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How well can you ever really know someone?

Published September 18, 2017 by Shadow Girl

Mommy DearestMommy Dearest by Willow Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

You can really get to know someone in thirty days.
– Just ask Morgan Spurlock.

The faces that people show to the world are not always the same faces that look into our eyes when no one else is around – the ones trying to melt our soul with a mere glance.
I’m speaking generally, of course.
BUT… if my now mother-in-law would have come to stay with me and The Dark Defender way back when… I seriously would have just shot myself. I’d love to tell you that we’re now best of friends all these years later – but my lies smell like a fart in a car, so I’m not even going to try. (We’re getting a lot better with our face to face time though!)

Crystal is hoping to have a very different experience.
Her soon-to-be mother-in-law is coming to stay for a whole month, and she hopes that they’ll really be able to bond during that time. So what if she is just finding out what a mama’s boy her fiance is? Why should it bother her that they don’t speak English when they’re talking around her? She is just imagining those smug, self satisfied sneers coming from Mommy Dearest across the dinner table… right?

One month. That’s enough time to learn their habits, and get used to their quirks. It might even be enough time for everyone to start showing their real selves to one another…

Good luck, Crystal!

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THE ROANOKE GIRLS by Amy Engel

Published October 3, 2016 by Shadow Girl

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

Expected publication date is March 7th, 2017.

Expected publication – 03/07/2017

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m soo happy that I was approved for a pre-publication copy of THE ROANOKE GIRLS from NetGalley and Crown Publishing! (I think I HAVE to say that I was given a copy in exchange for an honest review, but I really hate seeing that as the first line of other reviews. I requested a copy, and was approved -(yay!)- they didn’t seek me out to give me free stuff.)

Synopsis:

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran – fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

I couldn’t put this book down!
I had a hard time at work because it was on my mind, and I needed to know what happened!
No, it’s not exactly the type of book that you normally see reviewed here – (full of blood, depravity, and ‘oh so wrong’ humor), but let that fact help convince you that this is an outstanding story. It’s listed as Mystery / Thriller / Suspense, and I think Psychological Thriller fits nicely.
I always say “I hate comparing books to other works…” blah blah blah, but then I usually go on to do it anyway. Since the author made this comparison herself to another reader I feel better about doing it now 🙂 Amy Engel said it’s a “dark novel along the lines of Gillian Flynn’s books” – (and I fell in love with those!).
Let me give you a slight nudge of a warning… this story goes to some pretty dark places, and might be uncomfortable for some readers. Those readers don’t usually follow The Bloody Book Blogger ::winks:: but… you know… just in case.
Even though I am mainly referring to ‘the devastating secret’ that is lurking there in those dark places – it’s not just the secret that may bug some readers. When Lane comes to grips with that secret, she has a distressing realization about herself as well. A lot of authors wouldn’t tread into this territory for fear of offending readers, but (IMO) it helps us truly understand the characters inner turmoil, and the story is better for it. So – applause to Amy Engel for taking us there, and not trying to be (for lack of a better term :p) ‘PC’ just for sales sake.
I enjoy a lot of the YA titles that I pick up once in a while, so I definitely think I am going to pick up THE BOOK OF IVY series.

roanokegirls-comingsoonbanner

 

Pre-order THE ROANOKE GIRLS on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and iTunes

Stay up to date!
Visit Amy Engel’s website, connect with her on  Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter, and follow her Amazon Author Page for automatic updates.

 

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AmyEngel is the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. The Roanoke Girls is her first novel for adults.
Find out more about the author here.

Amy’s first book, The Book of Ivy, has been nominated for the 2016-2017 Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers and the 2016-2017 Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Award.

Easter Eggs and Bunny Boilers: A Horror Anthology

Published August 31, 2016 by Shadow Girl

“Follow only if you be men of valor, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived! 
Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair, so brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further!”
“For death awaits you all with nasty big pointy teeth.”

EE&BB.Cover

‘Experience demented rabbits, chocolate obsessed children drowning in their own greed, serial killers, resurrection and more in this collection guaranteed to kill the cravings of your sweet tooth.’

 


bunny shadowDesert
by Matt Shaw
“If you’re good – you get chocolate! If you’re bad… He hops right on by…”
Matt Shaw kicks off this collection with a dark tale about a boy who is on Easter break from school, but wishing he was anywhere but home at the moment.

There is a strange noise coming from the hallway –  had someone broken in to abduct him, or to hurt his family? Terrified, he grabs a cricket bat and ventures out to see what is lurking in the shadows…

 

On a more personal note…
DESERT is a heartbreaking short story – ‘Justin’ is such a brave, wise, and generous little boy who is continuously hurt by the man who is supposed to love him unconditionally. Reading this (and please forgive me for saying this…), makes me want to hunt down the “Senior Sperm Donor” and punch him in the face.    So… Happy Fucking Easter – let’s move on.

 

BastardBunnyBastard Bunny by David Owain Hughes  Don’t make fun of the guy in the bunny suit – you never know when he could just SNAP and lose his shit! Take a lesson from the people who survive office massacres – throw the weirdos a Snickers every once in a while, and keep your comments to yourself.

 

rabbit priestDuncan Ralston provides us with an entirely different definition of ‘resurrection’ in His Is Risen!

Want to know more about this SS? There is only one way to find out what is behind the door…

*Bonus points for teaching me ‘DRWS MARWOLAETH’.

 

EEBB Chickens Poultry UprisingThe Chickens and the 3 Gods by Kit Power
The chickens loved C’ra and R’ak. They tried their best to please, and defer to their Hen & Cock Humans – until the day they brought the mini-human, B’rok to the garden. B’rok brought terror and destruction, yet C’ra and R’ak did nothing to save them. The chickens had been forsaken by their Gods, and now a change in power is in order.    

 

Wicker BasketsWicker Baskets by Kindra Sowder

Little Jesse loves any holiday that brings with it the promise of candy. He goes to bed excited to find out what the Easter Bunny will bring him in the morning. What he finds when he wakes up will make this an Easter that he will never forget.

 

 

LastEasterEggMy Last Easter by Jack Rollins  First off, kudos to the author for the name of his main character! Way to show some love, Jack!  Second – the little sister, Charlotte, grated my nerves… what a whine-y, tattle tale little bitch! I’d look forward to my last Easter if I had to be around that every day.

 

LepusLepus by Stuart Keane
SK puts a modern horror spin onto the mythology, astrology, and lexology of Lepus – and it’s genius.

  • FunFact: I made a Kindle Note @ Location 1358 that reads: “Cue background music HERE” (I always have background music. The CD will be available for purchase at my funeral).

 

follow me down the rabbit holeLittle Bunny by Glenn Rolfe
The fluffy brown bunny draws Marlow Shuman deep into Brenner’s Woods where the line between her nightmares and reality is blurred.  She comes face to face with the past, and things aren’t what they seemed – but which version of “the truth” is correct, and who can be trusted?

 

EEBB RunRabbitRun Rabbit Run by Michael Bray
Gerald Rose is going to make a statement this year and show people the error of their ways. Easter isn’t about gorging Cadburry eggs & marshmallow Peeps – no sir.  Reverend Rose is going to show people the true meaning of Easter.

 

BunnySnapsWhen A Bunny Snaps by Jim Goforth
Josiah is celebrating Easter at one of his favorite bars – Fantasy Dress. He’s on the wrong side of sober when he sees Bunny sneak out for a smoke break, and he decides to follow her to have a little ‘chat’.  Beaten, bloody, and bruised in the alley behind the bar – she can take no more. Something in her snaps, and nothing is going to stop her from getting the payback that she deserves.

 

IshtarRebornHelp Me by Neil Buchanan
Jo wakes up from a wicked bender with very hazy snapshots of the night before starting to come into focus.  There’s also a little voice calling out for help inside his head –  which he is not in the mood for right now.
However, Ishtar is in no mood to be ignored.

 

EEBB Horace BWEducating Horace by Matt Hickman
Being 14 isn’t a picnic for any kid, but for Horace Davidson it is a nightmare. He has been coddled by his mother his entire life, becoming an overweight, under-educated misfit bullied relentlessly by his peers.  He escapes the torment by losing himself in daydreams & fantasies, but not today.  Today is Easter, and his mom has more than chocolate to put in his wicker basket this year.

 

cadbury-screme-egg

Deb Loves Robbie by Mark West

This short made me feel like I was riding through a Romeo and Juliet themed Tunnel of Love, if it were created by David Lynch, and George Romero!

♥ ‘Robbie & Deb ~ Nor Death Do Us Part’ ♥

 

Tradition.Kyle M. ScottThe Tradition is explained to us by Kyle M. Scott. Local legend says that the true spirit of Easter, embodied by a creature that predates Christianity, demands sacrifice in order to keep the children of Abbington Wood safe year after year.
The first born child of any household, under the age of 18, has to paint themselves onto an egg and offer it up to the creature. If the representation of the soul isn’t offered up willingly, the creature will come to collect the real thing. You don’t want to do things the hard way.

* recently released as book four of the Razorblade Candies series.

 

EEBB HeyZHey-Zeus by Duncan P. Bradshaw
Easter Eve is one of the biggest bar nights of the year, I’ve missed more than one Easter Sunday breakfast with the fam because I was too hungover to even think about smelling ham & deviled eggs  😡
Ed, Guy, and Harry party like goddamn rock stars on Maundy Thursday. I thought I’ve partied, but I’ve NEVER reenacted The Easter Story with my friends! 3:)

 

Feldman's RabbitFeldman’s Rabbit by Rich Hawkins
The man that entered the old house was shivering, starving, and half-frozen, but determined to survive. He can sustain with the Easter basket he found – “Feldman’s going to be just fine.”  But, is he?  Is the house driving him mad, the chocolate Easter eggs he consumed,  or was he half-mad to begin with?  It doesn’t matter, because Feldman is happier than he could ever remember being.
 
 
EEBB ZJ

On The Third Day by Graeme Reynolds

What have I been telling you all these years?

“If it shambles like a zombie, and groans like a zombie…”

…you know how to finish that sentence.

 

ostaraEaster Eggs by Chantal Noordeloos
If a newly pregnant Rosemary Woodhouse traveled to Summerisle with her husband for a pagan holiday ritual with the fam – it might turn out something like EASTER EGGS.  Chantal has captured elements of two iconic horror films and weaved them into a darkly original story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished.

 

EasterHunt.JRParkEaster Hunt by author JR Park
Old Pat was hiding this year’s batch of chocolate eggs for the Church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt when he disappeared into the odd, cream colored mist.  Once Sunday services were over, and the strange mist dissipated,  the town’s children run towards the field to begin their search.  They find a lot more than eggs to put in their baskets this year!

 

buddychristThe Jesus Loophole by Luke Smitherd

Forget about bunnies & eggs; Easter is about Christ’s torture porn style death as atonement for all the sins of man, allowing us to ask for – and receive – forgiveness. But… what if you feel no remorse for you sins?  Is it possible to “cheat the system”? If you want to find a loophole in God’s law there are two men you can ask… Kevin Smith, and Luke Smitherd.

 

 

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS

Matt Shaw Facebook @The_Matt_Shaw
Graeme Reynolds Facebook @graemereynolds
Luke Smitherd Facebook @LukeSmitherd
Jim Goforth Facebook @jim_goforth
Stuart Keane  Facebook @SKeane_Author
Kit Power Facebook @KitGonzo
Jack Rollins Facebook @JackRollins9280
David Owain Hughes Facebook @DOHUGHES32
Rich Hawkins Facebook @RichHawkins4
Duncan Ralston Facebook @userbits
Kyle M. Scott Facebook @drphibes333
Duncan P. Bradshaw Facebook
J R Park Facebook @SinisterHC
Glenn Rolfe Facebook @GRolfeHorror
Chantal Noordeloos Facebook @C_Noordeloos
Kindra Sowder Facebook @KindraKinnaman
Matt Hickman Facebook @Matthewhickma13
Neil Buchanan Facebook @Stormbladepro
Mark West Facebook @MarkEWest
Michael Bray Facebook @Michaelbrayauth

Shadow Girl on Social Media

 

 

 

 

LAB RAT: A NOVEL OF EXTREME HORROR, SEX, AND GORE by Matt Shaw

Published November 20, 2015 by Shadow Girl

Before the cures, there are the experiments.


His heart was in the right place.
His mind, though, was in a much darker place.

If horror movies have taught us anything, it’s that the big, beautiful house that you’re looking at – the one that is priced WAY too low to be able to believe – is being sold for a reason!  Just look what happened in Amityville!

When the HOUSE says "Get out" - you GTFO!!

When the HOUSE says “Get out” – you GTFO!!

Becky & Kevin have obviously never watched a horror movie, and are moving in to their nice, new, creepy AF home – with the added bonus of getting to keep the previous tenant’s belongings! YAY! Those hospital beds in the attic will sure come in handy!

The couple doesn’t have to worry about the walls bleeding, or flies taking over the bedroom. Their house isn’t haunted. This isn’t the Amityville Horror! Becky & Kevin’s horror story is only beginning, and their fate is much, much worse.

The doctor is IN!

Fun excerpt from LAB RAT:

“You like to read?” the realtor asked – hoping to find a common interest to make her more of an option to purchase from.

“I do,” Becky’s answer was short and sweet.

“Who’s your favorite? I’m a sucker for Stephen King. The way he builds his characters up, adding layer, upon layer… He is a true master of his craft.”

“He is,” Becky answered. Again, keeping it short and sweet.

“My wife prefers… Oh… What are their names… Matt Not Shaw and Iain Rob Wrong.”

“Excuse my husband, he’s being an idiot.”

 

LAB RAT by Matt Shaw is available on Amazon for $2.99, FREE for KU subscribers!

[* short link – http://wp.me/p37DRX-1l6]

RETARD by Daniel I. Russell

Published November 10, 2015 by Shadow Girl

“A mother and child, living alone, with the mother using physical means to discipline her child, would at least be heavily investigated and monitored today. Back then, it was par for the course, the situation attracting only gossip and disapproval, but of course everyone was too busy to intervene…”

 

I spend a lot of time searching ‘recommended’ reads from Amazon. Not just blind recommendations – the ones that say “we see you enjoyed the fucked up shit that you bought last month… try THIS!” (Thanks, Amazon. You’re awesome!)

I had gotten pretty deep into my search, so I cannot remember which authors, and books, led me to RETARD.  It involved some Matt Shaw, Ian Woodhead’s newest titles, Sam West, and a couple of authors from Cut Corners, (Volumes 1 & 2)… just to name a few.

December, 1987.
Single mother Christine Stephenson watches with envy as the Birthday boy opens his present. A Fabled Four action figure. Her special son is obsessed with The Fabled Four but how could she possibly afford such a gift?
Not that he deserved it. Wesley simply couldn’t behave.
She’d find a way, being such a good parent.

The synopses didn’t reveal much, so I’m not sure exactly what drew me to HAVE to read this title, or what I expected –  but I didn’t expect this phenomenal story I just read by Daniel I. Russell. I admit, I’ve been jaded over the years, remember –  it’s fiction, it’s horror… what if Edward Lee wrote David Pelzer’s story? (OK, that was wrong, even for me… sorry). Nothing that gruesome, but it is a story that rubs your brain with an S.O.S. pad – and will leave a permanent scar.

THE STEPHENSON CASE centers around an overwhelmed,  young, single mother, Christine Stephenson, and her then ten year old son, Wesley.

Dr. Graham Burns wants to reveal the truth about what really happened inside the Stephenson house that led to the events on that Christmas day in 1987. BOTH sides of the story, the media falsehoods, and the eventual cover up. He has researched extensive reports from the case, and conducted his own interviews with people willing to talk about it.

Find RETARD on Amazon / Goodreads

 

 

http://wp.me/p37DRX-1jl

CHERUB by David C. Hayes

Published November 4, 2015 by Shadow Girl

Nothing lasts forever except a mother’s love.

“Get ready for a ride through the absolute worst in human nature. Hayes has the unique ability to convey the most sickening acts in a way that will have you laughing between retches. Once the book closes, you’ll need to shower and after that you’ll wonder what it says about you that Hayes managed to touch so deep and dark. You will be affected.” – MoyerKevin

In every small town, in every section of the world, there is always that family. The family that is whispered about in the grocery store, and used as fodder for campfire horror stories. There is one family that urban legends are based on, and local children dare each-other to spy on in the dark.

In Brockton, Michigan, the Richardson family is that family.

In 1966, a very pregnant Marie Richardson helped to perpetuate the stories when she arrived at the hospital – she was about to become very non-pregnant, and claimed that she had never been with a man.

The things that happened during Marie’s labor, and the birth of her child,  almost killed her, caused a lifetime of therapy for two nurses, and led the attending physician into retirement. Since that day, not a soul had seen the product of those horrors – until Brockton PD was sent to the Richardson place some 40 years later to investigate complaints of a bizarre smell.

What the deputies found was described as being ‘worse than the most horrible car wreck in the world’.  Chained to the wall in the basement was a man of about 500 pounds. He was about 7 feet tall, balding, and could be compared to Chunk from The Goonies – on a good day.

Goonies.Sloth

The man was sent to the Blessed Arms State Hospital, (formerly Michigan’s official State Tuberculosis Hospital, and has a striking resemblance to ELOUISE psychiatric hospital in Westland, MI), and into the custody of Dr. Godfrey and nurse Angie Fletcher.

Cherub, as he comes to be known by the staff, quickly becomes a special project for Nurse Angie and her sinister plans for Blessed Arms.

We all know how much I love hometown authors, and David C. Hayes is one of my Michigan Madmen ❤ The little details placed in MI stories always make me smile. The town of Brockton is described as a town in southeast Michigan, almost on the Ohio border – exactly where my ass is sitting right at this moment.  The day that Cherub was born was a brisk autumn day in November with leaves changing color and blanketing the ground everywhere – just like today. I mentioned above, Blessed Arms feels like it is based on Elouise Psychiatric Hospital, and I’ve had an obsession with that place for YEARS. (They’re making a horror movie at Elouise now, too! Awesome!) David also mentions ‘Kroger’ – a MI based grocery store.

I highly recommend CHERUB, no matter where you live 😉 The story shines some light on nature vs. nurture, and the author  proves that sometimes humans are the worst monsters of all.

You can find CHERUB on Amazon, Shelfari, LibraryThing and Goodreads

You can find DAVID C. HAYES on his official websiteAmazonGoodreadsTwitter, and Facebook

THE FIRST ONE YOU EXPECT by Adam Cesare

Published August 5, 2015 by Shadow Girl


Tony Anastos is a horror guy . A fan, a filmmaker, a writer, and a director with somewhat of a cult following.
His claim to [internet] fame is The Debaser franchise; a series of microbudget horror films made with, and staring his friend, Burt.
Everything starts to change when he meets Anna – a real Suicide Girl Next Door – with a passion of her own.
When Tony notices that his life is starting to imitate his movies… things have already gone too far.
No amount of ‘artful lying’ is going to get him out of this!

 

 

 

Adam Cesare on Amazon
The First One You Expect on Amazon

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