‘666 Gable Way’ by Dani Lamia & Frederick H. Crook – Review

*Disclaimer – I received free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

***

The lone residence of Gable Way, as the Pyncheon named their path upon the home’s completion in the year 1887, had at first been regarded by the residents of White Lake, Michigan, as elegant, perhaps even decadent. The Pyncheons were well educated, successful, and well bred. However, in the short few years following their arrival, some of the people of White Lake incurred inexplicable tragedies, many in the form of family members gone missing or strange illnesses that doctors could not diagnose nor affect. Some of these sicknesses abated, while others ended tragically. There were accidents involving carriages, of which some were fatal. Homes or barns would spontaneously combust without apparent cause, and cases of accidental firearm discharge became common.

Synopsis –

Something evil hides within the House of Seven Gables… Phoebe Pyncheon hasn’t had an easy life. Alone and out of work, she does her best to make ends meet while she finishes her debut novel. But when even the monthly rent becomes too much for the struggling young writer to afford, she is forced to move in to her Great Aunt Hester’s boarding house. Known as the House of Seven Gables, this Victorian mansion is a maze of decrepit halls, musty old furniture, and faded glamour. At first, Phoebe feels at home in the strange, quirky old house.

But soon she senses a presence lurking in the shadows, just out of sight. She hears it breathing in the darkness, feels its cold touch on her skin at night. Then the police knock on her door with news of a dead body found nearby. And Phoebe discovers the terrifying truth… The House of Seven Gables is a temple to an ancient evil, a terrifying power unleashed by Hester and her coven of friends. This dark entity haunts the stones of the old mansion, plotting its revenge upon the living. But a secret power hides within Phoebe as well. And releasing it may be her only chance to survive the terror that awaits her…

Thoughts –

666 Gable Way is a perfect intersection of Victorian values and witchy séances, and a modern nihilistic attitude. Our millennial protagonist, Phoebe, is down on her luck and just trying to get her fantasy adventure novel written but clashes hard with her great aunt Hester and her witchy ways. A perfect combination of traditional witch characters with a more modern twist, 666 Gable Way is a dark and mysterious novel with a cast of intriguing and beguiling characters that is difficult to put down. A stuffy trio of palm readers, an artist who’s blood splattered works line the walls of every room, a witty Englishman who seems to have his own secrets, and now a young and cantankerous woman ready to rock the boat if needed.

Set in the backdrop of an ancient house that holds many secrets in its walls, readers are treated to a gothic styled mystery with modern characters and events, but where you still need to dress well for dinner. Shocking violence and violation are mixed surprisingly well with humour and tenacity. There is something for everyone in this book, and it is a testament to Dani Lamia and Frederick H. Crook’s writing, that everything is blended so well. It’s almost like witchcraft. Spells, hexes, séances, ghosts, possessions, and so much more take place in this boarding house slash psychic reading office, and it is only the strength, stubbornness, and passion of Phoebe that will get you through this book alive.

If you are looking for a modern witchy read I would highly recommend spending some time with Phoebe at 666 Gable Way and exploring the mysteries of the ancient and every watching house, and the secrets of the Pyncheon family.

About the Author –

Dani Lamia has accepted the curse of a warped mind that bends reality, rending the fabric between the real and the unreal. Perhaps a form of schizophrenia, Dani prefers to think of it as wonderful inspiration for some deeply creepy but strangely intellectual horror stories that are pulled from those nightmarish visions. A student of the great horror writers (and filmmakers), Dani has turned a passion for twisted tales that unlock deep truths about humanity into a career focused on scaring the pants off readers. You can find Dani Lamia on Instagram here.

Born in Chicago, Frederick lives with his wife, Rae and their dachshunds, Moxie, Luke, and Parker. He writes dystopian sci-fi, but has written a ghost story and recently a thriller.

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

‘Dead Woman Scorned’ by Michael Clark – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

***

 

As strange as it sounds, Mildred Wells committed suicide in an attempt to reconcile with her son. 

Her thinking was that if they were kindred spirits, the healing could begin… or at least that was the idea.

The horrible truth that she wanted to ignore, however, was that any sort of reconciliation with Elmer would not be easy. He did not want her. Every time he saw her, he ran away. He was rightfully afraid of Mildred, but even so, she hoped deep down he could someday forgive her. 

 

Synopsis –

She’s back, and they’ll regret what they’ve done. Mildred Wells had a miserable life that carried over to a lonesome death. In the end, they betrayed her–played her the fool. She was the last to know, but there’s still time to catch up. She’ll formulate her painful plan as they live their lives in blissful ignorance. With no more family, only vengeance drives her; in fact, it’s all she has anymore. She would rather have rested in peace, but for Mildred, dying isn’t so easy.

 

20200707_163903_0000

 

Thoughts –

Dead Woman Scorned is the second in Michael Clark’s series and a step up from the first book. Maybe I just need to appreciate a romance more, but book two focused less on Holly and Tim’s burning love life and more on how Mildred Well’s came to be the infamous Mildred Well’s, which was a much more compelling and unsettling story for me.

Set directly after the first book as new homeowner Tim is busy redecorating and trying to forget the dangerous and dead woman who refuses to leave him alone, or stop throwing hatchets at him. Dead Woman Scorned takes the reader back to the young life of Mary, and her mother and sister, as she starts on a path that will eventually lead her to become a walking corpse that violently haunts a small New Hampshire property. A series of unfortunate and tragic events in her early life plant the seed of darkness and rage in her young heart, the knowledge of otherworldly magic cultivating this seed into a seething mass of roots that over time rot and infect her soul.

A terrifying and mysterious figure in Book One (you can find my review of book one here) Dead Woman Scorned manages to clear away some of the flies that swarm around Mildred and somehow make her even more terrifying. Tim and Hollie do make an appearance in this book, lulled into a sense of security in thinking that Mildred is finally gone, they soon realise that not only is she still stalking the property, but it seems like everyone in town is now learning her name and eager to get a look at the house of this local legend.

 

51b8lL7t9bL

 

A solid addition to the series, this one will wet your appetite for the darkness to come in Book 3.

 

About the Author –

19081392

Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based on. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba. The Patience of a Dead Man is his first novel, and Dead Woman Scorned is his second. Stay tuned.

 

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

‘Captivating Flames of Madness’ by Jeff Parsons – Review

*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.*

***

 

May 24, 1944

The damp air smothered Hans with a slow asphyxiation of hot sweat, carbon dioxide, and diesel fuel. Each breath grew more and more tortured, not so much from the pervasive soggy drip of foul moisture clogging his lungs, but from the thought of what caused the U-292 German submarine to shudder, as if in anticipation. 

The U-boat was cruising along the surface in attack mode with other subs in the wolf pack. They preyed upon the merchant cargo ships that crossed the unforgiving sea from Newfoundland to England. Each time the ship shook, a torpedo was sent away through the frigid North Atlantic Ocean towards its hapless convoy target. 

Hans sat in the narrow toilet stall behind a flimsy curtain screen, leaning forward with his head cradled by his trembling hands, ashamed of his behavior, but unable to control it any more. He carefully eased a photograph from his uniform’s breast pocket. Stroking the portrait of his love, Greta, he wondered yet again how he was going to stay sane – U-boat service extracted a heavy toll upon him. 

He winced yet again… 

Hans thought he could hear the harsh shriek of the enemy vessels tearing apart after each torpedo hit, but he knew that was unlikely, for the submarine’s twin diesel engines were humming along at low throttle inn the nearby bulkhead compartment. 

He had heard that sound before, the dreadful shearing metal sound of sinking ships, and it haunted him. Like being underneath a waterfall, thunderous bubbling accompanied the dying throes of a merchant ship as it cracked open like a fragile egg shell, the deadly water flooding inside and the sailors within… he swore that he could hear the sounds of their lost souls screaming, just like in his nightmares. 

 

Synopsis –

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…

 

20200605_183525_0000

 

Thoughts –

The Captivating Flames of Madness is an apt name for a collection chock full of twisted and deranged characters. Parsons builds each story on a solid premise, a straight forward tale that the reader can see coming, only to have him pull the rug from under their feet at the last second. There are twists, turns, and surprising endings in these stories, and all of them are darker than you might imagine. Whether it’s a mugging gone wrong in ‘Control‘ where drug addict Chelsea gets more than she bargained for in her search for another hit, or a wish for eternal life turning a hacker’s life upside down in ‘Nothing Personal‘.

Parsons strength in writing is creating a richly layered moment in time, a scene and situation that the reader can instantly step into and forget that they are reading a story – which only serves to make the horror that much more disturbing. Ghosts to Gods, madmen to madwomen, both ancient and modern evils, The Captivating Flames of Madness is a diverse set of stories, circumstances, and characters to lose yourself in.

A collection of over twenty tales of horror, darkness, and disturbed minds, The Captivating Flames of Madness is a generous offering of new and enthralling stories. Jeff Parsons takes you down many paths and turns, and is a writer I’d be happy to follow again.

 

39722058._SY475_

 

The Captivating Flames of Madness is a collection best read by candlelight, a darkness best enjoyed by fans of unexpected endings and mysteries in the shadows.

 

About the Author –

6860100

Jeff Parsons is a professional engineer enjoying life in sunny California, USA. He has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. You can find out more about Jeff Parsons and his work on the HellBound Books website here.

 

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

‘The Patience of a Dead Man’ by Michael Clark – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

****

 

And there was a smell. 

There are many unpleasant odors on a farm, but Henry recognized this as the smell of something unmistakably dead. Like the time a mouse died inside the wall of their bedroom. It was decay, and it was coming from her. 

She was shaking slightly, as if upset. Henry hesitated while he reassessed. Her shoulders were pulled back, and the flower arrangement she was carrying dropped to the forest floor. The left hand shifted across her body and passed something to the right hand that Henry could not see. Then her right arm turned outward, and the silhouette of Henry’s hatchet became clear.

He looked down around his feet in a panic, knowing he would find his dropped hatchet; she had it now. How the hell…? His hopes sank as he realized the time for talk had passed; this was not a neighbor or even a living person – the smell as not only strong; it was overbearing. This was a being with an agenda he couldn’t pretend to imagine. 

 

Synopsis –

Tim Russell just put his last dollar on a handyman’s dream; a quaint but dilapidated farmhouse in New Hampshire. Newly single after a messy divorce, his plan is to live in the house as he restores it for resale. To his horror, as soon as the papers are signed and his work starts, ghosts begin to appear. A bone-white little boy. A woman covered in flies. Tim can’t afford to leave and lose it all, so he turns to his real estate agent Holly Burns to help him decide whether he has any shot at solving his haunted problem. Can they solve the mystery before he loses his investment…or maybe his life?

 

IMG_3716

 

Thoughts –

Swift as the drop of an ax, Clark build the dread in The Patience of a Dead Man from the outset, leaving no character safe from the antics of this haunted fixer upper. Following Tim and Holly on their quest to nourish their budding romance while they battle horrifying nightmare memories that are not of their own making, and a crazed, all too solid ghost woman hell bent on hurting someone, anyone, Clark takes the reader through a story of horrific deeds, unfortunate luck, and a century long battle.

While some parts, particularly at the beginning of the novel, were a little repetitive and could have been edited down a touch, the main story is still gripping and the romance that flourishes between recent divorcee Tim and his not so recent divorcee and estate agent Holly, bring a welcome respite from the continued violence of the mysterious woman that stalks the property.

 

41ZM2kYiHYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

 

The Patience of a Dead Man is a paranormal romance that plucks at the heart strings and in the same breath, will have your heart in your mouth, fearing the woman with flies on her face.

 

About the Author –

19081392

Michael Clark was raised in New Hampshire and lived in the house The Patience of a Dead Man is based on. He now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Josi and his dog Bubba. The Patience of a Dead Man is his first novel, and Dead Woman Scorned is his second. Stay tuned.

 

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

‘Dark Celebrations’ by Calvin Demmer – Review

*Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

****

 

These were no ordinary celebrations. The world, devoid of color, embraced a somber gray tone, and no sunlight dared to pierce the clouds overhead. A chill in the air caressed Brad’s skin as he searched within for some hope that this was just a nightmare he would awaken from. Nothing but a void of despair presented itself, and still the people rejoiced. 

No, these weren’t ordinary celebrations. 

They were dark celebrations.

 

Synopsis –

Each year, people all over the world celebrate special festivals and days, shining light on what they wish to remember and revere. But sometimes, inhabitants of the dark arrive with the desire to disturb proceedings. Dark Celebrations is a collection of twelve short stories… and the holidays will never be the same.

 

20200317_144205_0000

 

Thoughts –

Another collection of stories from Demmer, this one delves into the world of global celebrations. From the American Day of Independence, to The Hungry Ghost Festival of China, the reader is taken across the world and across cultures to explore the darker side of these traditions. You’ll read many a twist in this collection with the usual monster of werewolves and vampires, but expect to be surprised and shocked by some of the less mainstream monsters and creatures in this collection. As with his previous collection ‘The Sea Was a Fair Master‘ Demmer breathes life into his characters, often only to take it away, and the settings pull the reader right into the story.

This collection is a welcome addition to a shelf for anyone who doesn’t find the holidays as cheery as others.

41KogjgbcCL

 

Dark Celebrations is a collection tied together by twelve holidays of enjoyment from around the world – giving a dark and unexpected twist to each.

 

About the Author –

9815686

Calvin Demmer is the author of The Sea Was a Fair Master and Dark Celebrations. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe.

 

Read and Review –

Goodreads.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com