I am Not Your Final Girl: Poems By Claire C. Holland

I’ve watched a good deal of 80s and 90s slasher movies. There was always the one girl that normally was a fighter; who fought but she eventually succumbed. Or She fought through the night and was able to hobble her way to freedom the next day.  I found that I rooted for them as they hobbled through the forest and the dark. So whether you fancy yourself Laurie from Halloween or Nancy from Friday the 13th this dark poetry book is defiantly for you.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180922133744588_COVER

Summary: Poems based on the final girls in popular horror movies.

What I liked: I have really enjoyed all the dark and horror related poetry I have been reading lately. I really enjoyed the concept of the book. The poems were dark and disturbing. What I thought was interesting was that this was the Holland’s feelings about these women, brought about by the political climate. I found each of the poems to be gut wrenching and heart breaking. When you really digest the words and the meaning he fear and anger behind the words is palatable. I believe that the women that are noted through out the book break the log used trope of women not fighting back and being weak. Especially in the horror genre.

What I didn’t like: It is a small thing was one of the poems was attributed to Sarah in The Craft but Holland seemed in the poem to be talking about Nancy. I could have read it wrong.

Star Rating 4.5

My thoughts: There were some movies that were noted in the book that I hadn’t seen. But that gives me more to watch. The concept was super intriguing and I really am glad that I read it. My favorite poems from the collection are Selena from 28 Days Later and Jennifer from I Spit on Your Grave. Both of these poems are hard hitting and really gut punch you.  Both of these are movies that I have enjoyed and I always root for the two characters that Holland wrote about.

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

I watch a lot of horror films. A good chunk of them don’t scare me anymore. Especially haunted house films. Seriously, how many times can you see pretty close too the same story line in a film. Group of friends go into a “haunted house” and then ghosts try to get them. They all die and one escapes to tell the tale. It is a story that is told over and over again. What if the ghosty in the haunted house wins? What would happen then?

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180922141334228_COVER

Summary: A dilapidated house located by a cemetery is setup to be a haunted house for Halloween.

What I liked: I enjoyed the cheese factor. It really reminded me of 80s teen slasher films especially the end. The concept of the story was intriguing. I loved the whole haunted house becoming a fake haunted house. My favorite part of the story was the last 25% of the book.  I loved the idea that a house that was a slaughter house ended up being a real slaughter house.

What I didn’t like:  I would have liked more of the houses backstory. We got quite a bit of Katie’s backstory but not of the house really. Especially the little room. I wanted a bit more of that.

Star Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: So there there is something that I am not a big fan of that was done in The House by the Cemetery a number of times. I have a pretty good memory. I can usually remember a character based on their name. I am not a fan when authors consistently describe a character by their ethnicity or a defining feature especially if that was how they were introduced. If a character is surly I will remember that the next time this character is brought up. It is a small thing but for me that drives me nuts. Unfortunately, Everson does this through out the book.

 

Pretty Marys all in a Row By Gwendolyn Kiste

Every place has a similar story….the story is normally about a girl walking home from a dance and something horrible happens to her.  Now she is destined to walk that stretch of road forever trying to get home.  Some people stop and offer her a ride home. However, when they reach her house she has disappeared or the house is completely dilapidated. There are different takes on the story of Resurrection Mary myth. I recently listened to The Astonishing Legends three part podcast about resurrection Mary. It was really interesting and very fitting when I started to read this Pretty Marys all in a Row. 

00000IMG_00000_BURST20180906094924241_COVER

Summary: Resurrection Mary needs to save herself and her sisters Bloody Mary, Mistress Mary, Mary Mack and Mari Lwyd from the darkness.

What I liked:  Kiste’s writing is ethereal through Pretty Marys. The idea of the story is unique and something that I hadn’t read before. I love the concept and the execution didn’t disappoint. The idea that Resurrection Mary has a human friend is completely intriguing and I kinda wanna be her friend. But I digress….the pacing of the story is so good and you end up getting wrapped up in the story. Kiste’s description of the house and the surrounding gardens really brought Mary’s home to life. I loved the entire backstory. This was a story I wanted to hug. It was so well written and so well thought out and executed.

What I didn’t like: I would have liked Abby to take a larger part earlier in the story.

Star Rating: 5 Bloody Marys

My thoughts: What really intrigued me was the idea that there was something that the ghosts were scared of. Something that frightened the frighteners. That was something that ran through my mind the last half of the story. Kiste really blew me away with this story.  The concept, the writing and the ending. I appreciated the different Mary’s backstories, they were all so different but yet similar. There was so much sadness and loneliness woven throughout the story of the Marys, that you truly begin to feel the weight of each story. If you haven’t gotten this yet please do it is so good.

The Mouth of the Dark By Tim Waggoner

I have been buddy reading with a few of my friends for the last couple of months. I always enjoy the differing points of view that everyone has. Our discussions range widely over topics that range from tentacles to writing style. It was during one of our group read alongs that we all read The Mouth of the Dark and needless to say there were many moments during reading that we all thought WTF!

IMG_20180905_131201

What I liked: Throughout the novel the pacing was fast and the story kept moving. The world building of Shadow was really good. I always enjoy a novel where there are multiple world layers, especially when the dark bleeds into the light. Waggoner’s  writing was engaging and didn’t lose my attention. There were multiple story arcs that Waggoner skillfully ties up.  There are plenty of WTF moments for those of us that enjoy WTF moments.

What I didn’t like: The ending fell a bit flat for me. For me the book is full of action and then the action just stops. I guess the ending was mundane for what the book was. But perhaps that is the way it is meant to be written.

Star Rating: 4

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story. I did have a issue with the ending just because I thought it was ehhhh for the rest of the story. The story arc with with the main characters mother was excellent and I really appreciated how it was handled. There was one part that I felt was dragged out a bit too long. This specific scene went into a lot of detail about a specific situation that father found the daughter in. There was a lot of detail regarding the daughter. I felt that the level of detail was a bit ehhh due to the age that the daughter was suppose to be at the time. This was just my thoughts on it. I appreciated the other aspects of the story immensely. Will defiantly be checking out Waggoner’s back catalog!!

 

 

Blog Blitz for Avian by Emma Pullar

What is it that we love about end of the world stories? Is it the idea that humans will no longer be on the top of the food pyramid? Or is it the idea that our luxuries will be gone? Personally, I think it is a much more complicated situation then that. Something that lives in the reptilian parts of our brains that crave light in the dark. Which is one of the reasons why I love dystopian fiction and the Skeletal duology bu Emma Pullar is one that you aren’t going to want to miss.

download
Photo courtesy of Sarah Hardy

 

Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and Children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Emma has also written several winning short horror/Sci-fi stories which have been published in four different anthologies. Emma’s latest picture book, Kitty Stuck, has been hugely popular and her novel, Skeletal, and the sequel, Avian, have been described as disturbing and not for the faint-hearted. She also writes articles for an online advice site called Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting.

Twitter: @EmmaStoryteller

Instagram: @emmapullar_storyteller

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4795002.Emma_Pullar

Website: www.emmapullar.come

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Emma-Pullar-Storyteller-315550881823466/

 

Emma Pullar - Skeletal_cover

Synopsis

CENTRAL IS LOSING ITS GRIP ON THE CITIZENS OF GALE CITY.

Megan Skyla, who refused to play by Central’s rules and become a surrogate for her masters, has thrown the city into chaos. Corrupting those around her, she and her friends are forced into hiding – hunted by Central, the evil rulers of Gale City. Skyla’s desperate attempts to keep everyone alive ends when they’re kidnapped by feuding gangs.

Skyla cuts a deal and then betrays both gangs. Now there is nowhere left to run. It’s the desert or die. Her best friend, Crow, thinks she still wants to find a way to cure the Morbian masters of their obesity and finish what she started.

But Skyla has other plans. She’s sure there are settlements in the desert, there must be something out there … and there is. Something terrible.

Skyla is about to find out there’s more than one way to bring about change but one truth remains … Central must be destroyed in order to ensure her survival. There is no other way.

Avian is the second book in Skeletal Duology. The first book is Skeletal.

Skeletal

Gale City is the last city in the world and under the strict control of the illusive Centrals.

When females reach adulthood, they’re given the chance to compete at Showcase for the honour of becoming surrogates for the Morbihan – a highly intelligent, obese race of people, unable to procreate naturally. All the other girls are excited to become hosts, all except Megan Skyla.

Convinced there’s more to life, Skyla teams up with an unlikely friend and they go in search of a cure for the Morbihan condition. Things don’t go to plan and their journey becomes a harrowing quest fraught with danger and deceit.

How can Skyla discover the truth when everything she’s been told is a lie? Can anyone in Gale City ever really be free?

Avian is out on September 4th, 2018. You can purchase both titles on Amazon.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Pullar/e/B01N5FM39O

To find out more about Avian lets keep the blog blitz going tomorrow. Check out any of the other blogs listed below to find out more.

B L O G B L I T Z (5)

 

Fright into Flight edited by Amber Fallon

I have a deep appreciation for anthologies. I think that they offer people who read a lot a bit of a pallet cleanser between heavier reads. There are times when you find an anthology that just speaks to you.  I truly thought that my time had come…Stephen King and Bev Vincent where editing a horror anthology based on travel. I like going places just the traveling part is stressful, with so many moving parts that can go wrong. I  reviewed the contributing authors list and there was a glaring error….there were no women authors. I was shocked and possibly a little crushed.  There wasn’t one short story written by a woman.There are a ton of amazing women horror authors. It was shortly after that I came across a tweet from Word Horde press there were looking for reviewers to review their new travel horror anthology edited by a woman with a full cast of women horror writers. I jumped at the chance……Fright into Flight was delivered into my  mailbox a couple of weeks later.

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20180803100504384_COVER 2

 

Summary:  16 dark stories centered around flight. Whether that is wings or floating away.

What I liked: OMG! I want to say that I have the words to do this anthology justice. The stories that have been carefully curated by Fallon fit with the anthology theme so well. It was like reading back to back episodes of Tales from the Darkside. All the stories were well written and edited. The stories fit so well together that while I was reading them I was never outside of the story. Many times with anthologies there are a couple of amazing stories and a good chunk that are just okay. But this wasn’t the case with Fright into Flight each story was just as good as the one before it. There were so many different themes that ran through this gathering of stories I can’t name them all. The stories are beautiful, heartbreaking and horrific.

What I didn’t Like: Nothing, it was beautiful.

Star Rating: All the damn stars

My Thoughts: This was a great answer to those of us that were perturbed that there were no women authors in the other anthology. The stories where so well chosen and fit the theme perfectly. I appreciated the fact that each story had different types of flight. The opening story sets the scene for the anthology perfectly and draws you right in. Once you dive in you just keep swimming. It was truly a pleasure to review this anthology. I truly hope that Fallon edits another anthology as this was right on the money and more.

Fright into Flight is available September 4th from Word Horde. Click on the picture to be transported to the publisher page for purchase.

****Big Thanks as always to Word Horde for sending a review copy for my honest opinion****

Triple Axe By Scott Cole

There aren’t many times I can say that a horror novel or novella is cute. Normally I reserve cute for animals I see on twitter or instagram. Especially sheep, that are bobbing all over the place. Those are the cutest things I have ever seen. There re basically fluff balls that are bouncing allover seriously cute.  But I can honestly say that  I would have never said porn, gore and murder where cute. But honestly Triple Axe by Scott Cole is indeed cute. Sorry Mr. Cole but it was, in a gory way.

IMG_20180901_105514

Summary: 3 porn stars are trying to catch the manic that is killing their friends.

What I liked:  The story was fast paced and once I started reading I wasn’t able to put it down. I enjoyed the story line immensely. The characters were well written and likable. You really wanted them to find the killer and win the day. Cole came up with a very  ingenious way for the manic to kill his victims. There is also a cult aspect that I really enjoyed in this book. It helps pull together the story that Cole is telling. Now, I hope with that ending we are going to get a sequel!!

What I didn’t like: Ummm the fact that it ended….on a cliffhanger!!

Star Rating: 4 porn stars

My thoughts: I loved how he wrote these characters. Yeah they were in the porn industry but they were human. The women in this story were bad ass and banded together to take the law into their own hands. He didn’t write the women as weak; they were strong characters in their own right. I appreciated that. There is plenty of gore in the book. But it didn’t come across as a pure splatterpunk. It was more like gore meets the porn world with a heart of gold.

*****A Big thanks to Scott Cole for sending me a review copy for my honest opinion****