(digital copy supplied by Kevin Kennedy for an honest review)
Won’t You Open the Door? by Steve Stred: As 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 Honeyby 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:❤❤❤
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…
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.
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.
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.
For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
(Andrew) Hi there! Thanks for having me. I’m a horror writer and feature director. I started out writing and directing in the theatre while I was at Uni. From there, I moved to writing for TV and film. I returned to directing in 2007, when I created the Louise Paxton mystery for YouTube. Following on from that, I wrote and directed The Possession of David O’Reilly. Recently, I’ve written my first novel, Remains, four novellas, and a new feature film which I’m hoping to get my teeth into soon.
Based on actual events, THE POSSESSION OF DAVID O’REILLY is a terrifying supernatural shockumentary about a demonic presence in a young couple’s home in London.
(KAM) Oh my goodness gracious, this trailer scared the $#*! out of me!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
(Andrew) I think I’m really lucky when it comes to writer’s block. It’s not something I tend to suffer from. In fact, I often have too many ideas and not enough time to write them all! But, if I ever get stuck plotting or find a scene’s giving me problems I take a train journey. By the time I’m half an hour into the journey I’m normally filling my notepad with thoughts and ideas about how to move forward or what to write next.
Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
(Andrew) I’m primarily a horror writer. I believe that horror is much more effective if it’s believable and so my stories tend to be grounded in reality, sometimes focusing on urban myths and legends. I’ll always choose suspense over gore. I’m a huge Hitchcock fan.
When I’m not writing I’m a big gamer. I’m a screenarcher, which means I shoot the worlds and characters of video games. I have a Flickr page with all my screenshots on it.
I also study Taekwondo and try to fit in some reading. I’m almost always the last person to watch any given horror movie as I have trouble finding the time to fit everything in! I’m still trying to find time to watch Get Out!
I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
(Andrew) All my friends and family know I’m a writer. I’m very lucky in that, even through the tough times (and there have been plenty) they’ve always been very supportive of my work. I’ve never had anyone suggest I give it up and do something else.
I think if you’re a writer you should be proud of it. Success shouldn’t be something measured in book sales or income. Every day you sit down to write you’re a success.
~~ Another short story to check out! ~~
Print Length: 23 pages
That summer should have been filled with laughter, with slip n’ slides in the yard, lazy afternoons lying watching ice cream clouds swirling through the blue sky, melting in slow motion. I watched a plane rising high above our house. From the ground it looked completely still, as if it hung suspended in the air, a model on a string. I wished I was on it, I wished I could escape. I was seven and that was the summer death stalked our home.
Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
(Andrew) That is a tough question. It’s an eclectic list. OK, here goes…
10. Koji Suzuki
9. Arthur Conan Doyle
8. Roald Dahl
7. H.P. Lovecraft
6. Chuck Palahniuk
5. JG Ballard
4. Richard Matheson
3. Shirley Jackson
2. Stephen King
1. James Ellroy
If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?
(Andrew) I’d really like to direct an adaptation of my forthcoming novel, REMAINS. I’d cast Gillian Anderson in the lead. I wrote the novel with her in mind. She’s fantastic, one of my all-time favorite actors.
Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
(Andrew) I’m working on a new horror feature script, a new novel and a number of shorter stories. One of them is a new novella based in the same town as HOPE AND WALKER.
Print Length: 29 pages
“We were both 10. But he was dead. And I sat drawing him.”
Em Walker is just like any other 10-year-old girl growing up in the small, outback town of Hope. That is, except for the fact that her Dad runs one of the town’s two funeral parlours, and the dead have just started speaking to her…
When Hope is rocked by a terrible crime, Em, stubborn, scared of spiders, and with a temper that’s likely to get her into trouble, will find herself thrust into the middle of a dangerous hunt for the truth.
“Being scared’s good,” Grandpa Walker had told me once. “Stops us from doing stupid things.” It hadn’t stopped me.
Praise for Hope and Walker:
“An exceptional short story.” – Frank Michaels Errington. “Andrew Cull proves himself.” – Eddie Generous, Unnerving Magazine.
Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?
(Andrew) My novellas are available exclusively through Amazon at present. When REMAINS is released, it’ll be available worldwide through most bookstores. There’s no a specific order to read my stories in at present, although some of the characters from my books will cross paths in the future. I’m probably the worst person to ask about which story to read first as I’ll always recommend the one I’ve just finished. That’s always the one I’m most excited about. I would say though, that if you pick up any of my stories I’m very grateful to you for doing so, and I really hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for checking out my work.
Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?
(Andrew) I’m always open to anyone who’s read my stories or seen my movies getting in touch. I love to hear what people make of my books and films. I can be contacted via my Facebook page, my Twitter, or directly via email. I try to reply to all the messages I receive. Sometimes it takes me a while, especially if I’ve got my head down on a project, but I do get around to all of them eventually.
Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
(Andrew) Well, I’d like to say thanks for hosting me and reading my work. It was great to talk to you!
~~ Closing remarks ~~
First, I would like to thank Andrew Cull for partaking in this interview and for inviting me to read Knock and You Will See Me. It will haunt my dreams, much like Ellie’s dad haunted her and her children.
Continue reading below to catch a sneak peek of Knock and You Will See Me and to read my full review on this nightmare-inducing tale.
Now, lets check out the frightfully good read….
Print Length: 77 pages
“We buried Dad in the winter. It wasn’t until the spring that we heard from him again.”
Knock and You Will See Me is a new ghost story by award winning writer-director Andrew Cull.
When grieving Ellie Ray finds a crumpled, handwritten note from her recently deceased father, hidden behind the couch, she assumes that her middle boy, Max, left it there. It has a single word written on it: WHY. But, as more and more letters begin to appear throughout the house, Ellie and her three boys will find themselves dragged into a deeply sinister mystery surrounding her father’s death.
“Dad? I looked down at the scribbled note in my hand, at the words torn into the paper. What had started as a whisper had grown louder, more desperate. The words had been screamed onto the page. Dad? Please. What’s going on?”
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)
When I was much younger, I was captivated and freaked out by two blockbuster movies — The Sixth Sense (1999) and the original Flatliners (1990). The very notion someone could see dead people, the dead could interact with the living, scared the daylights out of me. This gift of seeing, hearing, or interacting with the dead was frightening, much like Knock and You Will See Me.
When we bury a friend or loved one, we hope he or she is going on to a better place. Our wish is for their suffering to be finally over. If that’s not the case, it makes you rethink dying and those we’ve buried. Also, if Death comes after you or someone you love, who can really sleep soundly at night.
Eerie notes, knocking noises, maggots, and black ooze would be enough to send chills down anyone’s spine but Andrew took it a step further. He tapped into the unknown and brought the boogeyman to Ellie Ray’s door… literally. She fought it. Her children fought it. In the end, I didn’t feel like their story was truly over. Death never goes away; therefore, I can see why Knock and You Will See Me didn’t end with a typical conclusion.
Some readers might be hoping for a more complete ending. Actually, I was expecting more as well. I tapped more than once on my kindle thinking this can’t be the end. It didn’t feel like it should be the end. Yet, it was over… for me. For them, their nightmarish tale continued on. Maybe in another tale? We shall see.