Jackals by Stuart  R. Brogan

It’s a late night in a sleepy English town’s police station when all hell breaks loose. Jackals begins when three individuals enter the police station and brutally murder and then behead everyone inside. A unique sigil is painted in blood on the police station wall as a calling card and message. This sets the tone for the rest of the story. Visceral violence with sharp instruments, knives, axes, and nailed baseball bats are the order of the day. We find out our killers work for The Order, a secret society. The Order is an Illuminati that believes in embracing the primitive urges and killing indiscriminately without remorse. The Jackals are small units who carry these tactics out. The thrill of the kill and the hunt leads us to the main plot of the story. Jesse and her husband are out for their anniversary and are in the wrong place at […]

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Author Interview: Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

Thanks to the awesome Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason for sharing their thoughts with me: Congratulations on your Bram Stoker Award nomination for Mayan Blue. That’s a great achievement! How did the book come together, what was your inspiration? Thanks so much! Melissa was watching a show about how people believe the Mayans may have migrated into the southern parts of the United States and we thought it would be a unique idea for our debut novel. We have written together since we were little girls so working together was easy. We outlined the story and started writing it. Where did it all begin for you as horror writers? We’ve always been those kids who love Halloween, monsters and spooky stuff. Our mother is also a fan of horror movies so she always supported our love for scary movies and books. We wanted to be storytellers after listening to our […]

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Burning Down Paradise by Eric Kapitan

In Burning Down Paradise, Eric Kapitan brings us something pretty unique. The text is delivered entirely as a poem, and this was not a style I’d come across before. Before reading further, put away any preconceptions you have about poetry, because this is not what you might expect. This story about evil, begins with the beginning of evil – with Lucifer cast out of heaven. There is a truce between Heaven and Hell, but the world of humans is fair game. We then follow the life, death, and beyond, of a wretched man named Timothy. He was born out of the worst possible circumstances and full of vengeance. His only pleasure comes from inflicting pain and killing, haunted by visions of his ideal victim. He is a serial killer, so as you would expect, there is plenty of brutal gore and sadism inflicted on his part. It will certainly make […]

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Skin Deep / Ordinary Monsters by Frank Martin

Frank Martin brings us two short stories featuring classic monsters. In Skin Deep, Laura is a high school track star with great potential. Her wealthy parents dote on her. It’s not quite the same for her older sister, Jessica. The girls’ overprotective parents refuse to let Jessica go on a study abroad trip, and Jessica’s refusal to challenge them leads to an argument between the sisters. Laura, with help from a fake ID, ends up in a bar drowning her sorrows, which is where she meets a mysterious stranger, Remy. The main draw to the story is the dynamic between the two sisters, who used to be close but have been pulled apart by family secrets and life. The characters are full of angst and emotion. The story is all about family relationships, expectations, and a lack of true understanding between parents and children. My one real gripe with the […]

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Frightmares: A History of British Horror Cinema by Ian Cooper

As the author of Frightmares states in the introduction, British horror cinema has been much maligned. Horror is seen as even more of a third class genre than in the United States. There is the expectation that British cinema should be serious high drama. Throwing in the persecution of horror by the BBFC and their censorship of video nasties and you can see why horror has had such a difficult time. Coverage in the book begins in the 1930s with The Ghoul. As you would expect, there is considerable coverage of the Hammer horror era. This includes examination of titles such as The Satanic Rites of Dracula. The Video Nasty era was another section of particular interest to me. You will find lots of gems as the author moves through the decades. There were many titles I’d never heard of that I now want to catch up on. From the […]

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Infernal Parade by Clive Barker

Subterranean Press brings us Infernal Parade, the latest offering from legendary author, Clive Barker. Similar to Tortured Souls, these are the back stories to a range of McFarland figures created in conjunction with Clive Barker. These stories, originally crafted for the 2004 release of the figures, are now brought together into one complete collection. The infernal parade is to be a group that will shake man from his complacent state and strike fear into all. Barker brings us six tales for the six fantastical figures that make up the infernal parade and how they came to join up. First is Tom Requiem, a trickster who could be anything to anyone. His time of manipulating people and the fabrications about his life have come to a close. He is to pay for his crimes, prosecuted as a murderer, with his head. The underworld has other ideas. He has been chosen to […]

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Final Masquerade (Anthology-Various Authors)

The Final Masquerade anthology starts with a bang with a story about professional killers who take out the terminally ill. It has a great slasher vibe and focuses on the artistry of the kill. Other stories of note include an unexpectedly sexy tree, a very unusual washing machine repairman, and a suicide prevention hotline worker who has a gift for convincing people to do it. With so many authors there is a huge variety in the stories and styles, from the supernatural to the more mundane. Most of them end in death. There are twenty tales in this collection. All, as the title suggests, are a masquerade in some form – people and things not as they initially appear. Sometimes even the protagonist is not who we would think and expectations are flipped. The authors do some unique things with characters and take some refreshing approaches. One story is even […]

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