Twisted: Tainted Tales Review

Twisted: Tainted Tales Review

ebook

Published by Pipe Screams Press


A 3 star read

Janine Pipe’s debut short story collection “Twisted: Tainted Tales” is jam-packed with a variety of horror stories ranging widely in genre. 

Usually when we get a short story collection, it is just that: a book filled with various shorts by the author. But Pipe did it a little bit different. Her book is set up as if she didn’t write the stories herself, but rather came from a different author. A woman named Jill finds the stories in a house she is tasked with cleaning out. Alongside the stories, she also finds an 80s mixtape, which all relate to the writings. 

There were a lot of stories within this book I enjoyed, but some just felt like they ended too abruptly or just weren’t my cup of tea.

I loved Jill’s commentary before each story, but what I didn’t like were the author notes coming from Pipe after them. It really broke the immersion for me. I don’t necessarily mind author notes, but in this case it just didn’t work out.

A big thanks to the author for this review copy.

 

Dire Branches Review

Dire Branches Review

Kindle Edition

Expected publication: July 13th 2021 by Alien Agenda Publishing


A 4 star read

Imagine you are booking a nice weekend getaway without your brother and your best friends. The destination is a beautiful and huge cabin in the Appalachian foothills, and you packed enough food and booze to make this one memorable trip for all. Having recently broken up with your girlfriend, you find out the owner is a drop dead gorgeous woman named Marina. But soon you figure out something isn’t quite right with either Marina nor the house. It might just be that Baba Yaga is now haunting your nearly perfect vacation…

I absolutely breezed through this book. It took me about two days to finish it, which is pretty fast for me. It is highly entertaining and Steele has a way to suck you in straight away.

The book is filled with folklore, drama and gore! It took about the first 40% of the book to get to the good parts, but I rather enjoyed getting to know the characters and getting the gist of the story. I’m a big fan of mystical folklore, and Dire Branches hit the spot!

A big thanks to the publisher for the review copy. 

 

Inheriting Her Ghosts Review

Inheriting Her Ghosts Review

Kindle Edition

Expected publication: Summer 2021


A 5 star read

When S.H. Cooper announced on her Twitter account that she had a Victorian Gothic Horror novel coming up, I had to jump at the chance to review it early. If you know me, you know that it is one of my favorite genres. There is just something special about the slow burn of a gothic horror novel and Inheriting Her Ghosts is no exception.

We first meet Eudora Fellowes, the protagonist of this book, in her old childhood home. She lives without a husband, but she is never alone either: always on her side are her two protectors, her loyal dogs. From the start I could relate to Eudora and her preferring canine companionship over that of fellow humans. She also doesn’t quite fit in with the other “ladies” due to her unconventional dress and sharp tongue. Oh, how I understand where you’re coming from Eudora.

To Eudora’s surprise she soon learns she inherited not only her late great-aunt’s money, but also her estate. This estate is a seaside manor by the name of High Hearth that Eudora only saw once as a child. She decides to pack up and moves into the manor with her hounds. But it isn’t as peaceful as the thought it would be, and a dark secret is about to become unearthed. 

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It started a bit slow, but that was made up with the excellent and witty character that Eudora is. It also didn’t stay slow for long, as there surely was a lot of suspense and horror to be found within High Hearth’s walls. While reading I found myself transported back in time, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the abandoned manor and it’s (locked) doors. 

Thank you to the author for this review copy!

 

Gulf Review

Gulf Review

Kindle Edition

Expected publication: April 27th 2021 by Silver Shamrock Publishing


A 5 star read

Imagine being the youngest child in a big family, and everyone just seems to forget that you exist. You go through life as a mere afterthought, an unwanted addition. 

That is exactly how David, the protagonist in Gulf, feels. His family barely notices he’s there, and being forgotten at random places is something he’s gotten used to. 

This summer is no different. His family packs up for their annual cabin vacation to the lake bringing the remaining children that haven’t left the nest yet. The cabin is the same as every year of David’s life, but this time the owner has left them a mysterious door to a mysterious addition. Of course, David’s annoying twin brothers make it their mission to find a way to open said door, but it’s David who finds the keys- and with it an entrance to a hellish world. Now it’s up to him to stop whatever is going on in Bizarro world.

Even though she has already authored fantasy novels, Gulf is Shelly Campbell’s first dive into the horror world. And might I add what an entrance she made! This book is fantastic, and so are the characters and the world building. I love her character David, and I just want to tell him everything will be alright. My heart hurts for him, and it made me so sad that his family simply didn’t care about him. This is such a solid coming of age story. 

I understand how David feels. Even though I didn’t grow up in a family quite that big, I think we all know how it feels to be forgotten. To feel insignificant at times. Now, imagine feeling like that all the time. Once David found the key and realized he had to protect his family, he didn’t stop at anything. He made it his mission to save his loved ones, even though he didn’t feel loved back

A big thanks to the publisher for the advanced copy!

 

 

Kindle Edition

Expected publication: April 27th 2021 by Silver Shamrock Publishing


A 5 star read

 

Imagine being the youngest child in a big family, and everyone just seems to forget that you exist. You go through life as a mere afterthought, an unwanted addition. 

That is exactly how David, the protagonist in Gulf, feels. His family barely notices he’s there, and being forgotten at random places is something he’s gotten used to. 

This summer is no different. His family packs up for their annual cabin vacation to the lake bringing the remaining children that haven’t left the nest yet. The cabin is the same as every year of David’s life, but this time the owner has left them a mysterious door to a mysterious addition. Of course, David’s annoying twin brothers make it their mission to find a way to open said door, but it’s David who finds the keys- and with it an entrance to a hellish world. Now it’s up to him to stop whatever is going on in Bizarro world.

Even though she has already authored fantasy novels, Gulf is Shelly Campbell’s first dive into the horror world. And might I add what an entrance she made! This book is fantastic, and so are the characters and the world building. I love her character David, and I just want to tell him everything will be alright. My heart hurts for him, and it made me so sad that his family simply didn’t care about him. This is such a solid coming of age story. 

I understand how David feels. Even though I didn’t grow up in a family quite that big, I think we all know how it feels to be forgotten. To feel insignificant at times. Now, imagine feeling like that all the time. Once David found the key and realized he had to protect his family, he didn’t stop at anything. He made it his mission to save his loved ones, even though he didn’t feel loved back

A big thanks to the publisher for the advanced copy!

 

Those Under The Hill Review

Those Under The Hill Review

Kindle Edition

Published April 7th 2021


A 4 star read

Those Under The Hill is the second book in the Glennison Darkisle Cases written by Mark N Drake. I already had the pleasure to review the first book, and was excited when he authored me the second one.

In this book private detective Jack Glennison gets send to Darkisle yet again. This time he is meant to find a boy that has been missing for several weeks. Of course this being Darkisle it’s not a straightforward search and rescue. 

I really enjoy Mark’s writing. It is entertaining, riveting and he sure knows how to spin a tale. Again, I was invested in the story from the start. 

Thank you to the author for the review copy!

The House of Dust Review

The House of Dust Review

Paperback, 300 pages

Expected publication: September 28th 2021 by Inkshares


A 4 star read

If I had to summarize The House of Dust in one word, I would tell you it’s confusing. During the first quarter of the book I almost gave up and put it away. Now having finished it, I have to say I’m extremely glad I did not do that.

You may ask why I say it’s confusing, but I still soldiered on. Well, it’s a good kind of confusing. Not often do I find a book where I honestly can’t figure out exactly what’s going on, but it still draws me in so deeply that I can’t look away. The mystery of this book truly compelled me. 

The novel is basically about a true crime writer by the name of Brad, a former prostitute named Missy, and a really weird town with an even weirder house. Already sounds like the perfect set up and it should’ve been a pretty forward story, right? Well, it’s not. There is also a cult and a bunch of odd side characters. 

What really drew me in with this book was the dreamlike, surreal setting and the melancholic tone the author set throughout it. Also, the vivid and creepy scenes within the story. It’s hard to believe this is his first published book (from what I have seen on Goodreads at least). 

A big thanks to Netgalley and Inkshares for the advanced copy.