Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a great Christmas! This picture is from an awesome Tales From the Crypt episode called "And All Through the House" and it features a very creepy Santa.

Monday, December 12, 2011

10 Awesome Black Christmas (1974) Quotes

1. "I didn't send my daughter here to be drinking and picking up boys!" - Mr. Harrison

2. "I didn't send my daughter here to be drinking and picking up boys! (imitating Mr. Harrison) Tough shit! Like I'm supposed to be responsible for the morals of every girl in this goddamn house! These broads would hump the Leaning Tower of Pisa if they could get up there! I do my best! I don't know what the bastards expect of me for Christ sake." - Mrs. MacHenry

3. Sergeant Nash: Excuse me? Could you give me the number at the sorority house? Please?
Barb Coard: Yeah, sure. It's, ah... Fellatio 20880. Fellatio. It's a new exchange, FE.
Sergeant Nash: That's a new one on me. How do you spell it?
Barb Coard: Capital F, E, little L, L, A, T, I, O.
Sergeant Nash: Thanks.
Barb Coard: Don't mention it.

4.  Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: What's this?
Sergeant Nash: Oh, that's the number at the sorority house.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: Fellatio?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah, it's a new exchange: FE.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: New exchange?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah, Fellatio. One of the girls that was in this afternoon gave it to me.
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: She gave it to you?
Sergeant Nash: Yeah!
Lieutenant Kennet Fuller: Nash, I don't think you could pick your nose without written instructions.
Sergeant Nash: I know! It's something dirty, ain't it?

5. Clare Harrison: But you know that town girl was raped a couple of weeks ago.
Barb Coard: Darling, you can't rape a townie. 
Clare Harrison: You really are too much, Barb.
Barb Coard: Oh, come on, this is a sorority house not a convent.

 6. "Godammit Claude, you little prick!" - Mrs. MacHenry

7. "I think the little bugger's schnockered, son of a bitch." - Barb

8. "Well, thank you, girls. It's lovely really... Got about as much use for this as I do a chastity belt. Jesus, I wouldn't wear this to have my liver out!" - Mrs. MacHenry

9. Clare Harrison: Could that really be just one person?
Barb Coard: No Clare, it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir making their annual obscene phone call.

10. Barb Coard: Did you know, this is a very little known fact, but... did you know that there's a certain species of turtle that... there's a certain species of turtle that can screw for three days without stopping. You don't believe me, do you? Well, I mean, how could I make something like that up?
Mrs. MacHenry: Ah, Barb, dear, ah, I-I-I-ah...
Barb Coard: No, really! They just... three days, 24 hours a day, wha-voom! Wha-voom! Wha-voom! Can you believe that, three days? I'm lucky if I get three minutes! Do you know how I know this? Because I went down to the zoo and I watched them. It was very boring. Well actually, um, I, uh, didn't stay for the whole three days, I went over and I watched the zebras, because they only take thirty seconds! Premature ejaculation!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


From the back cover:

Santa's bringing Reva three presents...each one full of holiday fear!

In Silent Night Reva Dalby was the richest, snobbiest, nastiest person in Shadyside. Three Christmases ago, Reva went too far, and found herself being followed everywhere. By someone who wanted revenge.

Reva escaped and promised that she'd change.

But she didn't stay on Santa's nice list for long. The next Christmas, she went back to being her old, spoiled self. Until she was kidnapped - by men who wanted her rich father's money.

Now, in Silent Night 3, Reva is home from college for the holidays. She's determined to have a good time this year. But she doesn't know that once again, Santa's leaving terror in her stocking. And it's going to be another scary Christmas!

From the front:


It's that time of year again. Time for snow, presents, family - and mean, nasty Reva Dalby!

Yes, Reva is up to her old tricks. She's still the snobbiest, cruelest girl in Shadyside. And she's still making plenty of people angry. People who are close to her - close enough to take their revenge!

Poor Reva. She has no idea what horrifying "presents" Santa's leaving for her on Fear Street!

So curl up by the fire with some chestnuts, some eggnog, and these terrifying R.L. Stine tales.

They're sure to make this a very Scary Christmas - and a Happy New Fear!

My thoughts:

To get myself (and anyone who reads this blog) into the Christmas spirit, I'm going to feature the Silent Night trilogy for R.L. Stine Book of the Week over the next few weeks. My copy of the book is the "Collector's Edition" which has all three Silent Night books in it, if you're wondering why the description is for three different books.

Silent Night tells the story of Reva Dalby - a snobby, spoiled brat whose father owns the Dalby's department store chain. When someone starts pulling cruel pranks on her - putting a needle in her lipstick, sending her a perfume bottle filled with blood - she doesn't know who to blame because everyone hates her.

I actually liked Reva. It was fun to read about her because she's such a bitch. She breaks up with Hank when she's driving him home - she just pulls over in the middle of nowhere and tells him to get out of her car. Then she moves onto Mitch, kissing him in front of his girlfriend, Lissa, and when they break up and Mitch asks her out, Reva tells him she's not interested. She also refuses to help her poor cousin, Pam, get a job at the store. Reva Dalby is the ultimate snotty rich kid (move over Summer Roberts) and I loved to hate her.

Since I work at Sears, I could relate to working at a department store during Christmas (it's nuts). The descriptions of the store were very accurate - how busy it is, the creepiness of being in an empty store after it is closed.

The other storyline about Reva's poor cousin, Pam, robbing Dalby's was also interesting and suspenseful. There was a car chase and Clay - one of the boys she robbed the store with - was kind of creepy.

For the most part, I enjoyed Silent Night. The only aspect of the book I didn't like was how predictable the ending was.

Rating: 4/5

PG-13 Gore: Reva took out her lipstick from the drawer, pulled off the top, and twisted the tube. She turned the round countertop mirror so that she could see herself better, leaned toward it, puckered her full lips into a pout, and began spreading the magenta lipstick on them.

It took a second for the pain to register.

Then she let out a horrified shriek and dropped the lipstick.

Gasping in pain and surprise, she stared into the small mirror and saw blood pouring down her chin.

Her lips throbbed with pain.

She stood frozen in horror. So much blood! Frantically she grabbed up tissues, mopping gently at her lips.

I'm cut. I'm cut.

I can't stop the bleeding.

What has happened here?

Pressing a wad of tissues against her mouth, she saw large drips of blood on the glass countertop.

Breathing hard, she bent down and searched the floor for the lipstick tube. It had rolled under the counter. She snatched at it and brought it up to the light to examine it.

Trying to hold the tube steady in her trembling hand, Reva saw at once what had cut her.

A needle. It poked out from the center of the tube.

Body Count: 2

Next Week: Silent Night 2

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all have a terrific Halloween and have fun with whatever you've got planned. I'm just staying in tonight and watching horror movies - I'm actually watching Halloween as I type this.

What are your plans for tonight?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

T.V. REVIEW: Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXII

Hurray! The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXII is actually airing before Halloween this year! So I thought I should review it since I haven't blogged about anything Halloween-related yet this year (sorry about that!).

In the opening sequence, Marge is a Switch Witch. After the kids eat some of their candy, she takes the rest and replaces it with toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwash. Then Homer is supposed to drop it off at Candy for Troops, but instead he drives to Candy Eating Peak to gorge himself and falls down a canyon, getting stuck under a rock in a funny spoof of 127 Hours.

This Treehouse of Horror episode was a bit of a disappointment compared to some of my favourites (read a list of my Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Segments here), or even last year's episode (read my review here), but that is probably because I haven't seen any of the movies/T.V. shows  which are spoofed. Here are the segments:

The Diving Bell and the Butterball

In this parody of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Homer is paralyzed by a spider bite and learns to communicate through farting.

This segment is mostly fart jokes, so I didn't find it very funny. Also, not only have I not seen The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I have no idea what it's about and have never heard of it until now. At least with the others, I have an idea of what they're about. But there are still a few laughs at the end when another spider bites Homer and he becomes a Spiderman who shoots webs from his ass when he farts.

Dial "D" for Diddly

Ned Flanders begins murdering "evil" people when he believes God is telling him to in this parody of Dexter.

As I've already said, I've never seen Dexter - I know I should probably watch it, I'm sure I'll get to it eventually - but despite this, I still found this segment to be the funniest of the episode. I especially enjoyed the scene where Ned kills Patty and Selma. He puts a sign on the side of the road that says "Free Cigarettes" and then shoves a boulder on top of their car a la Wile E. Coyote.

In the Na'vi

In the future, Bart and Milhouse are sent to another planet to harvest Hilarium for Krusty the Clown, in a spoof of Avatar.

I found this to be the least funny segment of the episode. Unlike the others, this one just has Avatar-related jokes. I enjoyed seeing what Bart and Milhouse would look like if they were part of Kang and Kodos' race of aliens, but that was the only fun part of this segment.

Overall, I felt pretty "meh" about this year's episode. But it's worth watching for Dial "D" for Diddly and the opening.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BOOK NEWS: Robert McCammon E-Books

Today nine of Robert McCammon's books are being released in e-book format from Open Road Media: Swan Song, Boy's Life, Gone South, Mine, Stinger, Mystery Walk, Usher's Passing, The Wolf's Hour and Blue World.

The books are available from Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Google eBookstore, Kobo Books, OverDrive and Sony Reader Store.

The price per e-book is between $9.99 and $12, depending on which website you buy from.

Watch Robert McCammon talk about writing in this video:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Book Sale Finds

A few weeks ago I went to a book sale and bought quite a few horror novels and thought I would share my purchases with everyone.

Sins of the Flesh by Don Davis & Jay Davis

The Wages of Sin is Death!

An innocent mound of grass-covered earth. A weathered wooden door. A root cellar, shelter from violent storms, storage for the farm's produce. On Walter Sikes' farm, the root cellar hides a dark and dangerous secret. A monster slumbers there, imprisoned by powerful magics - a monster that once was Walter Sikes' eldest son.

Transformed by a madman's curse, Jesse Sikes is a killing machine. Twenty years ago he cut a bloody swath through the small town of Gideon - until his mother struck him down with her own occult powers. Now Eleanor Sikes is dying. The bonds that hold the monster are weakening. 

Soon Jesse will be free.

No one in Gideon will be safe.

Fear by Ronald Kelly

It was a legend in Fear County... a hideous, flesh-eating creature - part snake, part earthbound demon - that feasted on the blood of innocent children in the cold black heart of the Tennessee backwoods.
But ten-year-old Jeb Sweeny knows the horrible stories are true. His best friend Mandy just up and disappeared. He also knows that no one has ever had the courage to go after the monster and put an end to its raging, bestial hunger.
Until now.
But Evil is well guarded. And for young Jeb Sweeny, who is about to cross over into the forbidden land of Fear County and the lair of the unknown, passage through the gates of Hell comes with a terrible price. Everlasting...FEAR!
Darklings by Ray Garton

Are you safe in your house?

Look around you. Is your world familiar? Comfortable? Does it seem the same today as it was yesterday? It isn't.

Something is loose in your world that wasn't there before. Some terrible.

It is born of the devil, nurtured in evil, and set loose to do its vile work. It moves its foul form with a  sleek, sudden malevolent grace. It comes, it touches, it takes over. Then the horror begins. An aging surgeon, a captured fugitive, a pregnant mother, an innocent hospital worker - each is its victim, driven by a grotesque impulse to acts of murder, mayhem, nymphomania, infanticide, cannibalism... Can it be stopped? Perhaps... But the battle will be waged by a few brave, desperate souls on the edge of Hell, while Satan awaits the triumph of his cherished...DARKLINGS.

Nightmare Child by Daniel Ransom

From the silence of the grave...

Jeff and Mindy McKay are young, attractive and willing to stop at nothing to have it all - even if it means murdering Mindy's little sister, Jenny, to collect her part of an enormous inheritance. With Jenny out of the way, Jeff and Mindy can begin to enjoy luxury beyond their wildest dreams... 

Then one day, months after Mindy and Jeff have buried the little girl, they answer a knock at the door. Standing there, staring at them with frightening blank eyes, is Jenny. She has returned -to their house, to their lives - to exact a revenge that goes beyond death.

The Pines by Robert Dunbar


After her husband died, Athena Monroe often wondered why she stayed in the dilapidated old farmhouse, buried deep in the harsh, blighted New Jersey pine barrens. Perhaps it was because her mysteriously afflicted young son seemed to feel such strong ties to the area's primeval swaps and stunted forests - such an affinity for the pines. She didn't guess that his psychic connection was with something evil - until ranting fits and night terrors gripped him in a vise of horror. Athena was afraid her inability to really love the boy was now causing his strange behavior, but the old-timers in the region recognized something more sinister. To them it was an omen of things to come - a sign that the monstrous Jersey Devil was about to reappear...

The Pluto Pact by Guy N. Smith

A black magician screaming curses of hatred...
A fiery object hurtling from the sky...
A patch of earth where no blade of grass will grow...

Centuries have passed since that terrible night of reckoning, but still the dark shadow hangs over a Scottish valley. 
Bob Coyle believes that his home town is menaced by a new centre for disposing of nuclear waste - a lethally dangerous project he calls 'Holocaust'. Yet his efforts to alert the people fall upon deaf - or angry - ears. For them the center means new-found prosperity. 
But a series of strange deaths and brutal killings at last starts to bring home the danger... and if Coyle's worst fears are realized, countless millions will die in agony. 

Then the terrible curse of Balzur will be fulfilled.

The Reckoning by Ruby Jean Jensen


It all started the night of Dalton Walsh's revival meeting... when the earth beneath his tent trembled with a kind of vengeance. It was as if some force from beyond knew about the terrible crimes that had transpired in this little town and finally wanted to reveal the evil that lived there.

Then the sightings began. All those lost, almost forgotten children; kids who hadn't aged a day in all the years since their disappearance - like the teenage boy who still wore the same clothes he'd last been seen in, or the golden-haired little girl who still clutched that same doll.

Reverend Dalton didn't know why the children had picked this moment to come home, but he did know one thing; now was the time for a terrible truth to finally be revealed. Now was the time for...THE RECKONING.

Bethany's Sin by Robert McCammon


For Evan Reid, his wife Kay, and their small daughter Laurie, the beautiful house in the small village was too good a bargain to pass up. Bethany's Sin was a weird name, but the village was quaint and far from the noise and pollution of the city.

But Bethany's Sin was too quiet. There were no sounds at all...almost as if the night had been frightened into silence. 

Evan began to notice that there were very few men in the village, and that most of them were crippled. And then there was the sound of galloping horses. Women on horses. Riding in the night.

Soon he would learn their superhuman secret. And soon he would watch in terror as first his wife, then his daughter, entered their sinister cabal. 

An ancient evil rejoiced in Bethany's Sin. A horror that happened only at night...and only to men.

The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson

Inch by inch, day by day, Scott Carey is getting smaller. Once an unremarkable husband and father, Scott finds himself shrinking with no end in sight. His wife and family turn into unreachable giants, the family cat becomes a predatory menace, and Scott must struggle to survive in a world that seems to be growing ever larger and more perilous--until he faces the ultimate limits of fear and existence.

Also contains several more tales by Richard Matheson including Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, Button, Button and Duel.

X,Y by Michael Blumlein


Frankie watched herself in the mirror as she danced in the strip joint - it was the only way to get through her act. But then the fat man came into the club, and the siren screamed, and Frankie's world shattered like a thousand shards of glass.


In the morning, she isn't Frankie anymore. She doesn't remember who she is. She knows for certain only one solid truth: that she is a man. As for Terry, her boyfriend, he cannot understand what his little sex object is trying to tell him...


Frankie, trapped and livid, slowly learns to live as a captive in a woman's skin, and learns to rule over her poor lover. She makes him work for her. She makes him wait on her. She uses her stranger's body to torture hi with his own desire.


They are an ordinary couple in their private hell: A man and a woman in changed places; a man and a woman exploring all the cruelty and darkness and horror that once was hidden between a woman and a man.

This Perfect Day by Ira Levin


For centuries mankind longed for a world without suffering or war. The family made that dream come true.

They had triumphed. Programmed, every need satisfied, they knew nothing of struggle or pain.


But for one man, perfection was not enough. For Chip, it was a nightmare. The Family was a suffocating force of evil. His dream was to escape...and destroy!

Afterimage by Kristine Kathryn Rusch & Kevin J. Anderson

He was known as the Joan of Arc killer - a sadistic rapist who burned his victims before he murdered them.

Rebecca Tamerlane had been staring into this monster's face as he hovered over her broken body, the smell of gasoline in the air. But suddenly her body felt completely whole and surprisingly strong...only it wasn't her body.

Rescued at the last minute by a group of shapeshifters, Rebecca had been transformed into the likeness of the last image in her mind before her death. Now she was the image of her killer, with his odious identity and the police on her trail. There was no other way to save herself except to search desperately for this maniac who held the key to the magic restoration of her true body. But among the shapeshifters, a more sinister force had other ideas...

Blaze by Stephen King

Once upon a time, a fellow named Richard Bachman wrote Blaze on an Olivetti typewriter, then turned the machine over to Stephen King, who used it to write Carrie. Bachman died in 1985 ("cancer of the pseudonym"), but this last gripping Bachman novel resurfaced after being hidden away for decades -- an unforgettable crime story tinged with sadness and suspense. 

Clayton Blaisdell, Jr., was always a small-time delinquent. None too bright either, thanks to the beatings he got as a kid. Then Blaze met George Rackley, a seasoned pro with a hundred cons and one big idea. The kidnapping should go off without a hitch, with George as the brains behind their dangerous scheme. But there's only one problem: by the time the deal goes down, Blaze's partner in crime is dead. Or is he?

Naomi's Room by Jonathan Aycliffe


On Christmas Eve four-year-old Naomi Hillenbrand disappears from her father's side in a crowded toy store; on Christmas day, her mutilated body is discovered in a field. But part of Naomi remains, unwilling or unable to leave this world. Ghostly photographs capture her playing with two other little girls dressed in Victorian garb while a sinister man in black them all. 

Charles Hillenbrand is tormented by grief. When sinister whispers in the night begin to taunt him, he tries to uncover the evil truth behind Naomi's death. But long-buried secrets await him and threaten to take him beyond the brink of sanity, to a place where he could lose his very soul.

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters

When Susan and her husband, Alex, find the perfect Brooklyn apartment for a great price on Craigslist, they don't set their hopes too high. But the place exceeds their expectations - it even has an extra room where Susan can paint. They manage to charm the landlady with the help of their toddler, Emma, and the apartment is theirs.

But after they move in strange things occur. There is a horrible stench coming from Susan's new art studio. Their landlady becomes increasingly odd. Alex is too busy at work to notice, but Susan is convinced there is something sinister about the apartment. Then Susan finds a bite on her arm which she insists is from a bedbug, although neither Alex nor Emma have bites, and there is no evidence of the bugs. Susan desperately tries to prove the existence of bedbugs in their apartment, to no avail. Do they have bedbugs or is Susan going crazy?

Bedbugs is reminiscent of Rosemary's Baby. It features a couple moving into a strange new place and a quirky but friendly old lady. 

The book starts off slow, gradually revealing problems with the apartment - the smell in the room, a strange "ping" noise, a seemingly incompetent handyman, odd phrases the landlady says - but manages to never be boring.

I enjoyed how the bedbug is portrayed in the novel - instead of simply being a disgusting bug that feeds off your dead skin while you sleep, they are evil.

The novel mostly focuses on Susan, and she's a well-written and likable character, albeit a bit selfish and dense at times. She stays at home to paint - but never seems to get around to it, even though she has a nanny take care of Emma during the day - while her husband works long hours at a job he hates to support them. Okay, that doesn't sound too horrible, but Alex is also an artist and gave up his dreams to take care of his family. I felt sorry for him.

The landlady, Andrea, is an interesting character and manages to be creepy even though she's mostly described as a harmless old lady.

Bedbugs is an atmospheric horror novel and if the bedbugs don't make your skin crawl, the actions of the peculiar landlady will. Available now as a paperback or in Kindle format.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, July 29, 2011

BOOK NEWS: Samhain Horror

Horror fiction fans were devastated when Dorchester Publishing announced their switch from mass-market paperbacks to e-books and print-on-demand trade paperbacks, and subsequently let go of long-time horror editor, Don D'Auria.

But luckily for us, D'Auria is now the editor of a new horror imprint from Samhain Publishing, simply titled Samhain Horror.

It will launch this October, releasing books initially in e-book format with paperbacks following three months later. In celebration of their launch, they will be releasing 10 books in October, but will normally be releasing two per month.

Here are their October, November and December releases:


The Seven Days of Cain by Ramsey Campbell

Is anyone really innocent?

On two continents, weeks apart, two people are brutally murdered: a Barcelona street performer and a New York playwright are each gruesomely tortured to death. In Britain, photographer Andy Bentley begins receiving mysterious emails. The messages refer to the killings and contain hints that the murderer has a personal connection to Andy. But what is it? Are the emails coming from the killer himself? And what, if anything, does Andy’s past have to do with the deaths? As the answers begin to take shape Andy will be forced to confront not only the consequences of his actions, but also the uncertainly of reality itself. Before that happens, how much that he loves will be destroyed?

Obsession by Ramsey Campbell (re-print)

The deal seemed too good to be true. Until it came time to pay.

The letters said, “Whatever you most need, I do. The price is something that you do not value and which you may regain.” To four teenagers, it seemed an offer too good to pass up. They filled out the enclosed forms. Indeed, they soon got what they needed most, but in shocking ways they never imagined. Twenty-five years later, they have never been able to forget the horror. But it’s not over yet. In fact, it’s about to get much worse. Now it’s time to pay the price.

The Hungry Moon by Ramsey Campbell (re-print)

A town trapped in the grip of spreading evil.

Isolated on the moors of northern England, the town of Moonwell has remained faithful to their Druid traditions and kept their old rituals alive. Right-wing evangelist Godwin Mann isn’t about to let that continue, and his intolerant brand of fundamentalism has struck a chord with the residents. But Mann goes too far when he descends into the pit where the ancient being who’s been worshipped by the Druids for centuries is said to dwell….

What emerges is no longer Mann, but a demon in Mann’s shape, and only the town’s outcasts can see that something is horribly wrong. Slowly, as the evil spreads, Moonwell becomes cut off from the rest of the world. Telephone lines become disconnected. Roads no longer lead out of town. And the monster’s power only grows…and grows.

Dark Companions by Ramsey Campbell (re-print)

A brilliant collection of stories by one of the masters of horror.

Not all companions are friendly. There are many that you most definitely do not want to see. When Elaine was working late at the office, she thought she was all alone. But something sinister was in the elevator shaft…working its way to her floor. Miles, too, thought he was alone in his new house, the house of a murderer, but he, too, had an unwanted companion. And Knox will never forget what was waiting for him in the dense fog.

Come and meet all of these companions and more in this chilling collection of horror tales by award-winning master of terror Ramsey Campbell. That clawing sound you hear, the haunting singing, the moving shadow—they all mean that something is waiting to make your acquaintance.

Contains “The Companion,” the story Stephen King called “one of the three finest horror stories I have ever read.”

Ancient Images by Ramsey Campbell (re-print)

A lost horror film holds the key to terrifying secrets.

The legends have persisted for decades of a lost horror film starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi that was never released. Rumor has it that, for reasons long forgotten, powerful forces suppressed the film and burned all known prints. Nobody now living has seen the finished film. But that might no longer be true…

Film researcher Sandy Allan is invited to a screening of a newly-discovered sole-surviving print, but then the film disappears and the real horror begins. Sandy’s search for the film leads her to Redfield, a rural community known its rich soil, fertilized by blood from an ancient massacre. But Redfield guards its secrets closely, with good reason. During every step of her search, Sandy is watched, shadowed by strange figures. Is it paranoia, or is someone—or something—determined to keep the lost film and the secrets it reveals buried forever?

Wolf's Edge by W.D. Gagliani

Can one werewolf stop a pack of super-wolves?

Nick Lupo is a homicide cop with a difference. He’s a werewolf. He’s worked hard to control his condition, but it isn’t easy to contain the beast inside him. It also means he has some very powerful enemies. Wolfpaw Security Services is a mercenary organization that wants Lupo dead. They want to infiltrate the US military with their own werewolves and they can’t let anyone—especially a fellow-werewolf like Lupo—stand in their way.

Wolfpaw’s genetic experiments have created a “super-wolf” nearly invulnerable to silver, and soon their ranks will be filled with these invincible warriors. Can one wolf—even a fierce beast like Lupo—face the fangs and claws of a pack of these killers and hope to survive?

Angel Board by Kristopher Rufty

Not all angels are sane.

Someone saved David Barker’s life, but he doesn’t know who—or what—she is. Now he’s haunted by the image of that beautiful, nebulous vision with the features of a woman and determined to find out why she appeared when he almost died. David uses an angel board in hopes of contacting her, and unfortunately for him, he succeeds. This angel has loved him all his life, guarded him and protected him. And she’ll hurt anyone who interferes with that love. David’s guardian angel is obsessive, possessive…and homicidal. Her unyielding love for him will leave a trail of grisly “accidents” and murders as she eliminates all those who want to hurt David. Or love him. 

Dead of Winter by Brian Moreland

A predator stalks the frozen woods.

At a fort deep in the Ontario wilderness in 1878, a ghastly predator is attacking colonists and spreading a gruesome plague—his victims turn into ravenous cannibals with an unending hunger for human flesh. Inspector Tom Hatcher has faced a madman before, when he tracked down Montreal’s infamous Cannery Cannibal. But can even he stop the slaughter this time?

In Montreal exorcist Father Xavier visits an asylum where the Cannery Cannibal is imprisoned. But the killer who murdered thirteen women is more than just a madman who craves human meat. He is possessed by a shape-shifting demon. Inspector Hatcher and Father Xavier must unravel a mystery that has spanned centuries and confront a predator that has turned the frozen woods into a killing ground where evil has come to feed.

Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea

The dead still hate!

John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood. 

Borealis by Ronald Malfi (novella)

On a routine crabbing expedition in the Bering Sea, Charlie Mears and the rest of the men aboard the trawler Borealis discover something unbelievable: a young woman running naked along the ridge of a passing iceberg. Just as the trawler pulls alongside the floe, the woman collapses into the snow, unconscious. The girl is rescued and brought aboard the boat, where she is cared for by the crew…only to infect them with a poison that brings about unimaginable ruination.


Dark Inspiration by Russell James

Doug and Laura thought they bought Galaxy Farm, but the old house is possessing them instead.

Doug and Laura Locke are New Yorkers who need a fresh start, so they move to Galaxy Farm, an old thoroughbred stable in Tennessee. There Doug finds inspiration to write his epic novel and Laura renews her love of teaching. They also rediscover the love that first drew them together.

But the home has many secrets. There’s a graveyard hidden at the property’s edge, and tragic deaths stalked the previous owners. Doug has become entranced by the abandoned taxidermy he discovers in the attic. And Laura falls under the spell of the ghosts of twin girls she meets in the old nursery. Only a local antiques dealer senses the danger. She has gruesome premonitions of horrible events to come. She knows she must convince Laura of the threat before the dark force in the house can execute its plan. But time is short, and something seems to be very wrong with Doug…

The Lamplighters by Frazer Lee

Life on Meditrine Island is luxurious…but brief.

Marla Neuborn has found the best post-grad job in the world – as a 'Lamplighter' working on Meditrine Island, an exclusive idyllic paradise owned and operated by a consortium of billionaires. All Lamplighters have to do is tend to the mansions, cook and clean, and turn on lights to make it appear the owners are home. But the job comes with conditions. Marla will not know the exact location of the island, and she will have no contact with the outside world for the duration of her stay.

Once on the island, Marla quickly learns the billionaire lifestyle is not all it is made out to be. The chief of security rules Meditrine with an iron fist. His private police force patrols the shores night and day, and CCTV cameras watch the Lamplighters relentlessly. Soon Marla will also discover first-hand that the island hides a terrible secret. She’ll meet the resident known as the Skin Mechanic. And she’ll find out why so few Lamplighters ever leave the island alive.

Catching Hell by Greg F. Gifune (novella)

Summer, 1983. 

As fall approaches and the summer stock theaters on Cape Cod close for the season, three promising young actors and a stagehand pile into an old Ford Fairlane and head for a vacation resort in Maine. Hoping for a relaxing getaway before pursuing their dreams in New York City or going on to college, they instead encounter a bizarre storm while on a lonely stretch of state highway and soon find themselves stranded in the strange rural community of Boxer Hills. 

At first glance it seems a harmless little backwoods town, but Boxer Hills has a horrible secret and a deadly history. It is a place of horrific age-old rituals and a legendary evil that will let no one escape without paying a terrible price. 

Before the sun rises on a new day, they will have to fight their way through the night and out of town, or risk falling prey to an endless cycle of depravity and violence at the hands of a demonic creature so profane few will even speak its name. 

They were young, reckless and chasing hell. 

What they hadn't counted on was actually catching it.


The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz

Something is trapped in the castle, and it wants to feed!

The Sorrows, an island off the coast of northern California, and its castle have been uninhabited since a series of gruesome, unexplained murders in 1925. But its owner needs money, so he allows film composers Ben and Eddie and a couple of their female friends to stay a month in Castle Blackwood. Eddie is certain an eerie and reportedly haunted castle is just the setting Ben needs to find musical inspiration for a horror film.

But what they find is more horrific than any movie. For something is waiting for them in the castle. A being, once worshipped, now imprisoned, has been trapped for nearly a century. And he’s ready to feed.

Donor by Elena Hearty

The life of a vampire’s live-in food supply is never long.

Richard is a modern vampire who likes to eat in. That's why he always keeps a fresh victim trapped in his home. All of his captives eventually die; Lenore hopes to be the first to escape.

Life at Richard's is short but never dull. Not with Richard's vampire friend, Paul, constantly popping in. Paul loves toying with Richard's victims before they die. But is Paul getting too attached to his plaything? His human servant, Charles, certainly thinks so. Charles is next in line to be turned and wants to eliminate the competition.

If Charles's schemes don't kill Lenore, then Richard's hunger surely will. Lenore has a plan to survive, but someone will have to die in her place. She now has something terrible in common with her captor: she must kill in order to live.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Chilling Tales edited by Michael Kelly

 This will be the last review of my special Canada day weekend.

Chilling Tales: Evil Did I Dwell; Lewd Did I Live edited by Michael Kelly is an anthology of 18 horror and dark fantasy tales by Canadian authors.

I didn't enjoy this anthology as much as the previous two I reviewed. I only enjoyed a handful of stories and didn't find any remotely creepy. The plots of most the stories are dull and unoriginal.

But I found a few entertaining. Here are my favourites:

In "Tom Chestnutt's Midnight Blues" by Robert J. Wiersma, a musician is haunted by the love of his life. An interesting story, or at least until the anti-climactic ending.

"Sympathy For the Devil" by Nancy Kilpatrick tells the tale of an awful man who is the cause of a fatal car accident and how he gets his comeuppance. A well-written story that actually has the reader rooting against the main character.

"The Needle's Eye" by Suzanne Church is about a virus that blinds those infected and has a vaccine that will make you cringe. An emotional story that makes you appreciate doctors, family and sight.

In "Looker" by David Nickle, a man becomes romantically involved with a strange woman. I know that isn't much of a description, but I don't want to reveal too much. This is my favourite story in the book because it's so strange. I've never read anything like it before.

Chilling Tales is an okay anthology. The best stories are worth reading, but because the others are disappointing, I would recommend getting it from a library or used. Submissions for volume two, Chilling Tales: In Words, Alas, Drown I, are currently being accepted.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, July 2, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Evolve edited by Nancy Kilpatrick

I'm not a huge vampire fan. I've read a few vampire novels, but wasn't crazy about them because I found them predictable. More often than not, it ends with a stake in the heart. But I thought I would give this anthology a chance since it features stories about the "New Undead." I'm glad I did because none of these stories are predictable or end with a stake. These vampire stories are unique and fascinating.

Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead is edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and features 23 stories and one poem written by Canadian authors. The plot of every story involves the "twenty-first century vampire." Many of the vampires are accepted in society, many don't succumb to the usual vampire traditions (dying in the sun, etc.) and while similar to the bloodsuckers in classics like Dracula, they are all unique, new breeds of vampire.

"An Ember Amongst the Fallen" by Colleen Anderson is the most original story of the bunch, and my favourite. In this story, vampires are the dominant species and use humans as "cattle". There is much more to the plot than that, but I don't want to give anything away. It goes in a direction I never expected, and I ended up being a bit shocked by the events in the story. Reading the anthology just for this story would be worth it; definitely one of the best short stories I've read.

In "A Murder of Vampires" by Bev Vincent, vampires are common and live in a bad part of town. When vampires are being murdered, a detective tries to find the killer. I love detective and serial killer stories, so I enjoyed this story a lot. The twist of a human detective finding a killer who is murdering vampires, which most people consider monsters, makes this story interesting.

"The Greatest Trick" by Steve Vernon is about a vampire who wants to be a politician, but when he finds it difficult to convince the public to choose a vampire over the other candidates, he finds ways to even the competition. This story is gory and humorous, making me laugh quite a bit. Here's an example of a joke from the story: 

"Nobody is going to vote for a vampire," Jessome said, after I explained what I wanted of him.

"They voted for Schwarzenegger," I pointed out. "And he married one."

In "Soulfinger" by Rio Youers, a journalist goes to a blues bar to see legendary blues musician, Soulfinger, for an article he's researching, unaware that it's a bar for vampires. This is the creepiest and most atmospheric story in the anthology. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just leave it at that.

In "How Magnificent is the Universal Donor" by Jerome Stueart, a virus called Beijing Blood Disease - a.k.a. Baby Dee - has infected most of the population and the World Health Organization (WHO) is trying to save everyone with blood transfusions. But Jacob knows there is a secret the WHO is trying to hide. And when he is told his perfectly healthy partner has died from Baby Dee, he sneaks into the hospital to find him. There is tons of suspense when Jacob is sneaking around the hospital, trying not to get caught by the doctors of the WHO, and an eerie scene in the morgue.

Overall, Evolve is a must-read for vampire lovers, and anyone who is tired of the same old vampire cliches. Evolve 2: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead will be released August 15, and will be about vampires in 2012 and beyond, once again edited by Nancy Kilpatrick.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, July 1, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Tesseracts Thirteen edited by Nancy Kilpatrick & David Morrell

Happy Canada Day!

Last year to celebrate my country's birthday, I posted a list of 20 Great Canadian Horror Films. This year I've decided to highlight Canadian horror literature by reviewing three anthologies this weekend which contain stories written by Canadian writers.

Tesseracts Thirteen is an anthology containing 23 short stories and one essay, edited by Canadian authors Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell.

The Tesseracts series of award-winning anthologies features speculative fiction short stories by Canadian writers. Because this is the 13th edition of Tesseracts, the stories focus on horror.

Rather than write about every story in the book, I'll just mention a few of my favourite stories.

In "Kids These Days" by Rebecca Bradley, a virus turns all children into zombies, but they can be controlled with medication. The story has a unique spin on zombies and a surprising and satisfying twist ending, making it my favourite story from the anthology.

"Quints" by Edo van Belkom is about a doctor who delivers quintuplets, reminding him of the Dionne quints and how they were exploited, prompting him to do something unthinkable. I found the plot of the story intriguing. The main character's thoughts and actions made me angry, but I think that just shows how well-written the story is.

"Silence" by Stephanie Short is a different version of the Pied Piper legend where the Piper controls children with his flute, but the kids come up with a plan to break free from him. This story is a bit gory and made me cringe at the end.

"The Tear Closet" by Suzanne Church deals with the difficult subject matter of spousal abuse and  child molestation. It's a very well-written and emotional story, making me tear up a few times.

"His One True Love" by Catherine MacLeod is the story that terrified me the most, out of all the stories in the anthology because I have a fear of birds. The main character in this story is also afraid of birds and is terrorized by a blue jay that flies into her house just as she returns from her husband's funeral.

The anthology also includes a short essay on the history of Canadian horror literature, "Out of the Barrens: Two Centuries of Canadian Dark Fantasy & Horror" by Robert Knowlton, which is very thorough and cites many novels by Canadian horror authors, that I will now be checking out thanks to this essay.

Tesseracts Thirteen encompasses a variety of dark plots including zombies, abuse, super heroes and myths, making me experience several different emotions such as anger, sadness, disbelief and disgust. As with pretty much every anthology I've read, I didn't love every story, but I enjoyed most of them and would say this book is worth a read.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Guest Post by S.L. Schmitz

By S.L. Schmitz, Author of Let It Bleed
Anybody who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s in the suburbs of Chicago remembers when there used to be only 6 television stations. There was the obligatory ABC, NBC, and CBS, and PBS stations, as well as WGN-Chicago which was on Channel 9.  But then there was the Holy Grail of pre-cable TV – the elusive independent UHF station known as WFLD Channel 32, which showed a non-network extravaganza of programming such as cartoons, syndicated shows, Sox Baseball and Bulls Basketball, and the beloved Horror Hosts Svengoolie (Jerry G. Bishop, 1971-1973) and the Son of Svengoolie (Rich Koz, 1979-1986). The Svengoolie show went off the air for a few years, but then In 1995 the station, now known as WCIU, re-introduced the show back to the Chicago airways. Rich Koz returned to his infamous role, all grown up and no longer needing to be the ‘son of’anyone. 32 years later, he is still going strong!
For years and years, on Saturday afternoons and weekend nights, Svengoolie has entertained us with his bad movies, his silly Bela Lugosi accent, and his rubber chickens. He has sung song parodies with trusty piano player Doug Scharf (AKA Doug Graves), laughed at the Chicago suburb with the unfortunate name of Berwyn, run around the set having conversations with a talking skull called Zallman T. Tombstone or a pair of disembodied arms, and told lots of CORNY jokes. How can you not love a guy in zombie clown makeup who reads viewer mail and holds up pictures of himself drawn by 2nd graders, then proceeds to use Sven-surround to talk over the soundtracks of the many B and even C level movies from such classic (and not-so-classic) studios as Hammer and Universal? He would screen such gems as the 1956 “Godzilla”, and in the middle of the show he and Doug would break out into a song parody of “Godzilla’s Back”, sung to the tune of “My Boyfriend’s Back”.  Every show always ended with him being backed into his graffiti-covered coffin while spouting one-liners and puns as the stagehands and camera crew threw rubber chickens at his head. It was magic!
Here is a little trivia that many people don’t know about Rich Koz – he is a really nice guy. Whether it is accepting his 2008 Rondo Award for Favorite Horror Host or taking pictures and signing rubber chickens with fans at the White Castle in Berwyn, he is just an overall favorite personality. But Koz’s success is bittersweet because for 32 years, the show did not air in any other market except the Chicagoland area. If you moved out of state, there was no way to get your weekly dose of Svengoolie, other than clips available on the web. That is why so many people have been begging him for years to either syndicate or at least post his shows on the internet using streaming video. Due to various licensing and contract problems with the companies who owned the rights to the movies, the Svengoolie show could never be available as an internet download.
And then, in 2011, the great announcement was made! Neal Sabin, corporate executive and long-term Svengoolie supporter, let the world know that Svengoolie was joining the Me-TV Network as a nationally syndicated show. And to ensure that Koz had the best material to work with, Sabin acquired the rights to some of the best old monster cult movies ever made – including such long-lost black and whites as the Bride of Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Original Dracula, and many other Horror classics. The Me-TV show enables former Chicagoans to see and hear completely new shows, as well as allow people who have only heard but never seen a Svengoolie show to become a part of the old tradition of Horror Hosts. 
So, on Saturday nights around 9 or 10 pm, if you happen to be flipping through the channels and see that Svengoolie is on, I urge you to gather the kids around the set and watch the hilarity unfold. Rick Koz and the character he has created is a part of monster movie history. So pop some popcorn, turn out the lights, and get those cards and letters ready. Svengoolie is officially on the air, coast to coast!
This dedication to Svengoolie is Tombstone approved –a Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe Production
Want more info on Svengoolie? Visit
Let It Bleed is available in both E-book and soft cover through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  S.L. Schmitz lives in North Carolina, and spends her days chasing a five-year old and keeping 4 felines happy. Please visit her website at