Book Reviews

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VS: US vs. UK Horror

Published February 21, 2017 by Shadow Girl

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!

A BATTLE ROYALE OF US AND UK
INDIE HORROR HEAVYWEIGHTS!

vs. cover

Who writes the best horror: the US or the UK?

Find out for yourself in VS: US vs UK, a competition anthology featuring some of the year’s best horror, judged by horror enthusiasts and us: the readers. DON’T FORGET TO CAST YOUR VOTE!

 

The Contenders…

Duncan Ralston vs Rich Hawkins 
James Ward Kirk vs Kit Power
Glenn Rolfe vs Lex H. Jones
Tim Miller vs Daniel I. Russel
John Ledger vs Jim Goforth
Essel Pratt vs Daniel Marc Chant
Thomas S. Flowers vs Kyle M. Scott
Jonathan Ondrashek vs David Owain Hughes
T.S. Woolard vs Toneye Eyenot
Michael Noe vs Dani Brown
Sisters of Slaughter vs Matt Hickman
Salome Jones vs Kitty Kane
Peter Oliver Wonder vs Kevin J Kennedy

This was so much fun to read!
And – you could feel that everyone was having fun while putting this book together, that shines through.
As for the winners… I tended to agree with the other judges, for the most part –  I’m not going to say which stories, or authors that I voted for – you should read this collection, and make up your own mind!

Peace, Love & Necrophilia ♥
 ~ sg

All proceeds from the purchase of this book will be donated to the Second Chance Center for Animals (US) and the West Wales Poundies Dog Rescue (UK) charities.

 

 

Birthday Boy by Cory Cline

Published January 6, 2017 by Shadow Girl

I wanted to keep with today’s theme, so since it’s my birthday I decided to read 

BIRTHDAY BOY by Cory Cline
birthdayboy-cover
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“Piñata!”

“Chaz is the type of guy who thinks he will do anything to get laid. His limits are about to be put to the test when he wakes up in “Boy’s” barn.

He is the guest of honor at a special party that “Boy” and his family hold dear to the heart.
Some tradition’s never get old…”

Like Chaz, I, too,¹ have woken up the 6th of January with hazy, Polaroid memories, wondering – “where am I?”, “where are my pants?”, and most importantly… “where is that cat that shit in my mouth?”  I’m happy to say that the answers that slowly come to me after a fun filled night of Jäger Bombs are nowhere near as horrifying as Chaz’s!

If this doesn't scare the Hell out of you...

If this doesn’t scare the Hell out of you…

...THIS will haunt your dreams forever!

…THIS will haunt your dreams forever!

I was about to add another one of Cory Cline’s books to my Amazon TBR list, AS SEEN ON TV , and BAM – “You purchased this item on November 28, 2015.” Nice!  I remember seeing the book, because it’s the same title as my book/ss – (the one that might never see the light of day).  I HAVE to read it now… what if we had the exact same idea?! 😮 hahaha!! No… the synopsis is below, silly.  (I have it loaded up and ready to go, so watch for it!)

 

 

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Gus Grissom is newly divorced and ready to get into “killer” shape. The high-tech exercise machine he bought from one of those late night commercials promises to help, but Gus will learn what they mean when they say, “buyer beware”

If you haven’t read anything by Cory Cline yet, Amazon compares him to some writers that you do know – Matt Shaw, Sam West, Shaun Hupp, Michael Bray, Matt Hickman, Tim Miller, Duncan Ralston, and Ryan Harding.

 

 

You can find Birthday Boy on Amazon / Goodreads

You can stalk Cory Cline on Amazon / Goodreads /Facebook / Facebook Author Page / Twitter

 

I can find a Stefon quote for any situation!

I can find a Stefon quote for any situation!

 

RIOT DOGG EDITING SERVICES:  For all inquiries about Riot Dogg Editorial Services, please write Alex S. Johnson at Trolleydogs@aol.com.

*¹  Comma placement

The Song of Dweller

Published December 27, 2016 by Shadow Girl

DWELLER by Jeff Strand

The story of a macabre, decades-long human/monster bromance.
A relationship that will last their entire lives, through times of happiness, tragedy, love, loss, madness, and complete darkness. Gear up boys & girls – I cried buckets of tears throughout this one.  Read my original review of the book HERE.

 

A video for “The Song of Dweller”, a heart-wrenching and gut-twisting song about DWELLER, the latest novel by Jeff Strand. Song by the mighty Trevor Strong of the Arrogant Worms. Video by the mighty Terri Garey.

 

The lifetime story of a boy and his monster.

The lifetime story of a boy and his monster.

An Update On My 2016 GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE

Published December 27, 2016 by Shadow Girl

Reading challenge banner

Participants 3,037,077
Books Pledged 141,970,360
Books Finished 38,435,363
Avg. Books Pledged 46
Challenges Completed 20,037
Time Left 4 days, 17 hours
Shadow Girl has read 158 of her 125 book goal in 2016 / 33 books ahead of schedule.

My last challenge update was on Septembember 28. At that time I was sitting at about 128 books read of my 125 book goal. Today I’m showing 158, but I have a few reviews that I need to catch up on. OH – on that note… If I post a review in 2017 on a book that I read in 2016 – I keep the correct dates Goodreads lists / challenges. Example? Sure! I just read SAN DIEGO HORROR PROFESSIONALS: HOLIDAY SPECIALSLAY BELLES, and HALFWAY HOUSE. If – for whatever reason – I don’t get reviews posted until after January 1st, my date read/finished will still reflect 2016.

    • The Law of Three by M.R. SellarsPerfect Trust by M.R. SellarsNever Burn a Witch by M.R. SellarsEnter by April O'BrienKiller Gossip by Paul PhillipsIn The Bleak Midwinter by M.R. SellarsMerrie Axemas by M.R. SellarsThe Season of Giving by Angel GeliqueOscar's Night by Matt ShawBah! Humbug! An anthology of Christmas Horror Stories by Matt ShawChristmas Eve on Haunted Hill by Bryan SmithHome Intruder 2 by Sam WestSnuff Club by Sam WestThe Girls Next Door by Mel SherrattFrailty by Erin R. BrittTwo Minds by Matt ShawChristmas Shopping by Angel GeliqueGranville by Alice J. BlackThe Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsBehind Closed Doors by B.A. ParisThe Perfect Girl by Gilly MacmillanThe Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaJoyland by Stephen KingCrimson Death by Laurell K. HamiltonFamily Business by Brett WilliamsThe Roanoke Girls by Amy EngelHST Quarterly by Arthur GrahamAll American Boys by Jason ReynoldsTesting Laura by Matt ShawBorn Mobster by Paige Dearth

A BLAST FROM THE PAST! Revisiting A VERY STRANGEHOUSE CHRISTMAS

Published December 25, 2016 by Shadow Girl

* originally published for the 2013 Holiday Horror Binge & Purge event on DECEMBER 29, 2013

I’ve completed my [Goodreads] ˙·٠•●♥ 2013 Reading Challenge ♥●•٠·˙ – (ahead of schedule, and beyond my personal goal – go, me!) But, I’m still sitting here wishing I had read so much more! I need more time! More hours in the day, more days in the week… UGH! It’s so frustrating!
I started reading titles from StrangeHouse Books in 2013, and I wish I could say that I’m ending this year all caught up, that I’ve devoured them all quicker than a Cannibal in Fat Camp! ::sigh:: That, however, is not the case. But, it gives me a goal for 2014!!

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A Very StrangeHouse Christmas

“This collection of 9 twisted tales of Christmas horror brings together weirdo literary talent from around the world, all with the sole purpose of turning the most sacred of holidays on its head, and making sweet, sweet love to its defenseless ear holes!”

“Join SHB ring leader Kevin Strange, as well as StrangeHouse anthology alumni Rich Bottles Jr., Jesse Wheeler, KM Tepe, and newcomers like Lindsey Goddard and MP Johnson on this sometimes magical, always fucked up journey to the north pole. We promise you’ll never look at Christmas the same way ever again!”

For last year’s ‘HOLIDAY HORROR BINGE & PURGE’ event, my main Holiday book to read, and review, was A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE. (It turned out to be a book of all holidays, not just Christmas, but ‘Irreverent Merriment, Diabolical Debauchery, and Gory Good Times‘ were had by all!!) Hacked Up HOLIDAY This year, I started earlier and got to fit in many more books from my holiday horror wish list. Two of this year’s reads are fighting for the top spot on my Happy List – A Very StrangeHouse Christmas is one of the two.

INTRODUCTION:  Kevin Strange

Kafka’s Run by Billy Tea:
The Kafka’s are Gift Heads & they’re in the run. Gift Heads are a slave race to the fat man. Raised in prison camps, tended to by elves, and eventually beheaded when they reach maturity. Their severed gift-heads are offered as sacrifice to appease the tiny Earth Gods. Fantastic story.
KafkasRun

Do Not Buy by MP Johnson:
A ‘Tickle This’ kind of story! Quick, gross, and wonderful!
ElmoAboutToGETTickled

The Unlisted by Jesse Wheeler:
YOU WANT NAUGHTY? You got it with this story! Sex, debauchery, violence, & more!

Image from the security camera in the Women's Plus Size dressing rooms

Image from the security camera in the Women’s Plus Size dressing rooms

Things in here had me cracking up (in between a gag, or a cringe) – one hilarious fact about these elves… they shit the cookie dough that Mrs. Claus bakes for Santa. When TSHTF, there’s a line about an elf who got so scared “he nearly nogged his pants”!! (It makes perfect sense that they pee egg nog, if they shit dough, right?!) WARM & FRESH!

Dear Santa Claus by K.M. Tepe:
A letter to Santa from the Naughty K.M. Tepe – If I were the fat man, I’d make sure every item on that list was specially delivered with added bows made of cash…

Think twice before leaving me coal again, ya Prick!!

Think twice before leaving me coal again, ya Prick!!

*Message for K.M. Tepe:
Ever since I opened up my very first MySpace account, I’ve used the same line in the About Me section of practically every account – still using it today.
After reading your bio in the back of this book, I just wanted to make a note of it just in case you see it yourself somewhere. There’s no “This town ain’t big enough fir the both of us” reasoning or mentality behind this note – It’s more like a brunch invitation! If you’re ever in Detroit, look me up… we can hang out in the alley behind Poetry Slam, guzzling coffee, and poking the corpse of Wino Willie!

Blood On The Highway by Lindsey Goddard:
The anguish of a mother’s loss is not bound by species.
A woman, her husband, and his brother are driving through a terrible storm, on they’re way for what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday. This is a very good SS! I’m hoping that Lindsey sees this and can recommend a better pic – one that looks like the inside of her brain!

This is an image that I found on a Google Image Search - It does not reflect the authors imagery in any way

*This is an image that I found on a Google Image Search – It does not reflect the authors imagery in any way

Kathi the Sexy Elf by Rich Bottles Jr.:
A department store Santa, who is following in his dad’s footprints as the jolly fat man for the same store, decides to do something remarkably sweet for his ‘Helper’ this year. The helper, Kathi, makes a very sexy elf, and she has some surprises of her own in store for Santa…
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I can’t wait to read some of the stories in Rich’s ‘humorrorotica‘ genre! Some links are provided at the bottom.

Christmas with the Family by Jonathan Byrd:
This one should be called “A FUCKED UP FAMILY CHRISTMAS”.
Other Jonathan Byrd titles on Amazon include –
BIG, The Jar, UNSHACKLED, and The Mommies Club. But, after reading this short, I’m not entirely convinced that it’s the same guy!! 🙂

The Witch who Fucked Christmas by Kevin Strange:
This story is a tie in to one of Kev’s movies, but it stands alone just fine.
Set in STRANGEVILLE, ILLINOIS, a worn out & broke down Santa is about to go head to head with The Hag of Horrors herself – Sasparilla, The Weed Witch. The victor will hold the bag that contains all the magic of Christmas. But, you can’t expect the Hag of Horrors to play fair… can you?
Nixon and Hogan Smoke Christmas YouTube trailer
Hack Films / Kevin Strange on YouTube

I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday by Mike Lombardo:
Save the best for last, Kev? Yeah. I’m going to get this review posted, then go slit my wrists. xxoo 

After Notes, Links, & Other Randomly Strange[House] Fun

I’ve been adding and updating this section since the original post, and I’m still not finished.
I would like to include as much info as possible for each author that is/was involved with SHB while the books below were published.
This section will eventually become a StrangeHouse Spotlight Page
**If YOU are one of those authors, please – contact me! I’d like to post any info/links that you would like fans to know about!!***

Check out the StrangeHouseBooks blog on WordPress
‘LIKE’ StrangeHouseBooks on Facebook

A VERY STRANGEHOUSE CHRISTMAS on Goodreads
Kevin Strange on Goodreads
K.M. Tepe on Goodreads
Rich Bottles Jr. on Goodreads
Mike Lombardo on Goodreads
Lindsey Goddard on Goodreads
Jesse Wheeler on Goodreads
Billy Tea on Goodreads
M.P. Johnson on Goodreads
Jonathan Byrd on Goodreads

DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW KEVIN STRANGE?
Take this quiz and find out!! Post your results in the comments, I’d love to see them – I’ll Make sure that I get a link to Kevin, so he can see your results, too!

MORE SHB ANTHOLOGIES – GET SOME STRANGE!
The Last Gig On Planet Earth And Other Strange Stories
Strange Sex
Strange Versus Lovecraft
Tales of Questionable Taste
Zombie! Zombie! Brain Bang!
Scary Fucking Stories: A Strange Collection

VOYEURISM, in 140 characters or less –
@_StrangeHouse
@kevinthestrange
@freaktension
@BillyTea_AMDAD
@tusitalabruni
@SFerrariFOS

Other Books from Rich Bottles Jr.
LUMBERJACKED
“[…] makes Deliverance look like a family raft trip down the Lower Gauley”
Hellhole West Virginia
“Eco-friendly vampires, beach-yearning zombies and sex-starved she-devils.”
The Manacled
“What happens when twin brothers lease out the former West Virginia State Penitentiary with the false purpose of filming a documentary on supernatural phenomena, but their true intention is to make a pornographic movie? Chaos ensues as the disturbed spirits of murdered convicts, along with the reanimated dead from the neighboring Indian Burial Mound, take their vengeance on the unwary and undressed trespassers. Zombies, ghosts, mobsters and porn collide in this bizarro tale from horror author Rich Bottles Jr.”
*I HAVE TO GET THIS BOOK!* (Update – Rich sent me a copy of this, along with some awesome author swag! Thanks, Rich!!)

Check out ‘Gross-Out Author’ Jesse Wheeler’s Dinner at the Vomitropolis – I have this, but haven’t had the nerve to start reading it yet.

The Big Book of Bizarro
The Big Book of Bizarro Erotica Collection
The Big Book of Bizarro Horror Collection
The Big Book of Bizarro Sci-Fi & Fantasy Collection

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Visit the official website of Mike Lombardo’s Reel Splatter Productions! They’re a small independent horror-comedy troupe based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania whose goal is to prove artistic expression can involve necrophilia & chainsaws! Visit RSP now, and see some horrible monstrosities commit unspeakable acts! YAY!!

http://www.ReelSplatter.com | Facebook.com/ReelSplatter

Writer/Director/FX Artist and author of this book’s SS titled I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE DOOMSDAY – Mike “Dr.Chud” Lombardo just released THE STALL on DVD and it is ready to ship!
It’s the story of a young pizza shop employee whi finds himself trapped in a public restroom during the Lovecraftian apocalypse. The DVD contains buckets of exclusive bloody extras that aren’t available on YouTube.

A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre: Halloween is Going to be Jealous on Amazon

A Very StrangeHouse Christmas on Amazon

THE SEASON OF GIVING by Angel Gelique

Published December 24, 2016 by Shadow Girl

THE SEASON OF GIVING

More Horrific Holiday Fun from Angel Gelique

seasongiving
Lou Reilly grew up in a strict, oppressive environment, raised by zealous religious parents who merely wanted to protect him from the sinners of the world. Sheltered to the point of isolation, Lou is unprepared to fend for himself when his parents pass away.

Bullied and tormented at his new place of employment, Lou starts suspecting that his parents were right to shield him from such harsh and hateful people. Just as Lou begins to befriend a colleague who vows to help improve his life, he is put to the ultimate test of faith. All seems hopeless.

But he won’t let the sinners win. He won’t burn in hell as his parents have warned.

Lou will make things right….

Warning: For Mature Readers (18+) Only

The Season of Giving wasn’t all horrific holiday fun – it kind of bummed me out a little bit.

I think Carrie-WhiteLou’s mom used to get together and go to lunch with Carrie White‘s mom, where they would swap Parenting Tips for the Mentally Christian” over their watered down tea and bad fish entrees.

All alone, Lou Reilly grew up the best that he could.  He finally made a real friend,  but when a little miscommunication / misunderstanding arose between them – he obsessed over it until he convinced himself that his “friend” was actually an enemy out to destroy him, and send him to Hell in a hand-basket.

I definitely had some emotional moments while reading this – mostly anger that came with me screaming at the characters and waking my husband up. There were some ‘Oh, poor Lou’ moments, too.  One final ‘hugely cringe-worthy’ scene leads up to our (mostly) “YAY!” ending – unless you overthink it and let your mind wander past the final page of the story. If you do that, you may end up like me when Lou finally ‘make things right’ – I haven’t decided if I want to cheer for Lou, the carnage, and the sweet, wonderful revenge or if I want to just put my head down and sob.

If you’re not in the mood for something quite so… deep right now, you can start by reading Christmas Shopping first – a genuine Horrific Holiday FUN book   🙂

 

The Season of Giving on Amazon / Goodreads

Angel Gelique on Amazon / Goodreads

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER by M. R. Sellars

Published December 24, 2016 by Shadow Girl

THE SMALL TOWN OF HULIS, MISSOURI
HAS A KILLER CHRISTMAS SPIRIT…

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… AND IT’S HIDING A KILLER SECRET.

In 1975 the small town of Hulis was ground zero in a frantic search for 10 year-old Merrie Frances Callahan, as well as an intense manhunt for her abductor.

35 years later, it seems the FBI would like to pretend it never happened.

Special Agent Constance Mandalay didn’t get that memo…

IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER is based on the short teaser novella MERRIE AXEMAS: A Killer Holiday Tale, (see below) but it tells the whole story of ten-year-old Merrie Frances Callahan’s 1975 abduction, and the present day murders that are somehow intricately linked to that event.


5/5 Holiday Stars

I’ve been a Rowan Gant fan since I picked up my first copy of HARM NONE (I got it autographed, too – teehee), and I am so happy that SA Constance Mandalay got her own story! (soon-to-be-series 🙂 I can’t wait for Book 2: INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!).   ITBM is going to impact the rest of the RGI Series for me. Constance was already growing on me, but I like her character much more now.  Getting to go along with her on this investigation, and see how she handles the (I’m quoting Ben here…) “Twilight Zone” stuff without Rowan being there is eye-opening.  I definitely see her a little differently, and have more respect for her. She has earned her place in The Ghoul Squad, haha!  I would LOVE to see both Constance and Ben shake off their traditional beliefs and… well… a girl can dream.   ♥ Blessed Be!

SA Constance Mandalay is assigned what appears to be a 7-year-old cold case that echos the events of the 35-year-old child abduction. Unfortunately for all involved, the case heats up for a short time each year with a brutal murder that appears eerily staged, and occurs under impossible circumstances.

Undaunted, she faces the task with no backup, a mysteriously redacted case file, and the inevitable murder fast approaching.

Mandalay’s experience as the ‘handler’ for an FBI occult/paranormal expert (Rowan Gant) makes her the perfect choice for this investigation. However, even her brushes with the unexplained still cannot prepare her for the answer she was not supposed to discover…

You can find In The Bleak Midwinter: A Special Agent Constance Mandalay Novel @

Amazon, Goodreads, and Smashwords

You can find Merrie Axemas: A Killer Holiday Tale (#FREE) @

Amazon, Goodreads, and Smashwords

Where to find M. R. Sellars online:

M. R. Land, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Google+Smashwords, YouTube, StoryFind, and if he ever decides to get back to pinning – Pintrest. I’m still trying to recruit all you horror lovers to switch to SlashBoard instead – it’s Pintrest for Horror Lovers! Maybe we can follow him there soon  series 😉

~

Merrie Axemas – Book 0.5 of the Constance Mandalay Series

merryaxemas

LITTLE MERRIE CALLAHAN MAY BE ALL GROWN UP, BUT SHE STILL HAS AN AXE TO GRIND WITH THE MAN IN THE RED SUIT…

~

INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE: Book 2 of the Constance Mandalay series

THE END IS NEAR, IT JUST NEEDS A LITTLE PUSH…

COMING SOON…

~

Check out the entire Rowan Gant Investigation [RGI] series – I highly recommend the books I’ve read so far, and I’ll bet I say the same as I finish the rest of them.   

~

My autographed copy of HARM NONE can’t be replaced, so I was especially giddy when I saw that M. R. Sellars uses AuthorGraph! Now my ebooks are virtually signed  🙂   Stop by and get your new M. R. Sellars ebooks personalized, too!

~

Be sure to check out all of the M. R. Sellars and other WillowTree Press Author logo-ed swag available @ On The Edge Graphics: Purveyors Of Official Author Swag & Other Graphical Oddities  http://www.cafepress.com/otegraphics

 

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