Tag Archives: horror books

Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers through a terrifying journey into the past in “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre”.

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The Synopsis

In Twisted Reveries 3, Bram Stoker Award nominated horror author Meg Hafdahl continues her twisted tradition of female-driven tales with a razor sharp bite. This third collection is steeped in the gothic and antique terrors of years past. Among an intriguing cast of characters, we meet a suffragette who has a sudden brush with telepathy; a deaf widow haunted by her own, devious past; and a young girl fixated on vanquishing the monster who killed her.

Travel into bygone eras and experience thirteen chilling stories that will undoubtedly make you question the shadowed, terrifying memories of the past.

The Review

Immediately upon reading this book, I found myself transported to the era of gothic horror that jump-started my love of all things horror. The haunting atmosphere and the author’s natural ability to build tension in the evolving narratives made this collection of horror stories shine brightly. The author’s ability to conjure up strong imagery that brought out the contrast of beautiful settings set against the dark and cruel nature of the darkness each story held was incredible to behold. 

One of the strongest aspects of this narrative and the overall collection was the use of strong female protagonists throughout the book. The exploration of themes such as feminism, LGBTQ romance, and more was greatly portrayed through these protagonists, especially set against the backdrop of the old stories of the past. One story, in particular, jumped out to me, with the narrative highlighting mankind’s ability to accept truly abhorrent and violent behavior and yet scoff and be disgusted by LGBTQ romance at its best, baffling the mind. The author’s ability to traverse these prominent themes while also entertaining and scaring the reader is truly amazing.

The Verdict

Haunting, shocking, and entertaining, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales Of The Macabre” is a must-read horror collection. The stunning gothic imagery and setting played so well with the strong female-driven narratives and twisted horror elements that have made this author one of horror’s best voices in recent years. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 

https://www.meghafdahl.com/

Vlada, A Dracula Tale by Chris Denmead Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A horror tale as iconic as the genre itself takes the story fans to know and love and gives it a gender reversed turn as readers take in the story that is Vlada, A Dracula Tale by author Chris Denmead.

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The Synopsis

Gender Swapped the Cast of Dracula in a new and unique take on the characters with some new twists.

The Review

This was such a fantastic twist on the iconic horror story. The author found the perfect chord of harmonious storytelling between classic scenes from the original Stoker version of the narrative and updated details from the author himself. The artwork that accompanies this read is stunning, taking on that iconic and classic gothic horror feel that felt so close to the original novel’s era while maintaining a more updated setting.

The obvious yet still engaging change to this narrative was the gender-reversed roles of many of the characters. Turning Vlad Dracula into Vlada was such an important new direction to take the character, exploring the dark yet seductive nature of the character and yet giving readers a host of powerful female heroines and villains to face off against in this retelling, making the narrative feel more alive. Even the inclusion of some new characters really elevated the drama and familiar yet still entertaining narrative. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and delightfully chilling read, author Chris Denmead’s “Vlada: A Dracula Tale” is a must-read horror story that will delight those unfamiliar with the tale and yet engage with longtime fans of the lore of this narrative. The balance of nostalgia and updated horror and action and a twist ending to the narrative will leave readers eager to read more from this incredible author, and one can only hope we get more updated twists on iconic horror tales in the future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Christopher Denmead is a passionate horror fan who wants to bring more awareness to the beauty and rawness of female vampires and treat them like the queens they are.

https://www.facebook.com/Vladagraphicnovel/

Slewfoot by Brom Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young Englishwoman who moved to a Puritan Colony alongside her new husband finds herself quickly a widow and must learn to survive in a patriarchal society. At the same time, a powerful spirit awakens, and together with the woman they must discover who they are and how to survive in this judgmental and deadly world in author Brom’s “Slewfoot”.

The Synopsis

A spirited young Englishwoman, Abitha, arrives at a Puritan colony betrothed to a stranger – only to become quickly widowed when her husband dies under mysterious circumstances. All alone in this pious and patriarchal society, Abitha fights for what little freedom she can grasp onto while trying to stay true to herself and her past.

Enter Slewfoot, a powerful spirit of antiquity newly woken… and trying to find his own role in the world. Healer or destroyer? Protector or predator? But as the shadows walk and villagers start dying, a new rumor is whispered: Witch.

Both Abitha and Slewfoot must swiftly decide who they are, and what they must do to survive in a world intent on hanging any who meddle in the dark arts.

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The Review

This was such a brilliantly written novel. The author did an incredible job of finding a balance between the historical fiction aspect of the narrative by exploring the Puritanical society of that era and the way it mirrors modern-day sexism, and the mythology and culture of the land settled originally by the Native American people, and later taken over by the Puritans. This clash of cultures allowed for the exploration of magic, nature spirits and so much more in this dark fantasy and horror read. 

What really stuck out as awe-inspiring though was the character growth of the cast of characters. The strength and evolution of protagonist Abitha were fantastic to read, as she represented the women who were mercilessly targeted in this society for daring to go in any other direction other than “God’s Will”. The villainous townsfolk who target Abitha is complex yet gripping as the protagonist’s foil in this narrative, while the mysterious and powerful being of many names, including Slewfoot, gave a challenging performance that straddled the line between hopeful ally and bloodthirsty demon. 

The Verdict

A remarkable, magical, and entertaining read, author Brom’s “Slewfoot” is a perfect horror read this Halloween. The folklore, mythos, and chilling atmosphere and tone will thrust readers into this haunting historical fiction and dark fantasy thriller, and the author’s incredibly chilling artwork will keep readers up at night for sure. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in the deep dark south in the mid-sixties. Brom, an army brat, spent his entire youth on the move and unabashedly blames living in such places as Japan, Hawaii, Germany, and Alabama for all his afflictions. From his earliest memories, Brom has been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous, and the beautiful.

At age twenty, Brom began working full-time as a commercial illustrator in Atlanta, Georgia. Three years later he entered the field of fantastic art he’d loved his whole life, making his mark developing and illustrating for TSR’s best-selling role-playing worlds.

He has since gone on to lend his distinctive vision to all facets of the creative industries, from novels and games to comics and film, receiving numerous awards such as the Spectrum Fantastic Art Grand Master award and the Chesley Lifetime Achievement award. He is also the author of a series of award-winning illustrated horror novels: Slewfoot, Lost Gods, Krampus the Yule Lord, The Child Thief, The Plucker, and The Devil’s Rose. Brom is currently kept in a dank cellar somewhere just outside of Seattle.

https://www.bromart.com/

Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror by Alan Golbourn Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Two friends face terrifying odds when strange happenings around a farmhouse in the Scottish countryside bring ancient Scottish folklore into reality in author Alan Golbourn’s “Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror”. 

The Synopsis

PENITUS IN NEMUS

Dating back centuries, an old evil has returned to within Rothiemurchus Forest. With stories of people having disappeared down the years and fires in the forest at night, wildlife are now being found dead — mutilated and slaughtered.

When a farm, surrounded by the rich forest, becomes affected by sinister and unexplainable events, a group, including an uncle and nephew, soon face unimaginable horrors, beyond comprehension …

From the Back Cover:

EVIL IN THE FOREST

When best friends, David and John, are made redundant, they decide to go away with another close friend, Grant, to David’s uncle’s farm up in Scotland in Rothiemurchus Forest. David soon learns of strange and terrible things happening on the farm, where some of the animals are found mysteriously mutilated and slaughtered.

David’s uncle also informs his nephew of other strange phenomena — including whispers in the wind, and a strange and constant sensation of being watched by someone or something. Driven by his concerns for his aunt and uncle and fuelled by curiosity, David is determined to travel up north, against the wishes of his uncle.

Things soon start happening even before David and his friends set off. They become targeted with frightening and inexplicable events, and messages warning them to STAY AWAY, so that one friend is too scared to go, leaving only the two to make the long-distance drive up to Scotland. Despite more frightening and unimaginable things happening on their way up to the Highlands, the two friends, now fearing for their lives, remain determined to reach the farm.

With their minds racing to all sorts of theories, they will soon face an unparalleled horror, with pure evil awaiting them, and an old Scottish folklore proving to be terrifyingly true …

Set at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and its beautiful scenery, a contrasting dark and evil secret is about to be revealed …

A debut novel with strong characters, Famuli Cani is an original, chilling, suspenseful and engrossing story, that will keep you guessing right up to its horrifying climax.

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The Review

This was such a truly engaging and highly creative read. The author found a way to balance the iconic horror tropes found within the narrative surrounding cults and demons, and added a breath of fresh air with Scottish folklore and settings, making for an original horror tale like no other. The pacing and atmosphere shifted back and forth between extended character interaction and mythology building with quick-paced chills and scares that readers with a vivid imagination will watch unfold in their mind in delightful terror. 

The character development was well-thought-out and developed in this narrative. The author found a means of making the characters feel real and relatable, which helped ground the story enough to make the paranormal/supernatural elements of the story feel real enough to be spine-chilling. The thing that stood out to me was the book’s length. While many would probably be hard-pressed to engage with a novel of this length, I would advise them to stay with this book, for it felt like reading a whole new horror mythos coming to life before my eyes. The author kept enough twists and turns going to keep drawing me back in time and time again, making this a truly memorable read.

The Verdict

An adrenaline-fueled, chill-inducing, and entertaining horror read, author Alan Golbourn’s “Famuli Cani: A Supernatural Horror” is a must-read novel of 2021! The perfect fall and Halloween horror read, the balance of terrifying threats both human and non-human mixed with thought-provoking world-building and well-rounded characters made this a standout read, and I highly recommend checking this out for yourselves this fall season. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alan Golbourn was born in Essex, England. He enjoyed writing stories at a young age and was known for his writing abilities. Amongst several interests and hobbies including football and computer games, he holds love and compassion for animals.

Hell Fighters: 21st Century Lovecraft by Bill Richardson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A chance at finding some semblance of security and newfound purpose in his life takes a dark turn when Dr. Max Heller must lead a ragtag group of people against malevolent entities in author Bill Richardson’s “Hell Fighters: 21st Century Lovecraft”. 

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The Synopsis

21st CENTURY LOVECRAFT

A terrifying evil wants to enter our world, and Dr. Max Heller and the Hell Fighters are the only ones who can stop it. Heller is a man of science but when he stumbles upon something that defies all logic, he must put aside his old ways of thinking and plunge into the unknown.

In the tradition of HP Lovecraft comes a tale of cosmic horror that will have you on the edge of your seat. There are things in the universe beyond our understanding, malevolent entities of immense power. Can Heller and a ragtag group of townspeople prevail against such beings? Find out in this gripping tale filled with horrors more frightening than any nightmare.

The Review

This book hits readers immediately with a punch! The author brilliantly alternates the pacing according to the atmosphere of each chapter, slowly introducing readers to the protagonist before unleashing all hell on him and forcing him into a shocking fight for his life. Honestly, some of the most compelling reads and even films/shows that have drawn me in over the years tend to be cosmic horror. From classic H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King’s The Mist and even more modern tales like Stranger Things, the combination of exploring what lies just beyond our universe and the fight for hope and life in the face of overwhelming horror is so highly creative and vastly open for new stories, and this author has found the perfect take on this iconic storytelling device.

What really stood out to me was how much humanity the author was able to infuse into this cosmic horror adventure through such strong character development. A truly great horror story infuses the narrative with emotional storytelling through personal character growth, and the author did this brilliantly, especially with protagonist Max Heller and supporting characters like Lydia and the Hell Fighter Club. These personal and emotionally-driven character interactions not only opened up the mental and emotional journey they were on but also did a great job of bringing thought-provoking concepts and scientific theories such as other dimensions/universes into the conversation while delivering a chilling and haunting atmosphere. 

The Verdict

A chilling, horrifying, and entertaining Lovecraftian-style horror thriller, author Bill Richardson’s “Hell Fighters: 21st Century Lovecraft” is a must-read horror story this fall season, and one of 2021’s best horror reads overall. Brilliant character development, shocking twists, and turns as the mythos of this haunting world is developed, and an open-ended finale that both closes a chapter in the character’s lives and leaves open the possibilities for more, this is a novel readers do not want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Most people want you to be just one thing, but unfortunately I’m not. I work in many genres, many media and many voices. I’m an award-winning filmmaker, an artist, playwright, poet and author. I do humor, horror, poetry, history and more. I create work that is serious, uplifting and explores important questions and I do things that are just pure entertainment. Some of the things I’ve done have been deep and thoughtful, and some just plain silly and fun. If there is a unifying thread, it is that I am a storyteller. And one of the main functions of stories is to aid us in making sense of the world. Stories help us deal with things we are frightened of – whether that’s a creature in the night or death. Stories also help us deal with the cares of life by understanding them or just being distracted from them. Our lives are varied and complex. At times we are happy or sad, challenged or victorious, high or low. So it is not surprising that the things we create should reflect that complexity and diversity. That’s how it is with me. Now if you want information on some of my specific accomplishments then just keep on a readin’.

As a filmmaker I’ve produced feature films, documentaries, commercials and TV series. I’ve appeared on numerous national TV shows including CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, American Pickers, Nat Geo’s Diggers, Discovery Networks’ Blood Feuds and America: Fact or Fiction and the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum. My films have been used as teaching tools at such prestigious universities as UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and Marquette, and are part of the U.S. Library of Congress holdings. I’ve been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, London Times and hundreds of other newspapers. I’ve published fiction and non-fiction through Random House and other companies. I’ve been a featured speaker nationally and internationally. My work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and I’ve done covers for books, magazines, movies and graphic novels. I’ve even appeared onscreen in four internationally distributed feature films.

https://bilrichardson.com/

Grolar: Half Grizzly Half Polar Bear by Thorsten Nesch Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

When a child reveals a discovery to their parents near the edge of the woods, the family discovers a darkness threatening to overtake them all in author Thorsten Nesch’s “Grolar: Half Grizzly Half Polar Bear”.

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The Synopsis

Grolar:

half grizzly bear, half polar bear

Jon lost his job in Vancouver and finds work at a small gold mining camp. His wife and his young son join him. When the toddler shows them what he had found near the tree line, they know, there is something dark waiting for them.

The author Thorsten Nesch lives in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He is an award-winning and traditionally published author. His novels are read in schools in Europe.

The Review

A truly gripping and chilling horror and thriller, author Thorsten Nesch expertly makes his way from YA into the adult mystery and suspense genres. The true terror that brings the horror genre into this narrative is the real-life inspiration for the “monster” of the novel, the self-titled Grolar. The descriptive imagery the author infuses into the narrative really brings this terrifying animal to life, but the way the author delves into the mind and behavior of the beast is what gives weight and gravity to the situation for the characters. 

The thing that fascinated me was the way the author managed to balance the narrative with more intimate and gripping personal drama. The characters, their fractured bonds, and the motivations each had for being at the site of this book’s main setting really elevated the danger and fear that the bear’s attack left on them all as the narrative progressed. 

The Verdict

A memorable, frightening, and entertaining read, author Thorsten Nesch’s “Grolar” is a must-read novel! Fans of the horror genre and creature-feature style narrative will absolutely become enthralled with this story. This novel is for the Canadian wilderness what Jaws was for the ocean. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Since 2014 I live in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

My stories received literary grants and awards nationally and internationally. In the last years I did more than 1500 readings in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and on two cruises.

My first novel was nominated Best German YA Debut and I won the Hans-im-Gluck-Award 2012

Jury: „His style is a stroke of luck for literature“

http://thorstennesch.com/

The Thicket by Noelle Ihli Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman struggling with the loss of her brother in a heinous crime returns to the place he lost his life, a haunted attraction in their small town, in hopes of discovering what exactly happened to her brother. However she isn’t the only one, as thriller seekers hoping to keep the place open arrive, as does the mystery killer who caused the chaos in the first place, in author Noelle Ihli’s “The Thicket”.

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The Synopsis

Would you recognize a real scream on Halloween?

That’s the question haunting Norah Lewis.

She can’t shake the guilt that’s stalked her since the night her brother was murdered. She heard —and ignored—his last screams. Just like everyone else at the Thicket, a haunted attraction in tiny Declo, Idaho.

But as Halloween approaches, Norah’s personal tragedy is overshadowed by a media circus. Parents’ groups and PTAs lobby for a shutdown while thrill seekers far and wide clamor for a chance to visit the notorious haunted attraction.

Many of Norah’s classmates eagerly plan a visit. And, reluctantly, so does Norah, who is driven to retrace her brother’s last steps.

But the man in the grainy security footage whose masked face is plastered across the news hasn’t chosen the Thicket at random.

And, like Norah, he’s planning a return visit. 

The Review

What a truly amazing and inviting horror read! Horror fans everywhere will love this intricately detailed and plotted thriller. The author does a great job of painting an image of the narrative in the reader’s mind, delving into our modern world’s obsession and love of all things terrifying and macabre. As a fan of haunts myself and with friends who run a haunted attraction, I could relate to the life and atmosphere of these attractions clearly. 

It was the atmosphere and characters that really drew me into this narrative. The author managed to capture the unique mindsets of teenagers who have trouble thinking past their own needs or desires, while the chilling mind of the killer and what created his need to kill were both fascinating and haunting. Nora will break your heart, as she evolves over time from a former moody teenager who is faced with regret and pain at her brother’s loss, to a horror heroine facing her brother’s killer head-on. 

The Verdict

A memorable, engaging, and chilling horror/thriller, author Noelle Ihli’s “The Thicket” is a massively entertaining novel of 2021, and a great first novel in the author’s fictional writing career. One of my top choices for the horror novel of 2021, this novel will stay with you long after you have read it, and the author perfectly captures the tone and feeling of tension that both the haunt and the killer bring into this narrative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Noelle’s two great passions are murder and horses (separately, never together).

Noelle is a boy-mom to Luke and Max, and a cat-mom to Michelle. When she’s willing to wear pants (which is less often than she aspires to wear them), she can be found in mom jeans. Her husband Nate is the best person she knows.

Pretty/Ugly by Jennifer Anne Gordon Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two people struggling with loss and loneliness must face a dystopian nightmare in author Jennifer Anne Gordon’s “Pretty/Ugly”. 

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The Synopsis

Pretty/UglyInteritus: noun. ruin; violent/untimely death, extinction; destruction, dissolution.

Omelia fills the empty place in her heart with Instagram clicks, likes, and subscribes, hiding the scars of grief under a mask of makeup, cloaked in an online personality. She yearns to be someone new: a girl in a magazine, a character in a book, a beauty queen. Anything not to feel, to be numb, but the sharp pain accompanying the red spot on her face cannot be ignored. Nor can the black, spindly tarantula-like vines that creep up the side of her face and the fever she spikes, forcing her to confront the fact that the person she has become may not be who she is at all.

Dubbed ‘the New JFK,’ Sam is the heir apparent to a powerful but emotionally distant political family, living the life he neither dreamed nor wanted. He sleepwalks through his days filled with self-loathing, rage, boredom, and an ache under his heart that reminds him that he is not complete. He is roused from slumber when a political scandal erupts that coincides with the end of the world. Too many Adderall and Old-Fashioneds leave Sam wondering, is he crazy or haunted? When lives are emotionally ended in childhood, it takes an apocalypse to see the ephemeral beauty of living again.

The Review

Another fantastically haunting and memorable read from author Jennifer Anne Gordon. The story fits perfectly into the pandemic era we’ve all gone through this past year and a half. The chilling setting of a dystopian world that has ended after a pandemic really brought the horror aspect of this novel, gripping the reader in a story that captured the suddenness and quick pace that an illness can take the world. 

The characters really brought the heart to this narrative. The protagonists, in particular, two very broken and lonely people who find themselves living lives not their own, really speaks to the idea of isolation and public perception versus reality. The losses they share and the terrifying way they meet one another turns their tale of survival into one of personal connection and hope. 

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The Verdict

A gripping, engaging, and emotional tale of horror, survival, and rediscovering life again, author Jennifer Anne Gordon’s “Pretty/Ugly” is a must-read horror novel of 2021. It perfectly captured the raw emotions and fear that so many have felt over the course of this pandemic and the isolation and loss that can come from it. The stories haunting end and visceral writing does a great job of leaving glimmers of hope and life mixed into this terrifying world, leaving readers wanting more. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jennifer Anne Gordon is a Gothic horror novelist. Her work includes Beautiful, Frightening and Silent (2020) which won the Kindle Award for Best Horror/Suspense for 2020, and From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel book 1), and When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel book 2).

She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer is one of the hosts as well as the creator of Vox Vomitus, a video podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network, as well as the Co-Host of the You Tube Channel “Talk Horror to Me”. She had been a contributor to Ladies of Horror Fiction, as well as Horror Tree.

Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.

She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied Acting. She also studied at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Art History and English.

She has made her living as an actress, a magician’s assistant, a “gallerina”, a comic book dealer, a painter, and burlesque performer and for the past 10 years as an award-winning professional ballroom dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer.

When not scribbling away (ok, typing frantically) she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and dance partner, teaching her dog ridiculous tricks (like ‘give me a kiss’ and ‘what hand is the treat in?’ ok these are not great tricks.) as well as taking photos of abandoned buildings and haunted locations.

She is a Leo, so at the end of the day she just thinks about her hair.

https://www.jenniferannegordon.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/pretty-ugly-by-jennifer-anne-gordon

Edge of the Known Bus Line by James R. Gapinski Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A simple bus ride turns into a nightmare when a young woman finds herself forced into a hellish landscape with no means of escape in author James R. Gapinski’s “Edge of the Known Bus Line”. 

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The Synopsis

A woman’s daily commute takes an abrupt turn when she’s dropped off in a grotesque shantytown in Edge of the Known Bus Line. The townsfolk live in huts and tents scavenged from broken trinkets. They eat dead rats and human flesh. They’ve developed cult-like religions about miracle bus routes that will someday set them free. The narrator searches for a way out of this surreal hellscape while dredging up a few nightmares of her own.

The Review

A truly brilliant and memorable read, this short yet powerful novel does a great job of exploring the horror genre to the fullest. The fast-paced nature of the narrative is perfectly balanced with story development and horror-specific mythology that really draws the reader in. 

The atmosphere was really the biggest selling point of this novella. The book quickly thrusts the protagonist into the hell she has found herself in, allowing the reader to feel the shock and terror that the protagonist feels in this shocking situation. The author paints a grim and terrifying image to the reader, using imagery to really sell the spine-chilling nature of the world in which the author has created.

The Verdict

A gripping, entertaining, and at times even humorous read, author James R. Gapinski’s “The End of the Known Bus Line” is a must-read short novel horror story. A captivating and engaging story of trying to find hope in a sea of nightmares and horror, this is a fantastic story that is not to be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

James R. Gapinski is the author of the novella Edge of the Known Bus Line (Etchings Press; University of Indianapolis), named to Kirkus Reviews‘ Best Books of 2018 and a finalist for the 2019 Montaigne Medal. He is also the author of three chapbooks: The Last Dinosaurs of Portland (Bottlecap Press), Fruit Rot (Etchings Press), and Messiah Tortoise (Red Bird Chapbooks). His short fiction has previously appeared in Heavy Feather ReviewHobartJukedMonkeybicyclePaper DartsPsychopomp, and other publications. He’s managing editor of The Conium Review, an instructional specialist at Chemeketa Community College, and an instructor for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program.

http://jamesrgapinski.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/edge-of-the-known-bus-line-by-james-r-gapinski