill ride, you don’t know what the hell is going on only that it is wild and crazy. And gross. And smelly.

Baby Blues ~ Briana Robertson 26pgs
Roxanne, stay at home mother of two, utterly exhausted and frustrated. She’s lucky enough to have an amazing and supportive husband but he is quite busy, being a doctor and all. It’s Easter which means she’ll have to further suppress her mental fatigue in order to make it a fun and memorable holiday.
You can tell this author has kids because she captured all the subtle little irritating nuances and mommy moods very very well. How within the same thought we go from ‘Awwww so cute!’ to ‘uuughhh go away…’. Resonates with realism.
I felt deeply for this mother and saw a lot of myself in there, well…until the end, I related up until that point.
So damn powerful, extremely well written, I want MORE from this impressive writer.
I LOVED this! Single mom with a litter of 3, believe me ~ I related.

Mia’s Easter Basket ~ Mark Lukens 9pgs
Mia is the mom but she’s the one who gets a specialty Easter basket delivered to her doorstep every year for the last 4 years, without fail. Because 5 years ago this day, is when her life changed, forever and…for the better
No cute little edible bunnies or sweet poetry in her baskets though.
A fine and dandy little freaky tale, I really liked the angle. Is it good, is it bad, is it wrong…
So many moral variables. Personally, I find it G R E A T.

He Has Risen ~ C.S. Anderson 8pgs
Norman should have had the willpower and good sense to lay off the sauce when on guard duty for the Easter celebration. Even in a zombie apocalypse, the survivors try to maintain a bit of normalcy and tradition, especially for the little ones. Now it’s ruined, all ruined and Norman finds himself sobering up handcuffed to a corpse. Uhh not good. You gotta hate drunks though, always crashing the party. The AA program is a Crown Royal bitch in this compound!
Ohhhh Easter and zombies compliment each other so well, especially on the rocks with a lime wedge.

The Echoes of the Bunny-Man ~ Steven Stacy 34pgs
A supernatural tale about a teen named Kirby and her ever diminishing group of friends. Within the last year, over 20 teens have committed suicide in their little town, her sister included. Plagued by strange dreams and terrifying visions, she searches for answers, far too many questions though…
Read like a teen scream blockbuster on par with Final Destination and Forget Me Not (underrated little gem). Such a blast to read which took a more heartbreaking turn after I read Steven Stacy’s bio. Oh my god…this is loosely based on a true story about a horribly unbelievable mass tragedy in his past. So so sad and what fantastic storytelling, I’m sure it was therapeutic on some level.

Killer Jelly Beans From Outer Space ~ James Matthew Byers 8pgs
WOW, I was blown away by this short story length of a poem. Disturbing in a darkly humorous way. Candy is bad for you on so many levels. Borrowing from the title of one of my favorite campy 80’s movies, these jelly beans are staging a rebellion for all jelly kind.

Rotten Eggs ~ Jeff Strand 11pgs
Nicki and Brett, a couple little kids enjoying their Easter surprises, gorging on candy when their big sister Rhonda chimes in, always with her relentless teasing. Her razing gets a bit beyond cruel when she stages their Easter egg hunt. You gotta be careful with mercilessly teasing kids, they take everything so literal. Rhonda’s the one due for the surprise egg.
I love Jeff Strand’s writing style, if you like a thick and meaty slice of hilarity with your horror, read Benjamin’s Parasite!

A Town Called Easter ~ Kevin J. Kennedy 17pgs
It’s an invasion of Easter proportions!! Another roller coaster ride of a story involving a secret lab, an old cave, a compound, an ancient fertile rabbit, a warren gone wild, zombie kits, a town under siege, and a love story.
Our patriarch of this eggcellent (sorry) collection and a damn fine author to boot. I first came across him in The Tale of Sawney Bean, dramatic and disturbing. The book, not the writer… although I’ve heard rumors…

Lord of the Dance ~ J.C. Michaels 12pgs
We meet a man in a seemingly dire predicament, oh but don’t worry about him, turns out he’s quite used to it. Every Easter for many maaany years, until he performs his duties. Is he a sinner or a saint? Is it sacramental stigmata….sacrilege?? He’s lived to embody it all. For this one we flash waaaay back, circa crucifixion era. I really liked thinking on this one. A theological Easter tale for the ages.
J.C. has a book coming out with Kevin soon called You Only Get One Shot, about writers who square off with their best written words. A lot is at stake in this cut throat comp.

Easter Gunny ~ Peter Oliver Wonder 10pgs
Gunny only wanted to be accepted as part of the family, an equal. He’s not having a very swell Easter, in trouble again but he doesn’t understand why, he never understands why. He’s getting fed up though. VERY entertaining short told through a very unique point of view. And with a happy ending, kind of…
Hilarious author bio too, Peter’s bio would make for an awesome (ummm quasi-fiction….) book.

It’s Not All About Bunnies and Chocolate ~ Veronica Smith 11pgs
Be careful when it comes to those coveted trendy toys and time sensitive special offers via Facebook. Jean likes to be able to spoil her daughter when she can, it’s just the two of them though and times are rough. Missing out on the Hatch-a-Pet for X-mas, she gets another chance to wooo her little girl when seeing an overstock ad for the popular high demand toy. Her daughter is gonna be ecstatic! Or maybe a feeling more so verging on traumatic…
Either way it’s sure to be a memorable Easter.
Brutal. So brutal. So fun!!

Last Supper ~ Suzanne Fox 21pgs
Jude is pretty much an ass of a husband, he and his sweet-natured wife Mary are headed off a day early to go spend the holiday weekend with their long time friends who moved outside city limits. He’s annoyed having to miss a day of work but Jez was insistent. At least there is good food and strong drink but something isn’t quite right in suburbia. Jez is acting weird, something’s off but the feast is delish even if the spicy secrets are a tad bit salty.
Well written savory little dish served cold.

Bunny and Clyde ~ Lisa Vasquez 11pgs
Dark and harrowing, so emotional. What mom wouldn’t be a nervous wreck after losing a child? A mother grieving and a big brother haunted by happier Easters. He wants his mom to be herself again and for his dead sister to stop trying to play with him.
When you reach the end of this you will gasp and exhale at the same time!
I’ve heard so many amazing things about Lisa Vasquez and I’ve read a few of her shorts and I think she’s a fantastic writer chalked full of originality.

Magic Awaits ~ Christopher Motz
12-year-old Steven is too old for all this Easter stuff but his parents drop him off at his dad’s boss’s house for the big celebration anyway. It’s important to the old guy, and for his dad’s job. His lousy time turns annoying then veers headfirst into bizarre with the introduction of a 6ft bunny in a dirty costume who defies physics.
Horrific yet whimsical, really fun and unique story.

An Easter Prayer ~ Weston Kincade and David Chrisley 23pgs
Another story with a very unusual narrative. You know those claw machine games, put your money or tokens in and try to grab a toy? Well do you ever think about how traumatic it would be for the objects trapped inside to see a giant metal hand piercing down towards them??
NO, course not, you’re selfish. It’s not all fun and games at this Easter festival but there will be a few surprises.
This was bizarro brilliance, reminded me of a really demented Toy Story revolt.

Trying to Write a Horror Story ~ Andrew Lennon 11pgs
It’s a disturbing autobiographical story, ala diary type exercise for the procrastinating writer. Andrew is trying to stay on top of his writing so he hangs back from the family Easter getaway this year, peace and quiet he should be able to get all caught up. His #1 fan Becky Narron (my governess/enslaver at Roadie Notes!!) has some inspirational words and motivational tools for him, it’s for his own good.
I guess you could call this one another unusual pov, maybe the weirdest one yet!
HAHAHA Oh Lennon, you’re a hoot!!! Ya, Becky told me the real story…
And now I want a story, I can be very inspiring too.

Hatch ~ Christina Bergling 25pgs
Jeremy brings home the ugliest egg he found on his way home from school, his mom finds it repulsive but he’s enamored with the vile thing. It’s so beautiful, he pampers and coddles it in a makeshift nest by his bed. He swears he saw it move, can feel it pulse. Restless nights followed by disconnected days, it seems they are both going through some changes.
Great story with a perfect build up to a descriptive and disturbing climax. Can also be read as a loose allegory for puberty…

Sulphur ~ Mark Fleming 10pgs
A drunken belligerent man, annoyed at getting woken from his stupor by the neighbor girl, what the hell is she doing smashing Easter eggs all over?? Ohh the smell. Fumbling and slurring his way into a combative mission to find more booze aaand shut that brat up, he blackout stumbles into a bit of self reflect recollect recon instead. Ohhh that smell….
WOW, talk about a powerful puzzle of a story with a jaw dropping ending in only about 10 pages. Impressive!

Paying it Forward ~ Jeff Menapace 13pgs
Cute young couple in love enjoying a Chinese dinner on Good Friday. Being inspired by her fortune, Julie decides to do the whole Pay it Forward gesture simply by anonymously picking up the check for a lonely looking guy dining alone. Pay it forward? Well, some people you’d be better off deficit’n backwards…slowly.
A goodwill cautionary tale of deranged religious fanaticism.
Read the Bad Games trilogy from this unbelievably amazing author!!

My pick for top 3 would be:
Sonnes Hill
The Rebirth
Baby Blues
The Echoes of the Bunny Man
A Town called Easter
Easter Gunny
Lord of the Dance
Bunny and Clyde
Trying to Write a Horror Story
Sulfur
Top 3…x3, with a remainder of 1. Simple math really…

So yea…Easter, while not nearly as pricey and gouging as X-mas, it’s still a lot of hare raising hoopla to jump through and pull off for the kiddos. It is fun though, I have to admit. I’m not completely dead inside, faint heartbeat does count.
Ok but I do have one question; how come Christmas has the nativity scene laid out all over from lifesize display to fireplace mantle set piece but Easter does not have a… crucifixion/resurrection scene spread lay out??? Wouldn’t that be sticking with the true faith of it all?? Hmmm… :/
Oh well, bring on the yummy chocolate and evil bunnies, we’re pepped and prepped!

Oh man, that was quite a bit longer than I intended but I did trim it up a touch if that counts for anything.
And ummm…sorry for the two of you that made it through, as I’m sure you guessed the Cadbury offer was a fib. Yea, I have none left. Suckers!! ๐Ÿ˜›

Mr. Kennedy, he’s great with these holiday themed anthos, can’t wait till….uhhh Mother’s Day, EH?? Horrific homage style, that’d be a retributive sweet treat. Come on Kevin, do it, DO IT!! ๐Ÿ˜€

You can buy the book here: