When Eddie gets a flat in the middle of nowhere, the last thing on his mind is death. Then as darkness falls and the storm worsens, he’s forced to seek shelter alongside his significant other, Banksy. Big mistake.
Bed and Breakfast, the sign said, but there are no eggs and bacon on the menu here. Instead, their host serves up four tales of terror with a little murder on the side. And as the other residents of the mansion gradually reveal themselves, Eddie and Banksy begin to wonder if they’ll ever check out alive.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Dead and Breakfastis a collection of 5 short stories, but they are not disjointed. I won’t say how Gary’s connects them, but I will say it’s twisted…morbid…and creepy AF!
No matter if you are reading Cords, The Brace, The Weight of Nostalgia, or The Greyfriars, you’ll discover something in each of these tales that’ll cause you to make the eww, grossed-out face. Case in point, in The Greyfriars, there were BIG, FAT MAGGOTS. I found them equally or more disturbing than the phantoms/ghosts/spirits. Yeah, I hate insects that much.
Don’t get me started on all the various other haunting creatures…
Without a doubt, Gary’s mind is as twisted as Stephen King’s. One day, I hope to see Gary’s workings brought to life on the big screen. Of course, I’ll be watching the movie through parted fingers.
Heart Rating System: 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) Score:❤❤❤❤
Gary Buller is an author from Manchester England where he lives with his long suffering partner Lisa, and his daughter Holly. He is a huge fan of all things macabre having grown up reading King and Koontz and loves a tale with a twist.
Lucy is a young girl who loves her Pa, their cow, and the little farmhouse she calls home. She also loves the red bicycle that Harvey gave her as a present. But not all is idyllic, and she struggles to steer clear of the local transient, Joe-Michael.
Gannon and Farrah move to Lucy’s family farm many years after Joe-Michael became Lucy’s father’s farmhand. Together, Gannon and Farrah hear Lucy’s voice for the first time on an audio recorder hidden in the woods near the old family homestead. Even though their lives are separated by decades, they intersect at the pond where the secrets have been submerged by Joe-Michael.
Blurring the lines between time and space, Lucy shares her tale with Gannon and Farrah in an unconventional turn of events.
“Wait, play that again,” said Farah, still wearing the headphones.
Gannon used the touchpad mouse on his laptop to slide the tracker on the editing software to play the recording again. This time he pressed the loop button and then the triangle play button. The two-second recording played repeatedly in a loop cycle. He watched the reaction on his fiancées face.
Farah cupped both hands over the headphones to block out any extraneous noise. Eyes closed, she listened to the recording repeat itself. “Taa daaa! Taa daaa! Taa daaa! Taa daaa! Taa daaa!” She pulled off the headphones and handed them back to Gannon. “She’s saying ‘Taa daaa!’ in a singy song voice. It’s a little girl. Almost like when Payton does a cartwheel and finishes with a ‘Taa daaa!’”
Gannon smiled at her. “This was recorded at 2 a.m. in the middle of the forest away from any of the walking trails.”
Farah shrugged her shoulders and moved off toward the kitchen. “She is saying ‘Taa daaa!’”
Gannon closed his laptop. He moved into the kitchen to help Farah with dinner. Shuffling the chicken around in the frying pan Farah asked, “Wasn’t the recorder near that old farmhouse?”
Gannon nodded his head. “Yeah, it was up the hill from the old Griffith house.”
Farah thought for a moment. “Maybe a little girl used to live there? Maybe she was a slave?”
Gannon pulled the plates out of the cupboard for dinner. He wouldn’t say that Farah was a psychic or medium. However, she did have a sixth sense about things. She just seemed to know things. Since moving into their house a year ago, she had several dreams – if you want to call them dreams, more like visitations from the old woman, Julie, who used to own the house. At first, they weren’t sure if it was Julie, but at the community potluck dinners a couple of the neighbors described Julie. They talked about her mannerisms, the way she dressed, her routine, and Farah and Gannon were able to deduct that who visited Farah at night was Julie. Farah never got the sense that Julie was malicious. But seeing a ghost can be unnerving in its own right.
Gannon had his own experiences; however, they were different. He usually heard movement. Or sensed a presence. Many times, while working from home, he caught himself checking the closets because he swore a physical person was secretly hiding in their house. Never finding anyone, his next logical conclusion was that he was hearing Julie move around the house. Gannon was a trained scientist. Therefore, he errored on the side of skepticism. Gannon would be the first to admit that he had to control himself from automatically jumping to a paranormal explanation. He forced himself to eliminate all other logical possibilities before believing or accepting that a ghost was living in their house.
The one exception was Farah. Gannon wasn’t sure if Farah knew or not; he suspected she knew, but she was his barometer. If Farah suspected paranormal activity, Gannon was one-hundred-percent onboard. He still tried to eliminate all logical possibilities. But in the back of his mind he was doing a happy dance when Farah believed something originated from the paranormal.
“So, you’re saying I picked up the voice of a ghost?” asked Gannon.
“A spirit,” corrected Farah.
Gannon chuckled. “I go out there trying to capture the howl of a Bigfoot and come away with the voice of a spirit.”
Short stories are a challenge to write because brevity is necessary. Mr. Solar weaves an intriguing tale of murder that will keep the reader turning the pages.
While using listening equipment in the woods, Gannon picks up voices which lead him to a dark discovery of a past hidden by time and almost lost to living memory. As he delves further into the events, he sees the source of the sounds. The pleasant vision of a laughing little girl and the scowl of the hired hand leave him chilled and confused.
This tale makes the reader wonder if the horror of some events rend the veil of time, forcing the living to relive and acknowledge the past. Some voices refuse to be silenced.
Ernest Solar has been a writer, storyteller, and explorer of some kind for his entire life. He grew up devouring comic books, novels, any other type of books along with movies, which allowed him to explore a multitude of universes packed with mystery and adventure. A professor at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland, he lives with his family in Virginia.
Unimaginable monsters to take your breath away.
What you can’t see will horrify you.
You’ll be squirming in sheer terror.
Real and unseen-evil awaits. Watching. Lurking.
When you least expect, it will pounce and consume you!
Safety warnings: May induce a rise in blood pressure.
Don’t read alone.
Keep the lights on.
When Sue tried to wriggle out of its grip, she could feel her hair being pulled from the roots. A surge of pain filled her skull and ran down her spine to the very bottom of her feet. Right at that moment she felt like she had been electrocuted. The creature yanked on a section of her hair so hard and fast, that she’d been left with a large bald patch and more searing hot liquid ran down her back. Sue let out a fox like scream before gritting her teeth in excruciating pain.
Each time the beast pulled and ripped sections of her hair out, she felt like she was the ocean floor being repeatedly pounded by an anchor. The weight she felt pushing her into the floor made her feel as though her ribs were going to be crushed at any moment.
K.Z., Amazon Customer, 5⭐: Death O Death is definitely not a collection of bed time stories. Ellie Douglas new anthology can scare the socks off the tin man! You’re not in Kansas any more, Toto! Leave the lights on. Every story reaches just a little farther into the terrifying world of madness and gore, each tale unique and graphically written to send a new shiver down the spine with every turn of the page. Any fan of bloody horror stories will love this new collection!
Mark, Amazon Customer, 5⭐: This is not simply another collection of horror stories. There is nothing simple about them AT ALL! Ellie’s imagination is unparalleled as she weaves shock upon shock, like an overcharged Electroshock Therapy treatment. Each story doubles the voltage and is liable to cause massive brain seizures!! Be scared. Be VERY scared. Five ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars for the Mistress of Murder & Mayhem.
Andrea, Goodreads Contributor, 4⭐: An impeccable anthology!
I don’t call Ellie Douglas ‘Horror Queen’ for no reason. She is a phenomenal writer. Anthologies might be tricky. There’s always one or another story that you might prefer that weren’t in the book. That’s not the case here. The author presents us ten impeccable short stories that will scare you to death.
In the description of the book, Douglas tells us what to expect. And she defies us – “Are you brave enough?” Believe me when I tell you, and I’m entitled to tell you because I’ve read horror a lot, you must be really brave. From the first story on you can already see that she’s right to warn us. And I dare you not be scratching your head reading ‘Infested’.
For me, what makes Douglas’ stories so good is the fact that she can turn ordinary facts into something so frightening and/or create stories which have already been told so many times into something totally new making us surprised and, of course, terrified.
I loved all ten stories, but, of course, I have my favorites: ‘Junkyard’, ‘Can You Imagine’, and ‘Point Of No Return’. All three of them leave us in ‘tense mode’ and it’s hard to see what is coming. Brilliant!
There is something really cool in this book – ‘Trick Or Treat’ and ‘Junkyard’ were starred by two real life people. And don’t think the author went easy with the characters because of it, because she didn’t.
I’ve already read a few books by this author and will certainly read all of Ellie Douglas’ books. As I said, I don’t call her ‘Horror Queen’ for no reason.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
In Tainted Luck, Levi Kast dealt with problems associated with teenage life: dating, insecurities, and parental issues. He, unlike other teens, also had to deal with paranormal situations: spiritual body swaps and spirits.
This story did have some creepy moments in it and a few moments that will make your skin crawl, especially the maggot scene.
It also touched upon a sensitive subject matter… teen suicide.
It’s difficult raising a child because you wonder what going on in your kid’s head. I can’t imagine the mental and emotional toil raising Taylor James had on her parents. She had powers, thoughts and intentions that would be difficult for any caregiver to process. I can understand why her mother, teacher, and classmates were leery/afraid of her. Trust me, you’ll understand why once you read the book.
Tainted Luck is a book worth reading. Whether you believe in paranormal/supernatural world or not, certain sections might freak you out. It sure did me.
Cynthia Austin is a multi-published author who lives in Northern California with her husband, two boys, and Olde English Bulldogge named Count Dogula. They love all things horror, gothic, and Victorian which prompts her friends to dub them as “The Adams Family.”
She is an avid reader who may be slightly obsessed with music. She hears music in a way that she believes the artist intended it to be heard: visually, with a storyline that follows. Listening to the songs by her favorite artists, she was inspired to write her first series titled “The Pendant.”
Mark is uprooted from his home and high school in the Twin Cities and forced to move with his family into a Victorian in Nowhere-ville. Busy with the relocation and fitting in, Mark’s parents don’t see what’s unfolding around them—the way rooms and left behind objects seem alive with a haunted past.
Of course, Mark keeps his ghostly encounters to himself, all the while sinking deeper into the house’s dark, alluring, and ultimately terrifying history. As romantic entanglements intensify, the paranormal activity escalates. Past and present come together. Everything is connected—from the bricks in the walls to the hearts beating in their chests, all the secrets of Fountain Dead are finally unearthed.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
Fountain Dead is a carefully crafted story that takes place in two time periods, in two POV’s.
Emma, born in the 1800’s, didn’t have a lifetime of love and happiness. There was a brief period of time she thought she’d achieve her HEA but her life took a grisly turn. Family turned against her and she learned the hard way not to trust anyone.
Mark’s story took place in 1988 when his family moved to Winona and into the Durley house, Emma’s family home. From the start, Mark knew something was off about the house. It was messing with his mind, his sister’s and eventually it turned its attention to others. The house was cursed. Anyone who entered it was prey.
Mark didn’t want to live in the house but a child must live where their parents tell them. His parents were oblivious to the danger lurking in the house but Mark wasn’t. He saw the spirits, humanoid creature, and saw the effects of possession firsthand.
As we watch Emma’s life progress, we see every monumental point in her life was somehow tied to what Mark and his family was living through in present time. At first, the time period/POV’s flip-flopping did mildly annoy me. It was occurring way too rapidly. I actually started taking meticulous notes because I wondered how each moment in the past would have an impact on Mark in his time period. It wasn’t until I was about mid checkpoint that I didn’t mind the flip-flopping speed as much because NOW the puzzle pieces were clicking together and the grand picture was almost revealed.
The link between past and present was mapped out very well and the ending was spectacular.
Cliffhanger? Yes, Theresa’s final moments in Fountain Dead let readers know there was more evil to battle.
Theresa Braun was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and has carried some of that hardiness with her to South Florida where she currently resides with her two fur babies, who are her creative sidekicks. She enjoys delving into creative writing, painting, photography and even bouts of ghost hunting. Traveling is one of her passions—in fact, her latest adventure took her to Romania for a horror writers’ workshop where she followed in the steps of Vlad the Impaler. She writes horror fiction and the occasional romance. Oh, and she likes to guest blog about writing, television shows, movies, and books, mostly in the horror genre.