Horror novel

Fell beauties is a new novel from the new bizarro authors series line published by Eraserhead Press (one of the leading Bizarro publishers). It’s Leigham Shardlow’s first book and in this critics opinion, a solid first entry.

I am still new to the Bizarro genre, but I know what I like and I like this. The first paragraph hooks you in, and keeps you interested throughout. It begins with beauties – actually beautiful people falling from the sky. A beautiful Adonis is rocketing towards earth and dies in a mixture of orgasm and crunching bones. The bodies continue to rain on Disfigure-Berg “the last ugly city on the planet”. Anyone out in the street is killed by a body slamming them into the pavement or bone shards impaling themselves on their arteries. Even children are not spared (bravo!) in the vivid imagery described in this novel and this is only the beginning.

Fat Janet or “Obese Janet to her friends” is our heroine in this journey.  She’s a highly relatable character, an introvert whose friends include her multiple cats, her stories, and mass quantities of comfort food. As the bodies are piling up and she’s seeking shelter from the devastation she is rescued by our hero Isaac. Isaac is a tragic character having lost his husband, he’s still coming to terms with his death when he comes to Disfigure-Berg on a mission to take down the Church of Skin.

Our villain Cardinal Slice was a former Doctor, a leading plastic surgeon to the beautiful people until botching too many surgeries including Isaacs husbands resulting in his death. Banished to live among the ugly people as a homeless man, he seizes the opportunity to take back his position of power when the bodies start to hit. He holes up in the Church of Skin and starts to transform it’s inhabitants, promising them beauty. He deceives them and  instead creates unholy, awful creatures.

I see the Church of Skin as society itself. It’s the need for people to conform to social standards of beauty and sameness. The Church of Skin (just like any other) is judgemental and expects that you conform to their notions of rightness even if it means your own personal suffering.

Poor Fat Janet gets the worst of it, having to traipse through tunnels of dead bodies and swim through a lake of innards. She steps up though  and becomes an unwilling model of human strength. Her friendship with Isaac is a heartwarming tribute to humanity, a friendship we all hope for. Despite the ugliness of society in the end Fat Janet becomes something beautiful.

I liked this book for the disgusting horror aspect, but more importantly the social commentary. It’s subtle so as not to be preachy, but obvious enough to get it’s point across. Enjoy it for the gore or dig deeper and get woke, either way it’s a solid read. buy it here:https://www.amazon.com/Fell-Beauties-Leigham-Shardlow/dp/1621052591

Fell Beauties: A new Bizarro-Horror Novel by Leigham Shardlow

Fell Beauties: A new Bizarro-Horror Novel by Leigham Shardlow

Fell beauties is a new novel from the new bizarro authors series line published by Eraserhead Press (one of the leading Bizarro publishers). It’s Leigham Shardlow’s first book and in this critics opinion, a solid first entry.

I am still new to the Bizarro genre, but I know what I like and I like this. The first paragraph hooks you in, and keeps you interested throughout. It begins with beauties – actually beautiful people falling from the sky. A beautiful Adonis is rocketing towards earth and dies in a mixture of orgasm and crunching bones. The bodies continue to rain on Disfigure-Berg “the last ugly city on the planet”. Anyone out in the street is killed by a body slamming them into the pavement or bone shards impaling themselves on their arteries. Even children are not spared (bravo!) in the vivid imagery described in this novel and this is only the beginning.

Fat Janet or “Obese Janet to her friends” is our heroine in this journey.  She’s a highly relatable character, an introvert whose friends include her multiple cats, her stories, and mass quantities of comfort food. As the bodies are piling up and she’s seeking shelter from the devastation she is rescued by our hero Isaac. Isaac is a tragic character having lost his husband, he’s still coming to terms with his death when he comes to Disfigure-Berg on a mission to take down the Church of Skin.

Our villain Cardinal Slice was a former Doctor, a leading plastic surgeon to the beautiful people until botching too many surgeries including Isaacs husbands resulting in his death. Banished to live among the ugly people as a homeless man, he seizes the opportunity to take back his position of power when the bodies start to hit. He holes up in the Church of Skin and starts to transform it’s inhabitants, promising them beauty. He deceives them and  instead creates unholy, awful creatures.

I see the Church of Skin as society itself. It’s the need for people to conform to social standards of beauty and sameness. The Church of Skin (just like any other) is judgemental and expects that you conform to their notions of rightness even if it means your own personal suffering.

Poor Fat Janet gets the worst of it, having to traipse through tunnels of dead bodies and swim through a lake of innards. She steps up though  and becomes an unwilling model of human strength. Her friendship with Isaac is a heartwarming tribute to humanity, a friendship we all hope for. Despite the ugliness of society in the end Fat Janet becomes something beautiful.

I liked this book for the disgusting horror aspect, but more importantly the social commentary. It’s subtle so as not to be preachy, but obvious enough to get it’s point across. Enjoy it for the gore or dig deeper and get woke, either way it’s a solid read. buy it here:https://www.amazon.com/Fell-Beauties-Leigham-Shardlow/dp/1621052591


Posted by Candace Stone in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, BRUTAL REALITY, Categories, FICTION AND POETRY, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, REVIEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Up and Coming Horror Author: James Dermond

INTERVIEW: Up and Coming Horror Author: James Dermond

I came across this author while networking on twitter. He gave me the link to his book on Amazon. I peeped in and was quickly lost in his wording! James has the magical ability to snap you up and throw you right into the scene! You truly feel like you are right there! At some points you will even feel like that what is happening in the book at that moment is in fact happening to you!
James Dermond is originally from the Detroit suburbs but has lived in Colorado for over 10 years. He has never been married and has no children.
House of Tortured Souls: Tell us about Doorways to the Unseen.
James Dermond: Doorways to the Unseen: 6 Tales of Terror and Suspense is a collection of six short horror stories. The Doorways to the Unseen short story collection published before Halloween last year is the first volume in what will be an annual series. Doorways to the Unseen Volume 2 (six new short stories) will be published in September 2017, again right before Halloween. An audio book of Volume 1 will be released before Volume 2 is made available as an ebook and paperback.
HoTS: Where can someone purchase the book?
JD: Doorways to the Unseen is available as an ebook and paperback on Amazon and also on Barnes & Noble Nook. An ebook only is available on Kobo and Smashwords as well.
HoTS: Have you written anything prior?
JD: No, Doorways to the Unseen is my first book. I have four more books for release this year: the 2nd volume of Doorways to the Unseen as well as three books in a trilogy. The audio book of Doorways to the Unseen Volume 1 is the fifth product my publishing company is releasing in 2017.
HoTS: Who inspired (or coached) you to write?
JD: A number of famous horror authors, such as H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Stephen King, Clark Ashton Smith, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, and William Hope Hodgson. I have never had a writing coach or taken a creative writing class.
HoTS: When did you fall in love with horror?
JD: When I was growing up in Detroit back in the 1980s, I would religiously watch the Creature Double Feature on local Channel TV 20 every Saturday afternoon. I must have seen nearly every low budget or obscure horror movie from the 1970s over the years I was in grade school and high school. I also read some classic horror stories in the grade school library such as H.P. Lovecraft, "The Outsider" and "The Dunwich Horror".

HoTS: Who is your favorite monster?
JD: Probably something from H.P. Lovecraft: Yog-Sothoth?
HoTS: Do you have a fan page or special Twitter account?
JD: Yes.




HoTS: Anything in the making?
JD: A trilogy about witches! The three part story is my re-imagining of the Salem Witch Trials from the 1600s.
HoTS: What do you do when you are not frightening your readers?
JD: I run another business and also teach classes online, so I am very busy. The self-publishing company is my third endeavor.
HoTS: Do you have any advice for those interested in writing horror?
JD: Write EVERY day.
You guys be on the look out for the first book of the witch trilogy, The Hanged Witch, coming some time in early summer. 🙂
Posted by Alan Smithee in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Dartmoor Horror (2014)

BOOK REVIEW: The Dartmoor Horror (2014)

By Woofer McWooferson

Cover art by Bob Berry of Bob Berry Illustrations.

Joe DeSantisThe Dartmoor Horror came to my attention via an email from the author. Being a fan of Sherlock Holmes, I eagerly accepted his request for a review. Unfortunately, I was not able to read it immediately, but when I did get the opportunity, I was not disappointed. The Dartmoor Horror is clearly a labor of love that was carefully constructed to fit the Holmes canon as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s personal writing style.

The Dartmoor Horror grew from DeSantis’ dissatisfaction with the ending of The Hound of the Baskervilles and his desire to right what he saw as a minor but important missed opportunity on Doyle’s part. Doyle himself was a strong spiritualist having famously supported the reality of the Cottingley Fairies, but his creation, Sherlock Holmes, was the exact opposite – a man of science and reason with no use for the fantastic. As DeSantis points out in his Author’s Note, The Hound of the Baskervilles is as close to a supernatural horror crime mystery as Doyle ever wrote and, as such, was ripe for showing Holmes’ flexibility in the face of evidence that counters his. Perhaps it is because The Hound of the Baskervilles was Doyle’s third Holmes novel or perhaps it is because Doyle doubted his own belief in the supernatural. Either way, DeSantis didn’t shy from it and this is where The Dartmoor Horror picks up.

In The Dartmoor Horror, we are presented with the return of the Hell hound as well as information that strongly hints that it is a supernatural creature. Through the course of the novel, we are further introduced to another undeniably paranormal element, but DeSantis never wavers in his faithfulness to the great detective. On the contrary, DeSantis maintains the nomenclature and dialect of the period while simultaneously breathing new life into a story that has been part of English literature for over 100 years.

DeSantis eases us into the story – aware that there might be a bit of hostility on the reader’s part since he is, to an extent, messing with what has been voted as the best Sherlock Holmes story Doyle ever wrote:

The carriage ambled slowly and deliberately over the winding country road, leaving a long, low cloud of dust behind as it made its way into the outskirts of the town. The driver, briefly energized by the appearance of the scattered, outlying cottages gave his whip a short snap onto the rump of the solitary old horse pulling its burden along.

The Dartmoor Horror was a delight to read. DeSantis’ prose, while faithful to Victorian norms, compels the reader forward, eager to discover how the great detective will piece it all together. Since DeSantis is working with established characters (for the most part), there is less character development than characterization, but this is to be expected. We know these people from the Doyle story, and they behave in exactly the way we anticipate they will even while we’re unable to perfectly predict it. Indeed, while DeSantis peppers the text with clues – both to the mystery itself as well as to where Holmes’ deductions lead him, exactly how the ending plays out is pleasantly unexpected.

Final verdict: 7.5/10. A great addition to any Doyle or Holmes fan’s library.

You can purchase The Dartmoor Horror here. Find out what else Joe DeSantis has written here.

Cover art by Bob Berry of Bob Berry Illustrations.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments