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From the Description
 
From an oddities shop looking to expand their macabre collection, to a back roads bridge with a horrifying past, Let There Be Dark is a collection of eight sinister stories full of ghostly phantoms, savage beasts, and the most frightening creature of all: humans. This first horror collection from the author of the best-selling novel, Bone White, thrusts you beyond the fringe and reminds us why we should all fear the dark…
 
 
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Publisher: Hydra Publications
Publication Length: 180 pages
 
 

 
I received a copy of this book as part of the publicity tour hosted by the always fabulouse Erin Al-Mehairi at Oh, for the Hook of a Book . This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this collection. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. If you would like to review Let There Be Dark or feature Tim with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.
 
 
Let There Be Dark is a very unusual collection. What's so odd about it you may ask,,, It's one of the few collections I've read this year that I can say ALL of the stories are fantastic. Not one bad or even slightly bruised apple in the bunch! From the horrific sacrifice in Pigs to the chilling ghost haunting The Bridge there is something in this collection that will make anyone's skin crawl. My favorite stories would have to be, (It was hard to narrow this down to just two!), Growing Cold Together which has a creature I hadn't encountered since my days at summer camp and was thrilled to come across within these pages, and The Company You Keep which features my favorite of all the monsters out there, you'll have to read it to find out which one. These are fast paced gems that kept me swiping the pages until the very end. I can't wait to get my hands on more tales from Tim McWhorter! A perfect Halloween read, 5 stars.
 

 
Buy the Book
Amazon        Barnes & Noble

About the Author
 
 
 
Tim McWhorter was born under a waning crescent moon, and while he has no idea what the significance is, he thinks it sounds really cool to say. A graduate of Otterbein College, he is the author of the horror-thrillers, Shadows Remain, Bone White, its sequel, Blackened, and Let There Be Dark. He lives just outside of Columbus, OH, with his wife, a dwindling number of children and a few obligatory "family" pets that have somehow become solely his responsibility. He is currently hard at work on one of several ongoing projects and relies on interaction with readers for those much-needed breaks…
 
 

Praise
 
 

"Crafting creepy thrillers in the vein of Tim Waggoner and Dean Koontz, Tim McWhorter doesn’t disappoint." – Brian Keene, author of The Complex and The Rising
"[A]n intelligent thrill ride ... a love letter to slasher stories." – David J. Sharp, Horror Underground
"Bone White stands tall in the horror field. McWhorter is an author to watch." - C. Bryan Brown, author of They Are Among Us
"McWhorter reaches deep inside us to find our darkest fears then brings them to life on the page. He makes the things that go bump in the night afraid." - Tony Acree, author of The Hand of God
"McWhorter is a very capable writer with an engaging style." - Ed Gosney, author of Prometheus Stumbles
 
 

 
 
And now as a special Halloween treat read on for my interview with Tim McWhorter,,,,
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
 
 
 
I currently live in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, but hope to one day make my home where six-month winters don’t exist. I started writing later in life, and even then, pretty much only wrote for myself. A few years ago, with the encouragement of fellow authors, I started taking this writing thing more seriously. I now have six books out through various publishers.
 
 
 

2. What do you do when you’re not writing (day job)?
 
Fortunately, I do have a day job, so my family doesn’t have to resort to cannibalism to survive. One would hope there are other reasons keeping them from it, but one can never be too sure. From 8-5, Monday through Friday, I design molds and dies for an industrial ceramic manufacturer.
 
 
3. How long have you been writing?
 
I’ve been creating with words since high school in the mid 80s, cutting my teeth on really bad song lyrics that even the cheesiest of the spandex-wearing hair bands would feel were beneath them. As I got older, I played around with the short story concept to equally incompetent results. It wasn’t until much later when I went back to college as an adult that I learned how to churn out somewhat palatable work. That was about 2003. I self-published my first book, a novella titled Shadows Remain, in 2013.
 
 
4. Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
 
I’m not sure if any one writer or author inspired me to start writing. I’ve always been a lover of books, going back as far as I can remember. I didn’t have video games and smart phones and YouTube back then, and I thank God for it. I immersed myself in television and books. I think I consumed enough storytelling that, ultimately, I wanted to try telling my own stories.
 
 
5. What do you find most challenging and enjoyable as an author?
 
Easily the most challenging part of being a writer is getting my work in front of people. Broadening my readership. A recent reviewer of my latest book asked how she had never heard of me before. And my response would be, "I know, right? I’m trying!" The writing process itself is the easy part, and the part I love most. Simply creating characters and fleshed-out stories from mere fleeting thoughts. That’s magic and exciting as hell. I even enjoy the editing phase. As long as I’m moving forward with a project, I’m in a good place.
 
 
6. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
 
The words seem to flow more fluidly when I write either outdoors, or in front of a large window where I can see the outdoors. I’m not sure why, but nature has not only a quieting effect on me, but an inspiring one. Even a simple drive in the country gets me in the mood to write.
 
 
7. What kind of hobbies do you enjoy in your free time?
 
I’ve dabbled with many hobbies through the years, but the two constants have been travelling and movies. I really enjoy getting away from home and seeing places I don’t see every day. I get excited even for a day trip somewhere new, hitting wineries with my wife. At least I’m out and about. And when I can’t be out and about, I like to turn off the lights, draw the curtains and start a movie. Home theater systems were invented for people like me.
 
 
8. What is your favorite book? Movie? TV show?
 
Favorite movie would be Legends of the Fall. It’s so heartbreaking. Jaws comes in a very close second. I’ve loved too many books over the years to pick an absolute favorite, but one of them would be Nathaniel by John Saul. It’s the book that hooked me on horror. Television has really upped its game in recent years, making it difficult to choose a favorite. Netflix’s Hell on Wheels, The Killing and Broadchurch are a few. Big Bang Theory is probably my network favorite.
 
 
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
 
Just write. Keep writing and then write some more. It’s the only way to get better. A golfer doesn’t improve his or her swing by not hitting more balls. Even flash fiction or blog posts will help hone your skills. And don’t listen to the naysayers. You can do this.
 
 
10. Can you tell us about any of your new work? Future work?
 
I recently saw the release of my first collection of horror short stories, Let There Be Dark. It contains a little bit of everything, from the paranormal to creatures to human beings with more than one screw loose. It’s getting pretty good reviews, so it apparently doesn’t suck. That’s always a fear. My current work in progress takes place in an old, yet refurbished theater that may or may not be haunted. It’s probably 90% complete, so I hope to be shopping it around next year.
 
 
11. If you weren’t a writer, what would you do for a living?
 
Since I’m so far removed from writing for a living, I would probably do what I do now—design things. Right now, it’s tooling for a ceramic manufacturer, but I’ve also designed all of my own book covers. I really enjoy it. If I could make a living creating book covers for others, I would.
 
 
12. What scares you?
 
I had a Christian upbringing. And while I don’t practice it as much as I did then, books or movies with religious (or more so, sacrilegious) undertones still unnerve me like no other. Ghosts don’t bother me. Werewolves, zombies nor vampires. But, tell me a story where a priest is confronting a demon, or a young girl is screwing around with a Ouija board, that affects my heartrate.
 
 
13. What question do you wish someone would ask and what is the answer?
 
"Who is Tim McWhorter and is he any good?" The answer is, "Hell yes, and you should give him a try."

 
14. Where can fans stalk you online?
 
 
Feel free to check out my website, www.timmcwhorter.com or my Amazon or GoodReads pages, especially if they’d like to leave a review. Facebook, Twitter and email (tm5to1@live.com) are the best ways to reach out and personally tell me how much you love my work. LOL Readers can also use those portals to tell me how much I suck, but I don’t respond to those messages nearly as quickly.
 

 

 


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From the Description
 
He belonged in Hell, but lived next door!
A modern day ghost story of creeping dread...
While struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, single mother Sophie Harrington is tormented by a man from her past: her old neighbor Ronnie Cribbins.
Cribbins has been dead for the past fifteen years and Sophie is faced with the possibility that his malevolent spirit could be the cause of her autoimmunity, because she can feel him attacking her senses from within.
Enlisting the help of her new neighbor Piotr Kamiński, a troubled, younger man, with a dark past of his own, Sophie must look to her childhood in order to expose a secret she hadn’t realized she’d kept hidden. Because if she doesn’t recognize the truth, she, along with her eleven-year-old daughter, will be sucked into Cribbins’ cold, black, stinking world forever.
And in Cribbins’ world there’s no medication – just pain and sickness.
 
Publication Date: June 1, 2018
Publisher: Corvus Corone Press
Publication Length: 264 pages
 
I received a copy of this book as part of the Cribbins’ Blog Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
 
Cribbins is an eerie and very disturbing ghost story. Any parent knows the fears of not being able to keep your child safe. Anyone with health issues can tell you how frightening they can be. R.H. Dixon takes these fears to a whole other level by adding in a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Sophie is a realistic and sympathetic character to follow as she deals with a devastating illness, worry for her little girl, and navigating her attraction to a man who has as many secrets as she’s repressing. Cribbins, both the character and the book, made my skin crawl. As a person, he’s the kind that makes you feel like you need a shower to wash the slime off just by talking to him. As a ghost he is pure evil. A suspenseful and gripping 4 star read.
 
Buy the Book
 
 
About the Author
 

   

R. H. Dixon is a horror enthusiast who, when not escaping into the fantastical realms of fiction, lives in the northeast of England with her husband and two whippets.
When reading and writing she enjoys exploring the darknesses and weaknesses within the human psyche, and she loves good strong characters that are flawed and put through their paces.
Her favorite authors include: Shirley Jackson, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Joe Hill, Ramsey Campbell and Stephen King.
When not reading and writing, she enjoys travelling (particularly wildlife-spotting jaunts involving bears, wolves and corvids), collecting animal skulls and drinking honey-flavored Jack Daniels.
You can find out more by checking out her Website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads
 
Praise
 
Human and ghostly monsters terrify in R. H. Dixon's Cribbins, a well-written and effective novel of repressed memory and psychological torment.  - Review by Morbidly Beautiful
 
A novel of subtle, creeping-in-on-cat-feet, psychological and supernatural horror, as only the British can manage. This novel reminded me of Henry James' "Turn of the Screw," of the supernatural novels of Shani Struthers, and of the crime noir of Rachel Abbott.  - Review by The Haunted Reading Room
 
It was full of tension and suspense which enabled me to read it in one sitting. There was times that I was holding my breath wondering what would happen to Sophie when Cribbins visited her.  - Review by Terror-Tree
 
Dixon does a great job getting the reader into Sophie's mind! The characterization here is so complete that I not only felt I knew her, but also believed-immediately-that the feelings and ideas invading her mind were real. This novel really gets to the reader, psychologically, forcing you to think along unfamiliar lines. I found this to be an exciting new take on the way someone could be haunted.  Dixon did an excellent job of maintaining the suspense throughout the entire novel, and of weaving in little snippets of the past to keep the reader constantly thinking about how everything would end up connecting in the big picture.  The book captivated my attention from beginning to end, taking me mentally to places I would have never wished to go. Highly recommended.  - Review by Horror After Dark


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My review today is going to be a little different from the normal review you find here at Horror Maiden’s. That’s because instead of a novel or anthology today we’ll be talking about a new sampler available from Alien Agenda Publishing. The stories collected in this short book are a small taste of the wonderful tales that will be coming soon from this new publishing house. I have to say I can’t wait to get my hands on these upcoming books! The authors you’ll find in these pages know how to grab you and keep you flying through the pages,,, and leave you wanting more! Authors like Somer Canon, Michelle Garza & Melissa Lason, Mick Ridgewell, Glenn Rolfe, and David Bernstein. I’ve been lucky enough to read and review a few of the books from Alien Agenda. If you haven’t read them yet you are in for a treat. Especially with The Beast of Brenton Woods by Jackson R. Thomas, Land of Bones by Glenn Rolfe, and the upcoming novella The Skinner by David Bernstein. After the stories there is a fascinating round table interview with the authors as well as sample chapters from a few of the books. This is a tasty treat for horror fans and a great introduction to Alien Agenda Publishing. Highly recommended!
 
Don’t forget to check out the Alien Agenda Publishing website for more info!
 
Buy the Sampler
 

Amazon        Barnes& Noble
 
You can find my review HERE
You can find my review HERE
You can find my review HERE
 


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From the Description
 
These woods are dark and full of monsters…
 
In 1991, hell was unleashed upon Saint Christopher’s Summer Camp for Kids. The killers left behind piles of bodies and rivers of blood. Some say a family of inbred cannibals was responsible. A masked psychopath with a butcher's knife is another popular theory. Some still believe a camp counselor lost his mind and went crazy on everyone with an axe. But there’s also the mysterious, derelict factory that sits nearby, atop Kill Hill. A place where urban legends are manufactured, the grotesque and bizarre.
Twenty-five years later, the factory on Kill Hill is still said to be operational, but no one can get near it. It’s safely guarded along with the secrets within. But there are a few loose strings and hitman Frank Harmon has been sent to tie them up. His kill list is short, but the night is long and full of unspeakable horrors. With the help of a few college students on an impromptu camping adventure, Frank must contain the mess at Kill Hill before it spreads to the neighboring towns. Before it infects the entire country. Before it invades the entire world.
From the fantastical, high-octane mind of Tim Meyer, author of Sharkwater Beach and In the House of Mirrors, comes his most frightening tale yet! Summer camp this year is at your own risk.
 
Publication Date: July 15, 2018
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Length: 286 pages
 
I received a copy of this book as part of the Kill Hill Carnage Publicity Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. Follow along this tour with the hashtags: #KillHillCarnage If you would like to review Kill Hill Carnage or feature Tim with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com
 
 

Kill Hill Carnage is a rip-roaring run through a monster infested forest that will have you laughing maniacally from sheer joy. Take one part Island of Dr. Moreau and add it to one part Lovecraft shake liberally and strain it through a nightmare to find the creatures that haunt the woods around Camp Christopher and the not so abandoned factory. The characters fall into two camps,,, Those you want to see make it out alive, and those you hope meet a gloriously gruesome fate. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out who made it out alive in this splatter filled tale. A throwback to old-school horror this book is a thrilling and fun gorefest that I would recommend to horror fans everywhere. A solid 4.5 star read.
 
 
Buy the Book
 
Amazon      Barnes&Noble
 
About the Author
 
 

Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, or his Blog
 
 
Praise
 
“IN THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS is a great book! The sky is the limit for Tim Meyer.”  – Cedar Hollow Reviews
 
"Meyer kills it with his action scenes, his gore, and does a great job with a number of these characters."  - Glenn Rolfe, author of Blood and Rain and Becoming
 
"Author Tim Meyer really knows how to delve deep into his characters..."  - The Haunted Reading Room
 
"I highly recommend… to anyone wanting an engaging, bloody, fun story."  - Jeremy Hepler, author of The Boulevard Monster

 

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From the Description
 
Wherever you run…he’s waiting for you!
 
Scott Randall is a corporate VP on top of the world. To celebrate a massive new deal, he’s going to drive from Detroit to LA. But before he leaves, he makes a bad mistake. He cruelly dismisses a homeless panhandler on the street. Along the road, he swears he sees the panhandler again.
 
Then again.
 
And again.
 
 
Soon he sees the man—who calls himself the Nightcrawler—even in his dreams. No matter how frantically he tries, Scott can’t escape his relentless pursuer. He thought he was going to LA. But the Nightcrawler has a very different destination in mind.


 
Publication Date: July 6, 2018

Publisher: Alien Agenda Publishing

Publication Length: 264 pages

 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.

 

The Nightcrawler is an odd little book. It starts off slowly and had me wondering where it was going. I have to say that I didn’t like Scott. He was an asshat of the highest order which made it harder to get into this book than it should have been. On the flip side I was really enjoying the story of Roger and his road trip from Vermont to the Grand Canyon, which kept me reading. I’m so glad it did! While this story doesn’t have the blood and gore I usually look for in a horror novel the supernatural elements along with Roger’s dreams of his death and his sister, plus the strange acting birds and worms give this novel an eerie atmosphere that I thoroughly enjoyed. The ending is entirely satisfying, tying everything up in one spooky package. A highly recommended 4 star read.


 
 
 

Proudly brought to you by Alien Agenda Publishing as part our #SummerofHorror series.
Grab your copy here: THENIGHTCRAWLER
Visit the Alien Agenda Publishing website for more on our books and authors: AAP
Or find us on Twitter @Alien_Pub
 
About the Author
 

 
Mick Ridgewell grew up watching Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. These interests were not quite understood by his mechanic/athlete father and homemaker mother, but neither were they discouraged.
 
More recently Mick’s downtime has been filled with the likes of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Richard Matheson. With idle hours spent in this company it should be easy to see how he came to be a horror writer.
 
When not at his day job, or spending time with his family, Mick can be found reading or writing something that is intended to make the readers skin crawl.
 
Mick can be found on Facebookand Twitter, or you can send him an email mickridgewell@yahoo.ca
 
Praise
 
“The Nightcrawler is a hellish cross country trek to the darkness of man's soul.” – Hunter Shea, author of CREATURE and WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING
 
“Eerie, dark, and mysterious, Ridgewell’s focus is on character and story instead of the blood and gore. The Nightcrawler is an atmospheric, spook-fest of eerie scares.” – David Bernstein, author SKINNER and GOBLINS


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From the Description

(12 Gauge) Songs from A Street Sweeper includes three white-knuckled novellas.

Spinner

A prison escapee leads law enforcement on a chase through the Adirondack Mountains, where they encounter a reclusive elderly man with a dark secret.

 

H/armed

An ultra-violent satirical commentary on societal norms, cliques, and obedience.

 

The Deceived

A criminal pair invade the home of the wrong man on the wrong day.

 

Publication Date: July 1, 2018

Publisher: Sinister Grin Press

Publication Length: 282 pages

 

I received a copy of this book as part of the 12 Gauge: Songs From A Street Sweeper Blog Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review. If you would like to review 12 Gauge: Songs From A Street Sweeper or feature Dustin with an interview or guest article for a media publication, blog, or author blurb, please e-mail Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com


 

  

12 Gauge: Songs From A Street Sweeper is a collection of three novellas that are filled with gruesome action, some WTF moments, and a few chuckles if your sense of humor is as warped as mine is. You won’t find any supernatural monsters within these pages but the ones of the human variety do just fine. Spinner is a gorefest worthy of any splatterpunk fan. Most of the WTF moments came with this story. If you take one part Lord of the Flies mix it with one part Battle Royale and film the whole thing as a reality TV show you get H/armed. This one was tons of fun! Two would-be thieves find out that sometimes the owner of the house you plan on robbing is a bigger bad guy than you ever dreamed of being. These novellas are gory, and brutal so faint hearted reader beware, but for my fellow gore-hounds and lovers of all things disturbing this is a fantastic 4.5 star read.

 

 

Buy the Book

 


 

About the Author

 

   


Dustin LaValley was unable to attend the black-tie gala to receive the SUNY Parnassus Award for Creative Writing, as he had a fight in New Hampshire the same night, where he brought home gold. He's had several books published, and as a screenwriter several scripts produced. His psychological thriller novella The Deceived, has been optioned for film.

 

He lives in the Adirondacks of New York, where he's a practicing Sensei of Seito Shito Ryu karate and Okinawan jujutsu.

 

Follow Dustin LaValley on his WEBSITE and on Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads

 

Praise

 

"Spinner is a thriller, a horror story, and an adventure narrative. It's also a lot of fast, bloody, violent fun." --Gabino Iglesias, Horror Talk

 

"LaValley creates a non-stop, adrenaline ride of violence and mayhem, in a setting Americans know all so well. H/armed is a bloody, relentless and visceral assault on the senses. Wickedly entertaining." --Paul Hough, writer/director of “The Human Race”

 

"The Deceived is equal parts thrilling, creepy, and downright brutal. A wonderful tale." --Ronald Malfi, author of Floating Staircase



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From the Description
 
Michael Turcotte wants nothing to do with his so-called gift—the ability to see other people’s fates simply by touching them. Michael decides to spend his summer searching for answers about his past. He can’t rest without the sounds of forgotten tragedy echoing through his dreams, but reconstructing his memories will come with a whole new set of problems even he can’t foresee.
Detective Samantha Reilly has always looked out for Michael, but now that she’s taken him into her home, she fears her maternal instincts are lacking. When a brutal gang sets off a chain reaction of crimes, Sam struggles to choose between the two most important things in her life: her job and her new foster son. Fate intervenes when Michael is kidnapped, forcing her two roles to collide.
As Michael’s past meets Sam’s present, their bond will be tested while a city crumbles around them. They’ll need all their skills and a lot of luck in order to survive.
 
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Publication Length: 256 pages
 
 

  
I received a copy of this book as part of the Hearing Evil Blog Tour for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
 
Hearing Evil, book 2 in the Cycle of Evil series, is a fantastic follow up to Seeing Evil. Jason Parent books are always fun but this series keeps me glued to the pages. Sam and Michael feel like real people, people who you’ve come to know and care about. Sam has become Michael’s guardian and my heart broke for both of them as they struggle to define the place they hold both in each other’s lives and hearts. To complicate matters, Michael is struggling to live with his psychic abilities, and just wanting to be like everyone else. When he meets someone who offers answers he jumps at the chance, landing in more danger than he realizes. Sam must fight to stop a ruthless gang of prisoners who have escaped prison and now plan on getting revenge on her and taking out as many people as they can. Fast paced and full of suspense this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. A highly recommended 5 star read.
 
Buy the Book
 
 
 
About the Author
 
 
 
Jason Parent is an author of horror, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction and dark humor, though his many novels, novellas, and short stories tend to blur the boundaries between these genres.
From his EPIC and eFestival Independent Book Award finalist first novel, What Hides Within, to his widely applauded police procedural/supernatural thriller, Seeing Evil, Jason’s work has won him praise from both critics and fans of diverse genres alike. His work has been compared to that of some of his personal favorite authors, such as Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Tess Gerritsen, and Joe Hill.
Jason grew up near Fall River, Massachusetts, the setting for several of his novels. He has lived in New England most his life, currently residing in Rhode Island.
You can follow Jason on his Website, Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads
 
Praise
 
If you have not read Jason Parent, do yourself a huge favor and indulge. You will not be sorry. -- F. Spinney
 
I like this author. He is one of my favorites. His writing style easily pulls you into the story, and his descriptions are disturbing because he never holds back, but that is what you expect from the best horror writers. -- Catherine – Writer
 
Jason Parent has a vast imagination, demonstrated in everything he writes.
-- The Haunted Reading Room
 
Major kudos to Mr. Parent - it's hard to do mystery, thriller, and horror all in one but he does it very well. -- Aaron Cross
 
Jason Parent is an author to watch. Closely. Seriously, don't take your eyes off him. -- Adam Light


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From the Description
 
Melville wakes with a pounding headache – there had been too many hangovers recently, but this one felt different. What had he been drinking last night? Then he remembered – it was blood.
Enter the bizarre world of Scouse Gothic where a reluctant vampire mourns a lost love and his past lives, where a retired ‘hit man’ plans one more killing and dreams of food, and a mother sets out to avenge her son’s murder, and, meanwhile, a grieving husband is visited by an angry angel.
Set in present day Liverpool, vampires and mortals co-exist, unaware of each other’s secrets and that their past and present are inextricably linked.
But as their lives converge, who will be expected to atone for past sins?
 
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher: YouCaxton Publications
Publication Length: 200 pages
 
I received a copy of this book as part of the Scouse Gothic blog tour. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
 
Scouse Gothic: The Pool of Life and Death is a character driven dark comedy/horror novel. In the pages of this novel we get to know Melville, a vampire who has fallen off the wagon and his new love interest, Sheryl. Frank, an irreverent angel who appears to Peter, a man grieving the loss of his wife. Latham is a hitman who has to solve the mystery of who double crossed him and why. Last but not least we have Catherine, a woman seeking revenge for the murder of her son. Every time I thought I figured out how these people where connected there was a new twist leading to an ending that left me wanting more. I loved traipsing through Liverpool with Melville, Franks explanation of organized religion had me laughing out loud, and Latham was kind of a badass. This is the first book in the Scouse Gothic series so I’ll be catching up with Melville and the other fascinating denizens of Liverpool soon. A funny and intriguing 4 star read.
 
·        To find out more about Scouse Gothic and Liverpool read Ian McKinney’s fascinating guest post HERE
 
Buy the Book
 
 
About the Author
 

   

Ian was born and bred in Liverpool, as were his parents, and has always been proud to call himself a ‘Scouser’.
Leaving the city in the late 1970’s to study at London University, when Liverpool was city in decline, with boarded up shops and high unemployment.
After qualifying he worked first in Essex and East London before settling in Shropshire with his wife and daughter. Although he often visited the city during the intervening years to visit family and friends, the visits were brief and it was only due to an unusual set of circumstances that he found himself living in the city for a few months.
During this time the idea for ‘SCOUSE GOTHIC’ was born. As he explored the modern city of Liverpool, so changed in the last forty years but also so unchanged in many ways from his childhood. He wondered how it would feel to someone who had known the city when it was in its prime, when it was the largest port in the Empire. However to be able to do that you’d have to be over two hundred years old…or a vampire.
Melville began life as a short story, as did Latham, Catherine and Frank. However as the short stories developed, so did the feeling that the city of Liverpool itself was as much a character as any of the others. The stories were rewritten to place all the characters in the same time and place, and to let them interrelate to one another. In some cases with fatal consequences.
Response to the first book ‘The Pool of Life…and Death’ was so positive that the characters were further explored in ‘Bloodbrothers..and Sisters’ and finally ‘All you need is...Blood.’

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Scouse Gothic is a book about a group of vampires and how their present and past lives are linked to the city of Liverpool. We may not be vampires or immortal, but many would be surprised to realise how our own family histories are also connected to the port.
 
Albert Dock and the Liverpool waterfront, world heritage sites
 
Liverpool was granted its Royal Charter in 1207, at the time it was a small port on the River Mersey trading mainly with Ireland. Very little would change for five hundred years until the world’s first ‘wet’ dock was built, and Liverpool was able to accept much larger vessels. These Ocean going ships enabled Liverpool to begin trading with the Americas, Africa and the Far East, and led directly to its dominance of the slave trade. At one point Liverpool’s merchants controlled 40% of the world’s slaving fleet. Very few slaves ever made it to Liverpool itself (although there are records of slaves occasionally being sold in the city) as it formed the hub of what was called the ‘Triangular trade’: goods from British factories were loaded onto ships and taken to Africa where they were exchanged for slaves; African slaves were transported across the Atlantic in those same ships to the Americas and exchanged for tobacco and sugar, which returned to Liverpool to be sold.
 
Albert Dock and the Liverpool waterfront, world heritage sites
 
With the abolition of slavery in Britain and its Empire, Liverpool had to find another source of income, it chose cotton. Once again, its merchants dominated the world market, and its cotton exchange set the price for raw cotton throughout the world. It was this reliance on cotton that caused Liverpool merchants to support the Confederate cause in the American Civil War. Although public opinion was openly Unionist, a small group of traders decided to help the Southern States. Confederate gold was smuggled across the Atlantic and used to purchase weapons in Liverpool. In fact, two of the most successful Confederate Raiders, CSS Alabama, and CSS Florida, were built secretly in the port. It is the construction of the Florida that forms part of the past life of my vampire, Melville.
 
The CSS Florida a Confederate warship built in Liverpool
 
During the rest of the 19th Century, Liverpool was responsible for transporting people looking for a new life to the US and the Empire. Most of the Irish fleeing the potato famine travelled through Liverpool, and many stayed in the city, giving it its distinctive accent. Most of the new immigrants to the US started their journey across the Atlantic from Liverpool, whether they were Irish, Italian or even Russian Jews fleeing persecution, all roads led to Liverpool.
 
 
The first American consulate in the UK was in this Liverpool building. Later a pub called the Eagle, and now a restaurant.
 
From the beginning of the 20th Century, immigration continued, but during both WW1 and WW2, troops from the US and Canada passed through the port on their way to fight in Europe. The convoy system which played such a pivotal role in the rearming and feeding Britain during WW2 was co-ordinated by the Royal Navy from a secret underground bunker in the city centre. Post war Liverpool has been most famous for the Beatles, but it has also been recognised as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, and the historic waterfront buildings, awarded World Heritage Status. Liverpool, like my vampires in Scouse Gothic is neither good nor bad, but also like them its past hides many dark secrets.
However unlikely it may seem, if you closely examined your family tree, you may find a connection to the city. If your forebears were slaves, they may have been transported on a ship from Liverpool. If they emigrated from Europe, they may have passed through Liverpool on their way to the US. If they served in either WW1 or WW2 they may have first landed in Britain at Liverpool Docks.
If you read the stories in the Scouse Gothic trilogy, you may find that you have a personal connection to the characters or can imagine that one of your ancestors may have known the city as my vampires once did.
Perhaps the history of Liverpool is not simply that of a port on the North-West coast of Britain, but the history of us all.
 
 
  Ian McKinney
 
 


Ian was born and bred in Liverpool, as were his parents, and has always been proud to call himself a ‘Scouser’.

Leaving the city in the late 1970’s to study at London University, when Liverpool was city in decline, with boarded up shops and high unemployment.

After qualifying he worked first in Essex and East London before settling in Shropshire with his wife and daughter. Although he often visited the city during the intervening years to visit family and friends, the visits were brief and it was only due to an unusual set of circumstances that he found himself living in the city for a few months.

During this time the idea for ‘SCOUSE GOTHIC’ was born. As he explored the modern city of Liverpool, so changed in the last forty years but also so unchanged in many ways from his childhood. He wondered how it would feel to someone who had known the city when it was in its prime, when it was the largest port in the Empire. However to be able to do that you’d have to be over two hundred years old…or a vampire.

Melville began life as a short story, as did Lathom, Catherine and Frank. However as the short stories developed, so did the feeling that the city of Liverpool itself was as much a character as any of the others. The stories were rewritten to place all the characters in the same time and place, and to let them interrelate to one another. In some cases with fatal consequences.

Response to the first book ‘The Pool of Life…and Death’ was so positive that the characters were further explored in ‘Bloodbrothers..and Sisters’ and finally ‘All you need is...Blood.’


 
 

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From the Description
 
Some legends never die....
 
The White Wolf, the Beast of Brenton Woods, a legendary creature said to walk like a man. When the full moon rises, it will feast.
 
Unseen for years, truth has turned to rumor, mere folklore. Until something lures the monster from exile, calling it home.
For Tyler and Ben, a firsthand encounter leads to an exploration of the forbidden depths of Brenton woods, and for Ben, the discovery of a family secret.
 
When Wendy and her friend's hangout in the abandoned cabin is compromised, the hunt begins. The target of a creature's desire, Wendy is hearing whispers in the night, finding footprints outside her window, and can't shake the dreadful feeling that something is waiting for her.
 
Deputy Kathy Wilcox understands the disturbances, the shredded carcasses, and the growing list of missing persons in town are connected to something larger than life. Will her acceptance of the legend end in tragedy?
 
There's a full moon above, the night is coming down, and blood is about to run.
 
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Alien Agenda Publishing
Publication Length: 241 pages
 
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this novel. I did not receive any form of compensation for my review.
 
The Beast of Brenton Woods is a fantastic werewolf story that will leave you panting for more! The heart pounding action starts at the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the very end. This book had me saying ‘Just one more chapter,,,’ until the wee hours of the morning. I had to know what would happen to Ben, Deputy Kathy Wilcox, Wendy, Johnny, and Bryan as they searched for the truth about the Beast. The Beast itself was a great villain, evil and relentless in its pursuit of our heroes. The ending is perfect for this tale of werewolfy goodness and leaves enough room for a sequel that I am salivating for. I can’t wait to see where Jackson Thomas takes us next! A highly recommended 4.5 star read.
 
Buy the Book
 
 
About the Author
 
Jackson R. Thomas sleeps in the day, writes and works in the night, and doesn't like social media.
He's worked as a janitor, cashier, fast food slave, and a night auditor for a hotel you don't want to stay at...if you know what's good for you.
You can contact him at jrthomaswrites@gmail.com, unless you know where he works...then you can bother him during his third shift escapades.
 
Praise
 
"At last! A proper werewolf story. Edge of your seat scary and unpredictable." — Catherine Cavendish, author of 'Waking the Ancients'
 
“The Beast of Brenton Woods is a blistering read of werewolf horror, one that chugs along at lightning speed and will leave you howling at the moon for more.” – Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Broken Shells


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