Pre-Order for .99c Throwing Shadows: A Dark Collection by Jerry Roth #halloweenreading #shortstories #horror

Happy Monday! I’ve got a treat for you today! Actually, I have several guests this week with new releases. To start, I’m rolling out a short story collection PERFECT for the Halloween season. The best part? You can grab this fabulous book for the pre-order price of .99c.

Jerry Roth is an author I’ve read before. He’s an excellent story-teller, so when he offered me an ARC of his upcoming short story collection, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t planned to write this post, but after finishing the book, and realizing the pre-order price is only .99c, I just HAD to share my review.

First the blurb:

A woman develops an unhealthy obsession with a scarecrow. A boy plays with a Ouija board and receives a terrifying warning of murder. A down-on-his-luck father learns what happens when you die in your sleep. These stories and six more frightening tales await the reader within the pages of Throwing Shadows: A Dark Collection.

Throwing Shadows will feed that hungry dark side that lives in your cellar.


MY REVIEW:

Goose bump alert!

If you like old-fashioned, creep-fest stories with bizarre twists and turns, this anthology is for you! It has an almost nostalgic feel to it, reminiscent of old horror shows like Night Gallery. Every single story held me spellbound and kept me glued to the pages. The diversity among the plots is fabulous and the descriptions oozed atmosphere.

I enjoyed all the tales but want to mention my top three favorites:

“A Woman’s Strength” introduces a young mother who learns about the unusual connection her husband’s family has to a sinister scarecrow that has stood for generations on the family farm. A powerful story with an unexpected and dramatic conclusion.

“My Soul to Take” is both unique and haunting and involves a father’s unexpected gift to his young daughter. This one really stuck with me after I finished reading it.

Finally, “Always Say Goodbye” is a brilliant piece of writing involving a thirteen-year-old boy, his dead grandfather, and a Ouija board. This one is my absolute favorite, delivering a roller coaster of creepiness and chills. The ending yanked the proverbial rug from under my feet and left me mesmerized by the author’s skill.

With polished writing, deft pacing, and amazing characters, this collection of tales is perfect reading for the Halloween season but is guaranteed to give you goose bumps any time of year—especially if the wind happens to be howling outside and the sun has slipped below the horizon.  Superb storytelling!


PRE-ORDER FROM AMAZON FOR .99C

And there you have it—ideal reading for the Halloween season. Throwing Shadows releases on October 25th, but if you like reading about things that go bump-in-the-night you’ll want to pre-order your copy now! I hope you’ll use the sharing buttons and drop Jerry a line or two in the comments. Happy Halloween!

Book Review Tuesday: The Vampire Connoisseur, Wings and Fire #horroranthologies #horrorfiction #shortstories

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

It’s Book Review Tuesday time, and today I have two collections of short stories for you. Both of these anthologies are in a similar vein, with the focus on horror and dark fantasy. Anthologies are a great way to discover new authors, plus glean treats from authors you already enjoy. If you enjoy fiction with elements of the supernatural, dark fantasy, or horror, you’re sure to like these.
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Todd Sullivan Presents: The Vampire Connoisseur
Various Authors

Every now and then I love to disappear between the pages of an anthology, especially when it’s delivered with a central theme. I don’t read a lot of horror, but I do enjoy it now and then, and I liked the idea of The Vampire Connoisseur being themed around, well…vampires. Don’t expect stakes, crosses, and garlic.

What made this collection so intriguing is the diversity in the plots the authors delivered–all so unique with distinctive voices. Some stories deliver subtle goosebumps and chills while others carry more than a slant of gore. As in any anthology, readers are bound to savor a few stories over others. For me, I especially enjoyed The Red Angel by Lisa Hario, The Sun Sets Nonetheless by Priscilla Bettis, Splinters by Keawe Melina Patrick, Parasites: A tale of Route 66 by B.J. Thrower and Take Me Home Tonight by Troy Diffenderfer. Of special note, I loved the mentions of Woody Guthrie in the Route 66 tale.

Read a few stories at a time or read them all at once. However you choose, this is an enjoyable collection for vampire lovers and lovers of horror.

4 STARS
AMAZON LINK
Genre: Vampire Horror . Dark Fantasy Horror

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Wings and Fire
Various Authors

Normally, in an anthology, there are a few stories that don’t quite deliver the punch of the others. Not so with Wings and Fire. This is one of the best collections of stories I’ve read, all of the tales polished with slick writing and clever delivery. I was riveted from start to finish.

A few of the many gems that stood out for me are the stories by Roberta Eaton Cheadle and Jessica Bakkers, especially An Unsolvable Problem or Not by Cheadle and Tasmanian Devil by Bakkers. Other stories (among many) that struck a chord were Wings of Prosperity by Heather Kindt, Dark Obsession by Susan Lamb, Mary by Adele Marie Park, and The Great Potto by M.J. Mallon. Creepy, eerie, and mesmerizing!

Tales vary between spooky, sinister, and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, but all are brilliant,
delivering the gut punch stories of this nature should. There is one story I skimmed, the content darker than the others, but overall, highly recommended! I thoroughly enjoyed this gem.

5 STARS
AMAZON LINK
Genre: Horror Anthology

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Are you a fan of anthologies? As an author, I’ve contributed to several in the past and have always enjoyed the experience. As a reader, collections like these make for nice “snacks” between longer works. Whatever title is currently on your eReader or keeping you enthralled in paperback form, I wish you happy reading! 🙂

Visiting the Playground with C. S. Boyack #StoryEmpireRoadshow

The Story Empire Roadshow continues today with an appearance from C. S. Boyack. Craig is here to share the scoop on his book The Playground. Gather ’round the bookmobile and grab your copy before the tour is over. There’s only one more day left to score great prices on great reads and accumulate some nifty prizes along the way.

Take it away, Craig!

vintage photo of a bookmobile with crowd gathered around itThanks for having me over today, Mae. This Story Empire Roadshow has been a blast. All of us are doing different things, and in my case it’s something different every day. I think today’s stop is a good one. I’m offering my paranormal novel, The Playground, free for two days.

This story involves a ruthless businessman who has a line of toys for children. They’re called Playground dolls, and they come with access to a social network for kids. Children can interact with each other from all around the world.

Behind the scenes, he’s using the system to brainwash our children into his own homegrown army. Imagine the invasion happening from within our own homes.

This becomes what I like to call a chase for the maguffin, when the next generation of software goes missing. The businessman turned to the occult when things weren’t happening fast enough, and now his position is tenuous at best.

The Playground is told from three different points of view. You get the victim, the heroine, and a badass street thug who’s been sent after the missing software at all costs.

I think it has similarities to the works of Frank Miller, and Quentin Tarantino. If you like something on the dark side, with paranormal themes, this might be the one for you.

Book cover for THE PLAYGROUND, a novel by C. S. Boyack shows dramatic image of young girl's face over a sinister looking house at night with a car in the foregroundBLURB:
The hottest new toys of the Christmas season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power.

To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home?

Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software.

There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start.

The Playground is suitable for mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.

 The Playground is available at this Universal Purchase Link 

Story Empire is a cooperative effort of six outstanding authors. While I’m here at Mae’s visiting, she has her own bookmobile parked at Joan Hall’s blog. Joan is over at Entertaining Stories, so make sure you stop by my place too.

As an incentive to keep following the tour, my two most prolific commenters will win a huge coffee mug featuring my Romanesque bust, and Lisa Burton my robotic personal assistant. These are awesome mugs, and you’re going to want one.

Coffee mug with character and author bust

Connect with Craig at:
Blog | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Biography box for author C. S. Boyack

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

#FridayBookShare @ShelleyWilson72 – The Terror by Dan Simmons

Welcome to another Friday Book Share! Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)

early morning beach scene with sun breaking through the clouds over oceanFirst line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favorite line/scene.

~ooOOoo~

I haven’t actually read THE TERROR recently, but I wanted to participate in Shelley’s Friday Book Share, and this novel ranks as one of my all-time favorite reads—probably among my top five. It’s one of those books you can’t say enough about.

Also, please note that although the first line (below) is in present tense and several chapters of the book are written that way, the huge bulk of this book is written in third person POV.

First Line of Book:

Captain Crozier comes up on deck to find his ship under attack by celestial ghosts.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb:

The men on board the HMS Terror—part of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition—are entering a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, stranded in a nightmarish landscape of ice and desolation. Endlessly cold, they struggle to survive with poisonous rations and a dwindling coal supply. But their real enemy is even more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror clawing to get in.

Introduce the main character using only three words:

Captain Francis Crozier—conflicted, commander, survivor

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book):

Book cover for THE TERROR by Dan Simmons which shows an old clipper ship without sails surrounded by ice and glaciers

Audience appeal. Who would enjoy reading this book?

Although I found this novel in the horror section of the bookstore, it is far more than a story of terror. It’s also a riveting account of the doomed historical expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. Characters such as Sir John Franklin and Captain Francis Crozier actually lived. What makes this book stand out—at least for me—is how well the author combines the terrifying with the lyrical. The Terror is a novel that weaves folklore, the supernatural, history, horror, and suspense into one huge powerhouse of a book. It will appeal to those who love historical fiction with unique and terrifying twists.

A favorite line/scene:

Suddenly there came the pop-pop-pop of musket fire.

Incredibly, unbelievably, obscenely, a line of four Marines just outside the circle of light from the flames had taken their knees on the ice and were firing into the clumps and mobs of running men. Here and there a figure—still sadly and absurdly in costume—fell to the ice.

Releasing Fitzjames, Crozier ran forward, stepping into the line of volley fire and waving his arms. Musket balls whizzed past his ears.

“CEASE FIRE! GOD-DAMN YOUR EYES, SERGEANT TOZER, I’LL BREAK YOU TO A PRIVATE FOR THIS AND HAVE YOU HANGED IF YOU DON’T CEASE THAT FUCKING FIRE IMMEDIATELY!

The firing popped and stopped.

The Marines snapped to a standing salute, Sergeant Tozer shouting that the white thing was out there among the men. They’d seen it backlit by flames. It was carrying a man in its jaws.

Amazon Purchase Link

Do you enjoy historical thrillers? Does The Terror sounds like something that would appeal to you?