Tag Archives: gore

The Horror Collection, Silver Edition by KJK Publishing (Book Review)

Contents:

Won’t You Open the Door? by Steve Stred

Hooch and Honeyby Kevin J. Kennedy

The Blood-Soaked Branches of the Bullingdon Family Tree by Lex H. Jones

Death, She Said by Edward Lee

Forbidden Fruit by Calvin Demmer

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(digital copy supplied by Kevin Kennedy for an honest review)

 

Won’t You Open the Door? by Steve StredAs young children, it is hardwired in our brains to fear certain supernatural beings. As we venture into adulthood, those same unnatural beings still frighten us, whether in word form or on the movie/television scene. 

There isn’t one supernatural being I’d mock with. I’d definitely not trifle with a witch. Dead or alive, they are powerful. Ezkiel, his brother and family, and even his best friend Oliver learned this the hard way. 

Steve chose the right character to haunt the characters. I felt their fear. I understood why Oliver pissed himself. And I grasped why the witch struck out against Ezkiel and the others. 

Again, I say, never f**k around with a witch, living or dead! 

 

Hooch and Honey by Kevin J. Kennedy: Okay, aspects of this short story were creepy… like I would’ve gagged if I witnessed firsthand how the hooch was made. However, I think the story ended before it really began. Not bad though. 

 

The Blood-Soaked Branches of the Bullingdon Family Tree by Lex H. Jones: Twisted, sick, disturbing… wow, Lex has quite the weird imagination. The plot and characters were 100% f’d the hell up!

 

Death, She Said by Edward Lee: As a person who’s contemplated suicide on several occasions, I didn’t particularly care for how this story began or ended. Everything in between was bizarre. Not my cup of tea. Sorry.

 

Forbidden Fruit by Calvin Demmer: This story wasn’t gory. It wasn’t your typical supernatural short story either. It was different, and that’s what I enjoyed about it. Man was really his own worst enemy in this story. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤❤❤

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Apples & Snail Trails by Russell Smeaton (Book Showcase)

Apples is a tale of a father and daughter finding themselves; Apples is a short dive into the horrors to be found in the English Countryside

In Snail Trails, Dave and the love of his life―Walter the dog―out on a walk one day discover all the snails, slugs and worms heading towards the hills. Dave and his faithful friend investigate. So begins the apocalypse…

(cover by Adrian Baldwin)

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Excerpt from Apples

The end of summer saw the beginning of the change. Fresh winds raced across the fields, scattering brown leaves as it went. Mike negotiated with Lucy’s school, allowing for a temporary home-schooling period. After a day of working outside, they would sit together to do  school work, television chattering away in the background.

As autumn crept closer, the evenings began darkening quicker, bringing with it a damp chill. Mike would get a fire going as Lucy closed the old-fashioned shutters, shutting out the world. As the wind sighed its lullabies, they felt warm and cosy inside the house.

Autumn marched on and the weather continued to turn. The wind gathered momentum, roaring down the chimney as it whipped the trees into a frenzy. The rusted aerial on the roof creaked and groaned as tiles clung on for dear life, reducing TV reception to grey static. Switching it off, they could make out the distant clanging of a neighbour’s wind chime over the howling wind. They spent the night reading and listening to the wind moan.

The next day Mike got up with the dawn. The morning was fresh and crisp with a ground mist rising to meet the pale-yellow sun. The smell of damp leaves mingled with bonfire smoke. A pheasant crowed out unseen. He walked around, assessing the damage the wind had delivered. The strawberries had escaped the ravages. The same could not be said for the dead birds that lay around the base of the old apple tree. He frowned. Counting about six, the carcasses were all withered and dried out. He picked up the birds and tossed them into the garbage before Lucy awoke, not wanting his daughter to see the strange corpses.


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Born from an egg on a mountain top, Russell has spent the past 40 something years doing stuff and things. After spending a decade travelling around the world he has now settled down in the North of England. He lives with his lovely family and a few errant cats, who know far more than they should. Luckily they’re not telling.
 
 

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The Midnight Exhibit Vol. 1: Rewind or Die by Unnerving Magazine (Book Review)

Wealthy couple drunkenly ditch their car and a strange tow truck driver regales them with off-putting stories, stories relating strangely to their personal lives. With short fiction by Stephen Graham Jones (Mongrels, Mapping the Interior, The Only Good Indians), Philip Fracassi (Behold the Void, Sacculina), and Renee Miller (Cats Like Cream, The One You Feed).


Contents:
Eddie Generous – editor and wrote wraparound
Stephen Graham Jones – Too Little Too Late
Renee Miller – Another Pretty Face
Philip Fracassi – My Love, Do Not Wake
 

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(review request submitted by Eddie Generous, the editor, for an honest critique) 

 

I’ve tried to think of some witty, ingenious way to describe the stories in Midnight Exhibit. Then, I realized I could best sum them up by saying two words… fuck’d up. 

Yes, every contribution to the anthology was disturbing. 

 

Stephen Graham Jones – Too Little Too Late: Decomposing, coherent bodies… just eww. Cue the puke bucket!

Renee Miller – Another Pretty Face: This story will have men grabbing their junk for sure! 

Philip Fracassi – My Love, Do Not Wake: The story started off reminding me of a scene from Harry Potter. The one where Lord Voldemort’s face is on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head. Anyways, it might’ve started off like HP but then it took a weird-ass turn into the land of fuck’d the hell up.

 

I’m still shaking my head on this collection. So disturbing it’ll stick in my mind for a long while. 🙂

Recommend? Of course! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Infested by Carol Gore (Book Review)

Swarms of powerful mosquitoes sucking victims dry. Insatiable horseflies feasting on living flesh. Huge roaches with a ferocious bite. No tent is safe at the Green Swamp Zip-Line Adventure and Campground. Camp manager, Casey Lovitt, and entomologist, Dr. Phillip Edwards, must go up against powerful business interests and cover-ups from the local sheriff’s department to stop the deadly infestation. And with the busy tourist season fast approaching, time is running out. Will Casey and Phillip stop the onslaught of hungry bugs, or will the bodies continue to pile up among the long-buried secrets of the Green Swamp?

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Besides arachnids, I’m not overly fond of most bugs or insects. Before reading Infested, I didn’t suffer from myrmecophobia (fear of ants), pteronarcophobia (fear of flies), or scolopendrphobia (fear of centipedes). I do have a fear of spiders, but arachnophobia is a pretty common phobia. However, after reading Infested, that’s all changed. I now suffer from entomophobia, fear of ALL bugs. 

I don’t care if it’s a ladybug or butterfly, I’m going to be cautious of everything for a long while. 

After you read Infested, and I implore everyone to read it, you’ll understand my previous statement. No insect should be the size of a teacup poodle. No gator should be taken out by an insect or multiple insects. And, no way should pests be the predator while the humans are the prey

Infested will make your skin crawl, but that means Carol Gore completed her mission. She wrote a story that’ll leave a lasting impression with the reader. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤

 
 
 
 
 
 
Carol Gore examines the absurdity of life on earth by writing horror and humor, sometimes at the same time. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Fourteen HillsPunchnel’s, and Dark Moon Digest. Aside from writing, she’s a yoga enthusiast, a painting hobbyist, and a lifelong voracious reader. She lives in the rural south with her husband and two sons.
 

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Dreams Of Lake Drukka & Exhumation by Mike Thorn (Book Review)

Dreams of Lake Drukka and Exhumation explore the unearthing of horrific, long-buried family secrets. Journeying into the darkest recesses of the past, these stories depict the dire consequences of discovering the truth.

Writing about Dreams Of Lake Drukka and Exhumation, author Mike Thorn said: “It was only in retrospect that I could see the connections between these two stories. When I revisited them for publication, it struck me that they work well as companion pieces. Both plots depict unfulfilled pacts with supernatural undercurrents, both include journeys to uncover unresolved familial trauma, and both pivot around the revelation of repressed memories. I wanted to explore the relationship between setting and atmosphere in these pieces, and to depict horror within internal and physical ‘sites of trauma.’ The characters are grappling with painful memories / experiences that have held them back, consciously or unconsciously. One story focuses on a character who is the agent of her own revelations, whereas the other story sees someone whose agency is quickly and brutally taken away.”

(Cover by Adrian Baldwin)

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Dreams Of Lake Drukka:

For a while, I was wondering when the horror would begin in Dreams Of Lake Drukka. For a couple dozen or so pages, it was mostly sisterly squabbles. Basically, arguments many siblings have or had partaken in a time or two (or more). It wasn’t until Jeannette and Sharla crossed over the fence leading to Lake Drukka when things finally started to look up. Well, for us horror readers it did…not so much for these two gals or their daddy.

The terror-filled moments starring the phantom were spooky in written form. However, it would downright terrify viewers in 2 or 3D. This would be one of those movies you’ll be screaming at the screen, “Run, chick, run!!!!”

Since my mind tends to operate like a movie projector, I can visualize it in 2D.

First ½ of the Dreams Of Lake Drukka: 2 hearts (stars)

Last ½ of the story: 4 and1/2 hearts (stars)

Overall score: 3 and 1/2 hearts (stars)

 

Exhumation:

Exhumation started off creepy, progressed to F***ed up and stayed firmly in that position until the very end.

From the start, Norm proved to be a strange character but I had no idea how quickly things would go from strange to I WANT TO HURL!

If you like creepy, weird, and/or grotesque scenes then you must read Exhumation.

Score on this story alone: 4 ½ hearts (stars)

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Overall Score:❤❤❤❤

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Mike Thorn is the author of Darkest Hours and Dreams of Lake Drukka & Exhumation. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Dark Moon DigestThe NoSleep PodcastTurn to Ash and Tales to Terrify. His film criticism has been published in MUBI NotebookThe Film StageThe Seventh RowBright Lights Film Journal and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Visit his WEBSITE, connect with him on TWITTER and follow him on GOODREADS.
 
 

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