Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore.
His wife has left him, his father is sinking into dementia, and Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Marcos tries to stick to numbers, consignments, processing.
Then one day he’s given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
Brutal but in a good way. Well-written, very graphic and not for the faint of heart. Not even kidding. Likely the book of the year for me right now, too. The characters are brilliant, the impact of what’s happening makes you think, and the ending will tear you apart. But hopefully not eat you.
Boo-graphy: Armand Rosamilia is a New Jersey boy currently living in sunny Florida, where he writes when he’s not sleeping. He’s happily married to a woman who helps his career and is supportive, which is all he ever wanted in life…
He’s written over 150 stories that are currently available, including horror, zombies, contemporary fiction, thrillers and more. His goal is to write a good story and not worry about genre labels.
He also loves to talk in third person… because he’s really that cool.
You can find him at his website for not only his latest releases but interviews and guest posts with other authors he likes and e-mail him to talk about zombies, baseball and Metal.
The Beast — The end of summer, 1986. With only a few days left until the new school year, twins Jeremy and Jack Schaffer are on very different paths. Jeremy is the geek, playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends Kathleen and Randy, while Jack is the jock, getting into trouble with his buddies.
And then everything changes when neighbor Mister Higgins is killed by a wild animal in his yard. Was it a bear? There’s something big lurking in the woods behind their New Jersey home.
Will the police be able to solve the murder before more Middletown residents are ripped apart?
Trapped — Forget the conspiracy theories about Denver International Airport… this just got real.
When a massive snowstorm shuts down the airport and forces a plane carrying exotic and deadly cargo, those trapped inside the terminal have no idea what’s in store for them.
Can a group of passengers and airport workers band together to face the onslaught, or will they be ripped apart?
Author: Jeff Parsons Publication Company: HellBound Books Publication Date: 2 April 2018 Pages: 298 Genre: Horror, Short Stories
This book’s title comes from the reality that – like a moth to the flame – we’re all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.
What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?
If you dare, why not find out?
Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book – but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares…
When it comes to reading a new author, I like to start with their short stories or short story collections. It allows me a chance to really see the range of story they have in them, as well as see their writing style and how much they put into their characters, which, to me, are a very important part of the story.
At the same time, short story collections are difficult. It’s hard for authors to hit a middle-ground with them, so they’re either total perfection or completely terrible, and I go in with that thought in my head every time. Especially after reading ones that were just so disappointing to me. I can’t be the only reader that expects a theme to be utilized in every story included or all of the stories selected for the collection to be strong stories, but for some reason, I read a lot of collections that just don’t hit either of those marks.
I agreed to read this one knowing that HellBound Books was the publisher, which gave me a little more faith in the collection than I usually have going into these. They’re a publisher that has not failed me yet when it comes to their books.
The cover itself was not a complete win for me, but the title… captivated my attention. (I know, I know… worst “dad” joke ever haha.)
I was hooked with story number one – Lost Souls. It’s not often that a collection by one author is begun with such a strong story. World War II. German military on a submarine. One member of the crew who questions whether what they are doing is right or wrong. And things that happen on this U-boat that lead to a conclusion I did not expect.
I’ll admit, after that story I was worried – “Don’t tell me that he began the collection with the best!” – but that was so far from the truth. Every single story was better than good. Every single story was strong. Every single story was different, but all stuck to the same theme that I had assumed was there with the title. In fact, there was not a single story in the collection that I either didn’t like or thought should not have been included. I mean, I was impressed. So impressed that it was actually really hard for me to choose a favorite, but I finally was able to decide on two, which, interestingly enough, are the first two stories in the collection:
Lost Souls The New Law
If you’re looking for a new author to read and haven’t read anything by Jeff Parsons yet, I recommend you read this collection. It was well worth the time that I put into reading it, and I’ll definitely read more of his work in the future.
Jonathan is the immortal master of Raven Hollow Manor – a decrepit mansion riddled with superstition, murder and restless ghosts. Beneath it lies a restless malice.
Its previous owner driven mad, violently kills his guests with a rusted ax, creating the perfect venue for Jonathan to seclude himself in a prison of his own device.
When the streets of London begin to run red with blood; the bodies exhibiting disturbing signs and baffling wounds, the identity of the killer remains elusive to police.
The bodies are just the beginning of Jonathan’s troubles. A mysterious letter accusing Jonathan of committing the murders appear, raising suspicion in the police. Hidden beneath the mangled bodies, Jonathan soon realizes he is being forced to face demons he thought died in a forlorn past he attempted to escape.
One thing Jonathan knows for certain: He must deal with the demons of his past if he is to survive his future. Not only him but those he has come to love as well.
When I received the information on this book, I… wasn’t so sure. Between the title, the cover, and the description, I thought this was just going to be another variation of Jack the Ripper, and not the first version I’ve read with a supernatural lean to it. I decided to give it a go anyways – 113 pages wouldn’t kill me, would it?
Boy was I wrong.
This book had me hooked from the very first line…
I want it known before the tale begins – I am not a hero but a villain. I want no sympathy from whomever reads this recalling of my story; no mourning for the tragedy that befell my life. I am not an innocent man but a sinner forced to face the ravaging demons and ghosts of his own creation.
… so hooked I read it all in one sitting.
The story, written in first person, is of Jonathan Holloway, a man with secrets and a past. He lives in Raven Hollow Manor with his “daughter” Holly, a young woman who he saved from the police station when she was a child.
Gruesome murders are happening throughout London, murders that leave him worried about the safety of his daughter and others in the city, murders that remind him of his past. After witnessing the police laugh off the suggestion that something supernatural is at work, he starts investigating on his own, concerned that, because of the rumors that have been spread about his home, it will be him that is blamed for them.
After his daughter leaves home, unhappy with him treating her like a child, then quickly shows back up needing his help, he is thrust into an adventure that leads him to stand face to face with someone he had not seen in ages, someone he thought had died long ago.
I’ve been rather disappointed, over the last couple of months, in some of the books that I have read because of the lack of interest I had for any of the characters. At times, they were well written, but there was something almost boring about them. They were forgettable. Several hours later, I could remember what happened to them, but I couldn’t remember… them.
From the very beginning of this story, though, I was drawn to Jonathan. Even as he conveys to the reader that he is a bad guy, and points out why without always giving details, you see that he may have been a bad guy in the past, but he is clearly not one now. The love that he has for other characters in the book, the compassion he has for strangers that he meets, and the lengths that he’s willing to go to protect the city that he calls home, a city that has not always been nice to him and his daughter, shows that he is definitely a changed man from what he once was. I especially liked that she showed him having emotions, even if those emotions were hidden from others in the story, and that he made him not the typical character one would expect from him.
The protagonist in the story is well done. I liked the way that Iona gave us information about her. Instead of learning everything we need to know about her rather quickly, we learn just enough to realize that she is, in fact, the “bad guy” in this story, and then gradually learn even more information, deeper information, that tells us a lot about both her and Jonathan.
I especially liked the character of Annabelle Price. It’s not often you have a character that is… mute, for lack of a better word… and have so much revealed about her just through her actions and movements.
Raven Hollow Manor is the perfect setting for this story, which is interesting when you realize that Iona doesn’t really describe much about the place. It wasn’t until the flashback of Holly coming to his home for the first time that I realized, even then, it was a dilapidated building, her questioning why anyone would want to live there.
The manor is surrounded by woods, which you realize, when he’s walking through it, are quite large, and mask the location of the building perfectly, helpful considering he likes to keep to himself.
No wonder the neighbors talk… but at the same time, it feels really comfortable in the story, like home, even for the readers. I think, really, that’s because of the way that the talks about the place, with such love, even though the house has a history all its own, a history that I hope one day will be shared by the author.
On a side note: Have you looked at the cover? I have a deep fondness for books that use the setting on the story there, especially adding in little details that you only notice after you read the story.
Pros & Cons
I usually fully dislike first-person narratives, as they often feel clunky and awkward. This, however, is very well written. It’s almost as if you’re reading a journal entry or letter, rather than an awkward conversation. It just… flows so smoothly, this story… and allows you to see his true feelings behind everything that is happening and almost feel yourself what he is feeling as the story progresses.
Sometimes flashbacks can be very jarring to the reader, but the author did a great job with them in this story.
I like that the author took a type of character that is used often in horror and dark fantasy books, but made it something different, and even had the character make almost a joke about the whole thing.
I wanted to know so much more about the characters. Having interviewed the author, and hearing her say that her say that her works are all stand-alone, I’m a little disheartened that we may not see these characters again.
This is one of the best first-person narratives I’ve read in a long while. The characters were great and, even now, several days later, I can remember everything about them, including their names (I have the hardest time with names). I cared what happened to everyone involved, including the villain, on some level. To me, that’s impressive.
Rose wakes after almost dying – apparently at the hands of her stalker – in what she finds to be the penthouse apartment of her boyfriend, Paris, a man and a relationship she doesn’t remember at all. He has done a spell from an ancient book, traded with the Japanese to get and passed down over generations, to save her life, unwilling to live without her, but the spell had some side-effects that Paris had not expected. Changes immediately begin to happen to her body… and that’s just the beginning of this story.
I fell in love with the cover and agreed to read this book based on that. I know I know, but for those of y’all who have been following my reviews for awhile, this should be something that doesn’t surprise you. I possibly skimmed through the book description, but… honestly… I don’t remember reading any of what I posted above [the cover image]. So who knows.
Despite my hinky reasoning behind agreeing to read a book…
This book was definitely not a disappointment. In fact, it was so good that I began it one night before bed (a habit I may one day blog about) and finished reading it around 3 in the morning, followed by writing pages – lots of them – in my journal about the book and how I felt about it. I just… had to let it all out and get my mind around everything that happened… and at 3 in the morning, there aren’t many people awake to hear you go on and on about a book you just finished.
It was one of those moments where you shut your Kindle and just sit there for a few minutes, unsure of what to do next.
The story was something quite different than what I normally find out there.
It was almost a mystery, with Rose having to figure out what is going on, not just to her physically, but around her as well, unsure of what to believe and who to trust. The addition of certain clues that make even the reader wonder if they are false or not really added to the story. Her changes made me think of a fantasy book, especially with magic being involved, and as usual with magic, things don’t always go the way that you have planned. The psychological thriller aspects of the whole thing were evident from almost the very beginning, when you see how characters interact with each other, and start finding out about their different pasts. There was even some horror added to the mix, when you consider one particular character you meet along the way, one who ends up being far more important to the story than you originally think.
Usually I can pick one or two characters from a story that I absolutely loved, but in this story I can’t say that I particularly liked any of them, but I must have, on some level, in order to have been unable to put the book down.
I was very curious about Rose and who she really was. As the description says, she can’t remember what’s happened over the last two years, but she knows herself and knows that some things that are being said just don’t make sense. Stories being told about her didn’t always add up to that knowledge, which left her confused at times, wondering if she could have really changed that much over the two years she seems to have lost. I found the way the author wrote her intriguing. In almost every story, the main character grows, but her growth was different, as it was more an actual finding herself, rather than a changing to become who she was truly meant to be. A well-done character.
Not all of the characters were who they originally seemed to be, and as more depth was added to them as the story progressed, you found out that some characters you didn’t like were ones that maybe weren’t as bad as they were made out to be, or once you heard their reasoning, you looked at them a little differently. That also happened with characters you took a liking to because, as the story progressed and you found out more about them, things came out that made you question your first impressions.
I wasn’t sure, as the story went on, if Rose was going to turn out to be the hero that the story needed, but in the end, she was definitely that.
Pros & Cons
The ever-changing settings were not always described as much as I would have liked them to be, but all had a point and added to the story.
The underlying story of magic was intriguing and was obviously well-researched. The magic itself was almost like another character, as it had a lot of parts in the story, not just his use of magic to save her life.
As I stated above, there wasn’t any particular character that, in the end, I can say was my favorite. Not an actual “con,” but something that usually bothers me when it comes to a story. In this case, though, it didn’t actually cause harm to the story, as the characters were interesting enough – and the story was intriguing enough – that I plowed through.
There were some editing issues that drove me bonkers, but I am hoping that they were just in the copy I received and didn’t make it to the final copy.
This is definitely a story that I would recommend to others, especially people who enjoy several genres, as this one could fit perfectly in more than one.
Just don’t blame me if you, too, are up until after 3 in the morning unable to put it down…
Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer.
Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, was released June 21st, 2019.
When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human.
When Peter asked me if he could write a review on Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, there was no chance of me saying no. I love hearing people’s opinion on not just these books, but these movies.
Twilight is my sister’s favorite series – something she’s read at least ten times, watched the movies so many times she has them memorized – but something that I could not get into, no matter how much I tried for her sake. But that’s the way it is with this one, isn’t it? There’s the people that loved, it, the people that hated it, and the people who didn’t bother because they had no interest at all.
Is it possible for someone to truly like both Twilight and Pride and Prejudice? I ask because I feel as though I’m about to get kicked in the literary nards again. The last time I stepped on a chick-lit favorite, Jane Austen‘s dull, but well written “romance,” I was described as “someone who lacks the will to understand,” and that was one of the more flattering comments! So you can see why I’m a little hesitant reviewing Twilight.
Here’s my problem with Stephenie Meyer’s debut novel: Twilight reads like a novel written by an average pre-teen, only without any evidence of editing or talent. Tenses are mixed, the plot is paper thin, and the characters are so shallow that they are little more than speaking cardboard cutouts.
The book can best be described as choppy and that’s being nice. Half the time the emotional state of Bella is completely incongruent with the scene she is in. It’s as if Meyer kept a hat near her computer and pulled from it scraps of paper with the words: mopey, or angry, or depressed, written on them. It’s rainy, let’s see what the hat says Bella should feel… hmm… hate. “I hate anything that’s wet.” Yes, that a line from the book and what a great line it is. How long did it take her to think up that one?
Sadly, there are more lines that are even worse. Here’s one that I treasure: “The room was familiar; it had been belonged to me since I was born.”
Been belonged? What the hell is that? And familiar? The room you’ve had since you were born you describe as familiar?
Here’s another line that I just had to read over and over wondering how it made it into the book: “Through their noses, all their features, were straight, perfect, angular.” Through their noses???? I’m clueless what that’s supposed to mean. And, what’s, with, all, the, commas,? If you can get past all this, you then have to swallow the endless repetitious ‘perfect’ descriptions of Edward: His perfect golden eyes smoldered heatedly out from his flawless and perfect brow so that the ocher perfectly singed me with their perfection and heat–I exaggerate, but only barely.
It makes me wonder how this became a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Or how on earth it could be described as “The best book of the Year” by Publisher’s Weekly? I can only surmise that there weren’t any other books written that year.
I just don’t get it. It is a complete mystery how someone can become a millionaire writing like this. Maybe I should not start stopping, practicing to write weller than I does.
I could be famous too.
PS Can anyone tell me why girls fall for Edward when it’s obvious he’s gay. Let’s look at the facts as presented by the book: He’s a smart dresser. He’s neat and trim. He sparkles, smells fruity, and has a musical voice…la, la, la, la. Clearly he’s not just gay, but flaming, feather boa wearing, “I’m a dancer” gay. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that–it’s just an observation.)
PPS Even more of a question is how anyone can like Bella? She can’t walk to the bathroom without fear of falling in the toilet–trust me when I say it’s not an endearing trait. She’s annoyingly condescending to everyone. To call her moody is a joke. She’s bi-polar with a side-order of vanilla flavored mania. In the space of a minute she can be laughing, glaring angrily and crying. Yet all the boys want her. I get that Edward is using her as cover—“I swear that’s not my feather boa. It must be Bella’s.” But the rest of them? It stretches the limits of fiction.
Peter has written drama, horror, fantasy, apocalypse, and post apocalypse novel.
He is proud to have served in the U.S. Army for four years, serving in the 82nd airborne division and as a medic during Gulf War 1. Also having tried his hand in real estate, and a CEO of a national lighting company, he has come to find that his true addiction is in writing and been blessed to make it his full-time career.
Peter resides in Colorado with his wife, Stacy, of 27 years. They have two grown children and a a grandchild who also live in Colorado.
May you find an unforgettable adventure among my writings!
It’s been twelve years since the undead hordes swept over the earth forcing mankind to the brink of extinction. We now live like rats, scavenging in the ruins of our fallen civilization as the dead hunt us night and day.
There is little left to scavenge, however. Grocery stores were emptied ages ago, gas tanks have long been dry and bullets are so precious that a man is lucky to have two to his name.
Still, we survive.
But for how much longer? Instinct and love have combined to turn Darwin’s theory on its head. The strongest didn’t survive in this world. They were the first to die, leaving behind a generation of orphans.
It’s a generation that’s never had a full belly. It’s a generation that has no idea what an Xbox did, or what algebra is for. It’s a generation of children who never laugh out loud, and who have learned to cry softly because the dead are always near and the dead are always so very, very hungry.
When Commander William Jern and his wife Gayle are given an opportunity to move into one of the spacious Colonial homes on the Village Green, they jump at the chance. But the Jern’s new dream home quickly becomes an icy nightmare, as death stalks them relentlessly. It comes unheralded out of the night, and like all of us, they are dreadfully unprepared. But regardless, William Jern must face terrors beyond imagination in order to save his daughter whose body had become a frozen vessel for The Horror Of The Shade. With the help of his son Will, a boy struggling to find the courage to be a man, and an old woman, who has foreseen the terrifying manner in which she will die, William undergoes the ultimate test to see how far a man will go to save his child.