Craven Manor by Darcy Coates #bookreview #horror

Daniel is desperate for a job. When someone slides a note under his door offering him the groundskeeper’s position at an old estate, it seems too good to be true.

Alarm bells start ringing when he arrives at Craven Manor. The mansion’s front door hangs open, and leaves and cobwebs coat the marble foyer. It’s clear no one has lived there in a long time.

But an envelope waits for him inside the doorway. It contains money, and promises more.

Daniel is desperate. Against his better judgement, he moves into the groundskeeper’s cottage behind the crypt. He’s determined to ignore the strange occurrences that plague the estate.

But when a candle flickers to life in the abandoned tower window, Daniel realises Craven Manor is hiding a terrible secret… one that threatens to bury him with it.

I’ve seen Darcy Coates books all over Amazon and Goodreads, and her eerie covers always catch my eye, but I’d never read any of her work.  After Craven Manor was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in the horror category, I knew it was time to change that.

My heart immediately went out to Daniel.  He’s down on his luck, with barely a penny to his name, but is so generous to others.  Maybe he’s a bit naive, but I awarded him bonus points for being an animal lover.  This author definitely knows how to set a tense, haunting scene – the imagery is wonderfully vivid, and the neglected grounds of the manor are easy to visualize.

The final battle, although furious, seems to stretch on for bit, but it leads to a satisfying ending.  I also found the relationship between Daniel and his cousin, Kyle, kind of weird, and never really understood it.

Overall, I enjoyed Craven Manor, and I’m sure it won’t be the last book I read by this author.

Dark Visions: an anthology of 34 horror stories #bookreview #horror #TuesdayBookBlog

From the creators of the #1 bestseller The Box Under The Bed horror anthology comes Dark Visions, 34 horror stories from 27 authors. Tag along on a con man’s New Orleans vacation where he gets more than he bargained for from a mysterious voodoo shop. A collection of family photos reveals an eerie secret about a beloved grandmother’s true nature. A child’s horrifying memories haunt her into adulthood. A new camp counselor learns that the camp has secrets she might not live to reveal. Edited and compiled by Amazon bestselling author Dan Alatorre, this anthology of horror brings together the minds and pens of more than two dozen amazing authors. Dark Visions will take you into the realm of the eerie and macabre, with thrills and chills from: bestselling author Dan Alatorre (The Navigators) bestselling author Jenifer Ruff (Everett), bestselling author Allison Maruska (The Fourth Descendant), bestselling author J. A. Allen, award-winning author MD Walker, award-winning author Juliet Nubel, award-winning author Dabney Farmer, award-winning author Sharon E. Cathcart, award-winning author Heather Kindt, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Sharon Connell, award-winning author Geoff LePard, award-winning author Anne Marie Andrus, award-winning author Christine Valentor, award-winning author BA Helberg, Ernesto San Giacomo, Alana Turner, Nick Vossen, award-winning author Robbie Cheadle, Betty Valentine, award-winning author Frank Parker, award-winning author Bonnie Lyons, award-winning author Lori Micken, Chuck Jackson, Ellen Best, Victoria Clapton, Perfect for Halloween or any time, these stories will make you think twice before spending the night alone, planting a tree in your garden, or even visiting your mother. Consider yourselves warned. 

If you’re looking for quick reads to enjoy during a break in your day, Dark Visions offers some eerie, creepy, and unsettling short stories that are perfect for this time of year.  Although I can’t review each individually, I’ll mention those I was still thinking about days after finishing.

If you’re a parent, The Storm by J.A. Allen will rip your heart out.  Pictures showing people who were absent when the picture was taken is disturbing and haunting – which is why The Stranger by Allison Maruska is a freaky little tale.  The Willow Tree by Robbie Cheadle is dark and twisted, but what makes it even more frightening is that it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.  It’s easy to imagine hearing about something like this in the news.

Dark Visions offers a nice variety of stories that may have you looking over your shoulder and double-checking the locks on your doors.

I received an ARC from one of the authors.

 

 

The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone #bookreview #horror #scifi

After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.

I read The Hatching series by this author, which I enjoyed, and after seeing the cover of this one – I needed it immediately.  And AI books fascinate me.

After reading this, you may think twice about having a smart home.  The thought of a computer program becoming sentient and deciding independently to control the lives of its creators is freaky scary.  It made me think about how my Alexa speaks at random times – even when no one is in the room with her.  Nellie is dark and dangerous – and she really shines the last 20% of the book during some intense situations – but I wish she would have gotten more page time.  It’s mentioned in the blurb that Shawn, Billy, and Emily had a love triangle back in college, but the drama surrounding that and flashbacks from their respective pasts make up a larger portion of this story.

Not that the plot of The Mansion is anything like The Shining but, being a King fan, I noticed some parallels – a secluded mansion/resort in the middle of winter, an alcoholic sleeping very little and consumed with his work, a character named Wendy, and young creepy sisters – but these are twins with an unusual connection, not ghosts.

I wouldn’t classify this book as horror scary, but more disturbing and unnerving.  It’s a long read at over 400 pages, and contains a good bit of repetition which can be difficult to get past, but I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to both sci-fi and horror fans.  With this being an ARC, the word count may change before publication.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

 

 

#BadMoonRising: Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery by Steve Stred #horror #occult #giveaway

The winner of an ebook of Frostbitten is Hugh Roberts!  Congrats to Hugh and thanks to all who commented to enter.

Happy Halloween, and welcome to the last day of Bad Moon Rising!  As a treat (I promise it’s not a trick), today’s author will give away an e-book copy of his book to a random commenter determined by random.org.  We end this fourth year of Bad Moon with yet another testimony about evil Ouija boards.  If any of you kids (or adults) are thinking about picking one up, just read these interviews, and I promise you’ll rethink that decision.  Welcome Steve Stred!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I am both the final person but also the comic relief. I am a pretty sarcastic person and I spend a lot of time making little comments and quips.  Just ask my family.  I find them hilarious at least!  I would also do whatever it took to live.  So last man standing.  I can always entertain myself.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

100% I would not want to meet werewolves. Other than fog, nothing scares me more in the world than werewolves.  If a werewolf was stalking me through a foggy alley, even worse.  I mean vampires are scary and sure ghosts and zombies suck in general but werewolves are freaking werewolves.  Giant wolf-men/women who want to rip you apart and can run really fast, jump really far and are really strong.  And your only defense is hoping you have silver or silver bullets around?  Not a chance.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

I actually have. I won’t get into too many details as I don’t want anyone identified who was there and who wouldn’t want this experience shared, but a group of us played with a Ouija board.  I was laying on my stomach, on the couch, half playing around, half admiring someone, when something happened in the room.  I was pinned to the couch by a really strong force and began to cry uncontrollably.  Incredibly unsettling and weird experience that I can’t explain.  I was in my early teens when it happened.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I develop my plot/characters through my draft process. I typically have a fully thought out short story/novella/novel which I then point form on a word doc.  A lot of my stuff I write my first draft using the old trusty pen and paper approach.  Then I transfer to the computer and evolve as I go.  Ultimately I usually have thought about it so many times that it is just regurgitating what is in my brain to the paper.  I will normally have the title worked out when I start writing and I very rarely change the title once I get going.  I will get some feedback from my beta readers and street team and adapt as needed.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love spending time with my wife, my son and our dog. My son recently turned 2 so it’s a very exciting time filled with many tests of patience and frustrations ha-ha!  So it’s amazing watching him grow and develop.  I also spend a lot of time reading both with my son but also on my kindle.  I was a staunch advocate of physical books for many years, but since our son arrived the only way I can read is on my kindle so I have softened my beliefs.  It fills me with so much joy that he loves books so much, so I hope one day (even if he doesn’t like what I write) he is proud that I have books released.

What are you working on now?

I am always working on a bajillion things! Currently working on my second full length novel The Stranger, as well as a third novel, untitled as of now.  I am also working on my third collection of short stories, tentatively called The Night Crept In.  I have a neat compilation/novella on the go with two other writers, which I hope will see the light of day, two more of my own novellas, and another novella with another writer.  And to top it all off, I write kids-action adventure on the side for my nieces and nephews, so will be releasing some more of those things.  I haven’t officially announced it yet, but those will now be released under a pen name to reduce any confusion for readers.

Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery repackages Author Steve Stred’s first two releases, here for you, in one easy to digest offering.  Taking his first short story (For Balder Walks) and his first short story anthology (The Fence: and Other Sordid Tales), and combining them, Steve has delivered a devastating mix of styles to truly work its way into your psyche.

12 Hymns of Misery is built in a similar manner to your favourite music album.

From the intricate, haunting openers of For Balder Walks and Jim, to the bridge section of creepy, action filled stories such as The Fence and Time Out Noose, coming-of-age tales like Edge of the Woods and Virtues of the Beast, culminating with the crescendo of the tortured closers; Old Man and the Alley, the reader will find themselves transported to a dozen nightmare filled landscapes, all sure to haunt the reader for years to come.

“Edge of the Woods is a dark little coming-of-age tale, bringing me right back to my childhood days on the playground.  Just the right amount of creepy, this one will leave you wanting more!”

Justin M. Woodward, Author of TAMER ANIMALS & Candy

“Time Out Noose is DAMN good!”

J.Z. Foster, Author of The Wicked Ones & Mind Wreck

Buy Link

https://www.amazon.com/Frostbitten-Hymns-Misery-Steve-Stred-ebook/dp/B07GLBGWPT/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1536870670&sr=8-6&keywords=steve+stred

Author Bio

Steve Stred is an up-an-coming Dark Horror author.  Steve is the author of the novel Invisible, the novellas Wagon Buddy, Yuri and Jane: the 816 Chronicles and two collections of short stories; Frostbitten: 12 Hymns of Misery and Left Hand Path: 13 More Tales of Black Magick.

Steve also has a number of works on the go and enjoys all this horror, occult, supernatural and paranormal.

Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog Oj.

Social Media

Website: stevestredauthor.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/stevestredauthor
Instagram: /stevestred
Twitter: twitter.com/stevestred

#BadMoonRising: On Satan’s Island by Douglas Knight #horror #occult

If being shipwrecked on an island with Satan worshipers is your worst nightmare (or maybe it is now, after reading this), you’re in the right place – today’s featured author will let you know how that scenario plays out in his book, On Satan’s Island.  He also stands with the majority of us:  Ouija boards = bad ju ju.  Welcome Douglas Knight!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

 I am probably the comic relief. Not purposely, I just come by it naturally.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

I think I could fend off a zombie. I might tolerate being a werewolf running free and breezy through dark alleys. “I’m not afraid of no ghosts.” Living forever as undead has definite draw backs, so I chose vampire as least want to meet.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

Yes, back in grade school, but it was so eerie and strange, I vowed never to do it, again.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I begin with character development by determining their major goals in life and what interesting conflicts and obstacles may deter or alter those goals. I also try to develop the characters with physical characteristics, back stories, and beliefs. The original plot is constructed along the lines of a three act play. I like to create major episodes first and then complete the rest of the storyline. Many of my stories also include research into cultural idealogical, and geographical influences affecting characters and plot.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

I believe a writer needs to have a love for words. A writer benefits by reading other works. I think another good tool for a writer is to be a people watcher and a good listener. It helps to be an excellent critical thinker and open to others arguments and conclusions.

What are you working on now?

I have several things started, but have decided to focus on a novel about people in the music and movie business. I have several thousand words written about a police adventure. I spent several hours mapping out a follow up to On Satan’s Island.


Ivy Davis’ special Australian honeymoon becomes a horror when she, her husband, and a Tongan acquaintance survive shipwreck on an exotic uncharted island possessed by Satan worshipers. Among their many perilous ordeals is the decision of how much to trust Bobbi, a strange, mystical female who offers to help them escape the demonic forces of the island and return to civilization.

Purchase Link

Amazon

Author Bio

Doug Knight has published three contemporary fiction novels, A River Bend, Through the Valley of the Shadow, and On Satan’s Island. His novels contain adventure, romance, suspense and a study of the challenges of this life’s journey.

Doug Knight tries not to think for the reader but wants his readers to form their own conclusions about meaning and purpose and character motives.

All three novels can be found on Amazon and Kindle. You can learn more about Doug Knight and his books on Amazon. He also has a blog page at kingservant.com, a Doug Knight Author page, and a Twitter site @dugnmis.

 

#BadMoonRising: Visions by K. Matt #horror #urbanfantasy

It’s Monday….but to brighten up your day, I present you with K. Matt!  She makes a darn good argument for why it’s in your best interest to travel with a close combat weapon and some silver.  Garlic doesn’t hurt either – well, not the humans, anyway.

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I’m probably the killer. That gives me the highest probability of making it through to the end.

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

A ghost. One can be held at bay with garlic or a stake (or in some cases, silver), another has the whole silver weakness, and the last one can be taken out with  sufficient head trauma.

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do?

I go for the ginormous Sherlock Holmes book and grab a utility knife or two…possibly an X-Acto knife. But I will not engage unless the door to my room opens. In which case, I have every intention of defending myself.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Description! That always trips me up.

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Well, I’m usually drawing while I’m writing. So things can get pretty chaotic. Wake up, dive into it, try to keep focused, inevitably get distracted, get back to work, work long into the night… And yes, there are points where I’ll eat.

What are you working on now?

All sorts of things! I’m working on the 3rd story arc of my book series, a prequel, I want to create a coloring book for my series (though I may have gotten that at least sketched by the time this is posted)…

Dr. Spencer Abbot has been searching for the ideal anniversary gift for his wife. When he and his friend Travis meet a woman that claims she can help, they accept.

The pair are led to Visions Studios. But instead of the boudoirs photos they’d intended to get, they stumble upon something far more sinister: snuff films.

Before long, it’s up to Travis to resolve their situation, no matter what tries tog et in his way.

This first installment of the Hell Bent series blends urban fantasy, sci-fi, horror, a bit of humor, and plenty of action.

Buy Links:

Visions: https://www.amazon.com/Visions-Hell-Bent-Book-1-ebook/dp/B010YG2MMI/

Retribution: https://www.amazon.com/Retribution-Hell-Bent-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01387TIEU/

Destruction: https://www.amazon.com/Destruction-Hell-Bent-Book-3-ebook/dp/B0186GZ220/

Deception: https://www.amazon.com/Deception-Hell-Bent-Book-4-ebook/dp/B01LTASC36/

Apparition: https://www.amazon.com/Apparition-Hell-Bent-Book-5-ebook/dp/B072Q1WSGP/

Obsession: https://www.amazon.com/Obsession-Hell-Bent-Book-6-ebook/dp/B078R61NKR/

Protection: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7LCD5B

 

Author Bio

K. Matt is both an author and illustrator, who feels just plain wrong without at least ten projects going at the same time. Caffeine is her lifeblood. When not writing or drawing, she spends time with her dog.

 

 

 

Social Media

https://www.facebook.com/HellBentBookSeries
https://www.facebook.com/TravisHalfMonkey
https://www.patreon.com/KMattIllustration
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00U5GLUNU
https://www.bookbub.com/profile/k-matt
https://kaylamatt.wordpress.com
https://www.goodreads.com/KMatt_HellBent

#BadMoonRising: Mind-Shaft: A Paranormal Anthology by S. Burke #paranormal #horror

Today’s author shares her collection of paranormal short stories focusing on horror, romance, and suspense – something for everyone!  And she may or may not have stayed in a haunted hotel.  Welcome Suzanne Burke!

My grateful thanks to Teri Polen. I’m so delighted to be featured here today. It’s an honor to appear with the wonderfully talented authors taking part in this exciting tour.

Creepiest thing that’s ever happened while you were alone?

I still get a little spooked just thinking about this. My daughter and I had checked into a hotel on the outskirts of the small country town where we planned on relocating. She planned on catching up with friends in the area, and I looked forward to an early night. She’d headed off, and I enjoyed take-out Pizza and watched a vaguely entertaining comedy on T.V. I headed to bed and snuggled down for sleep. The sound of the television woke me. I figured my daughter had arrived home, and I was more relaxed and content in knowing that she was safe for the evening.

The television volume increased and I recall feeling surprised. My daughter is normally so considerate of other people. I finally gave up on sleeping and walked out to the only other room to ask her to turn down the sound. She wasn’t there. I looked at the television and grunted, a little surprised and annoyed with myself. I’m one of those people that makes certain all the power points are switched off before retiring for the night. Obviously, I’d missed one. I walked across to the tv and found it was indeed switched off from its only power source. I have no explanation that makes any sense to me at all. Suffice it to say I spent the next few hours sitting and watching the door. We checked out first thing next morning.

You’re home alone, but you hear footsteps in your house–what do you do?

Ah …good ol’ fight or flight? Well for starters I don’t call out in a shaky voice “Who is it?” Can you imagine the reaction if a voice that sounded vaguely like Darth Vader responded with an evil cackle, “I’m your immediate future.” Eeek! Seriously? Then of course, if I were a character in one of my books I’d go all Lara Croft on that intruder’s ass. In the real world, I would likely drop and roll under the bed and dial 911. Or Ghost Busters  … I do love those uniforms.

Are you superstitious?

My initial response would be, “Who me? No.” But if you ask me that question again on a Friday the 13th that happens to fall on a full moon … during a solstice … and I’m standing under a ladder stroking a black cat you’ll likely get a completely different response.

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I needed to think about this. I’ve never really looked at what schedule I keep. I’ve discovered that I don’t really have one. I’m disabled and can no longer work outside my home, and that hands me the luxury of time. Apart from regular meal breaks and the few hours of catch up time I spend with my daughter and grandson each day, I have the wonderful freedom of writing when and as the muse directs me. I can be found sitting up all night when a character grabs me and holds me hostage. I sleep very little but do tend to crash and burn when I ignore the warning signs and find myself needing to sleep for twenty-four hours straight.  Chaos anyone?

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I read voraciously. I like stretching my comfort zone and exploring genres and authors that are new to me. It’s so exciting when you read something truly memorable. I wind down by listening to music and enjoy watching a myriad of shows on Netflix.

What are you working on now?

I have just (yesterday) completed the 1st (Unedited) draft of my new book. This one is a full-length thriller  with the working title of “Whatever It Takes.” Set in Hollywood. Here’s a sneak peek at the book blurb.

James Kincaid had it all.

He’d made it the ‘A’ list in a town that prized and idolized winners above all else.

Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying by anything other than natural causes.

He couldn’t move on with the dream without knowing why.

Andi O’Connor was the woman he’d hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.

Could this disenchanted, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of a serial killer’s insanity?

MIND-SHAFT BLURB.

An Anthology of Paranormal short stories. Horror, Romance, and terrifying Suspense.

Sisterly Love. … Paranormal Horror. After the tragic murder/suicide of her parents, Pippa, at just Nineteen-years of age, finds herself taking on the full responsibility for raising her fifteen-year-old sister, Emma. Emma is … more than just a little different. The body count is increasing. Nothing and no one is as they seem.

Halloween Homecoming … A Halloween party is the perfect venue for serving justice on the menu. Leighton Caulfield and his Lawyer are about to get their just desserts. In a way that nobody is prepared for.

A Place So Cold … Children are missing! Time is running out. Can the stranger from Australia lead the rescuers to them in time?

Spin! …Doctor Cameron Christopher is concerned that his patient Holly Daniels is caught in a downward spiral into complex Dissociative Disorder. Using Hypnotherapy he takes her back to explore when the nightmares began. Nothing in his experience as a Psychiatrist prepared him for what lay dormant … and waiting.

The Director’s Cut … A Paranormal Romance beyond time. Award-winning Director, Christopher Manning is searching for far more than a location for his next blockbuster. The emptiness that has permeated his entire life is crying out for resolution. Join him as he seeks the answers.

Mind-Shaft … Victoria Denton served revenge swiftly and without mercy. Her future happiness seems assured. If only the past would remain where it should.

AUTHOR BIO:

Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of-miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.

Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.

Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.

Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.

SOCIAL MEDIA & BUY LINKS:

Author BLOG:
https://sooozburkeauthor.com/

TWITTER
@pursoot

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/StaceyandSuzie

Amazon Author Page”
https://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Burke/e/B01G3JUXVW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

PURCHASE MIND-SHAFT

Amazon