‘The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge’ by Holly Rae Garcia & Ryan Prentice Garcia – Review

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

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Kellen Tsosie crouched in the thick underbrush twenty yards away from the thirsty animal and tried to ignore the thorns scratching his legs. There had been rumors around town of strange sightings in the area, but the reports were inconsistent. Some said the thing had to be the biggest grizzly they had ever seen, others swore it looked like a gorilla, forgetting that the Pacific Northwest had never been home to any gorillas. Others swore it was the Dzunukwa, from the legends of the Kwakiutl tribe. Some called it ‘Bigfoot’, or ‘Sasquatch’. Kellen had hoped the sightings were none of those things, but couldn’t deny what was right in front of him. An ancient creature who knew their kind wasn’t allowed to be so close to the stream. Forbidden, even, to leave the foothills at all. Yet there it was in front of him, shattering a centuries-old alliance between Tsosie elders and the Bigfoot clan.

Synopsis –

US Army Veteran Henry Miller embarks on a hunt at the edge of the Black Forest, but strays from the path and finds himself too close to the East Cascade Mountain Range.

Something lurks in the forest on the other side of those mountains. An ancient race of Bigfoot that have kept to themselves for centuries, until one of them defies the warnings and roams too far from the safety of their home.

When these two intersect, alliances are broken and events set in motion that will leave residents of the town of Easton Falls, Washington, fighting for their lives.

Thoughts –

The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge is a short and gruesome story of exactly what it sounds like; Bigfoot enacting revenge on the humans that have wronged them. But this is not a singular Bigfoot, this is a tribe (Bigfeet?) and when one of them is harmed inadvertently by a distracted hunter, they are not about to slink back into the shadows and forget about it. The story ramps up from uncomfortable to frantic in slow and steady steps – but they are pretty big steps.

The writing from husband and wife pair Rae Garcia and Prentice Garcia, is well crafted and you get more than just humanoid violence in this novella. The characters of the town are, for the most part, well fleshed out even in as little words as there are, with back stories and past traumas, yet this doesn’t entirely leave you feeling that Bigfoot is the villain for the entire story; as with any good story, it turns out it’s probably man.

I would have liked to get to know the Native American tribe a little better. These are the people who help protect the ‘Bigfeet’ and to keep things from the tragedy that happens here from ever occurring, but this time they failed. It would have been a great inclusion to have more of them interacting with the story and to learn how exactly this strange alliance came about. But overall, The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge does exactly what it says on the tin and with an ending that is shocking, you will not be disappointed.

If you are looking for a revenge story with a twist or just more of the legendary Bigfoot in your library, The Easton Fall’s Massacre: Bigfoot’s Revenge is a must have novella for your collection.

About the Authors –

In her own writing, Holly Rae Garcia leans toward the thriller, horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres.

She live on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

* COME JOIN THE MURDER
Debut novel, a psychological thriller with horrific elements.

* EASTON FALLS MASSACRE: BIG FOOT’S REVENGE
Horror novella written with Ryan Prentice Garcia

More information can be found on her website: www.HollyRaeGarcia.com

Ryan Prentice Garcia is currently working on two projects: His first solo novel, a gruesome tale that involves poker, the devil, and revenge, and a sequel to his debut novella with his wife and fellow author, Holly Rae Garcia. He currently resides on the Texas Coast with his family.

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‘Screaming Creatures’ by Sean M. Thompson – Review

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

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You put the key in, and the lock catches a bit. You’d forgotten about this quirk with the door, but there are many little things to get used to as a house sitter. You have to use a good amount of force to fully engage the mechanism, but you manage it, even one-handed, with the Jensen’s mail balanced against your side.

The heat is the first thing to hit you: stifling, cloying humidity, which seeps right into your lungs. The smells of potpourri left in the blazing sun, of no doubt thirsty begonias in a crystal vase, mix with the smell of the chemically-treated water in the fish tank. You’re surprised the mauve wallpaper hasn’t just peeled off the wall like a snake’s skin.

Maggie Jensen hired you primarily to feed her fish while she takes some much needed R and R at Acadia National park in the good old state of Maine, where life is slower. Being from Rhode Island this has a certain appeal. And who knows, maybe you’ll take some time off in September to go yourself.

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Synopsis –

Enter a world where nowhere is safe. These 14 stories take our everyday lives and turn them upside down. Encounter wendigos and succubi, demons and beings from beyond the stars, travel from the forests of New England to the wasted plains of the old west, succumb to haunted media and plagues of madness. Screaming Creatures is a fast ride to surreal landscapes full of hard decisions and frayed sanity.

Thoughts –

Screaming Creatures is the latest collection from Sean M. Thompson and Nictitating Books. From unsettling naked strangers in ‘Sunny Village’ to a world lost to insanity in the titular story ‘Screaming Creatures’, Thompson takes you on a journey through creeps, chills, horrors, and unbelievable terror.

Thompson’s writing is swift and engaging, a style that you can trust to keep you locked in with characters and events at all times. The tones of the stories are wide ranging but always with an undercurrent of tension that is enough to turn your stomach. The thrill of a secretarial job for a blood thirsty employer, the cold yearning for a connection with strangers – you’ll find a story that hits a nerve.

The final story of the collection ‘Screaming Creatures’ is a tale of a world infected by madness, and one that reflects all too much our current situation. Seemingly a virus with unknown origins infects the world, though they never find out how it is spread, but instead of physical sickness here it is insanity, irrationality, and violence that push our world over the edge, turning us all into nothing but screaming creatures… or maybe we already are.

A powerfully written collection to dive into, Screaming Creatures is sure to echo in the mind long after the last page.

About the Author –

Thompson grew up in a suburb of central Massachusetts. He is, in no particular order:
A weirdo. An angry ghost. A redhead. An asshat. A soda-swilling, sarcastic son of a bitch who loves cats and gallows humor.

He is a transplant to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he’s doing his best to become a desert-dwelling surrealist

Sean M. Thompson is the author of the collection TOO LATE, TH3 D3M0N, the novella HATE FROM THE SKY from Eraserhead Press, and FARMINGTON CORRECTIONAL from Planet X Publications. His work has been featured in TEST PATTERNS, TERROR IN 16-BITS, VASTARIEN, and UNNERVING.

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‘Food Fright’ by Nico Bell – Review

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

***

Virginia, 1995

Cassie Adler gnawed her thumbnail until she tasted blood. Crickets chirped as a slight breeze cooled the September night air, cutting through the thick Virginia humidity. She shifted on her feet and looked past the dim streetlights lining the parking lot of Rochelle High School. A truck’s high beams switched to low as it drew closer.

Her chest tightened.

This was a mistake, but she’d come too far to wimp out now. Heather and her friends would never let Cassie hear the end of it if she didn’t follow through with the plan. Besides, this is what she wanted, right?

To be one of them.

Because if she belonged to their group, the teasing would stop.

No more jabs, about her loser father.

No more jokes about Cassie’s skeleton build or frizzy brown hair.

No more mocking her mom, who spent more nights sleeping in the county jail than her own bed back at home.

Cassie just needed to complete this one small task and she’d finally be in their circle, no longer standing on the outside.

Synopsis –

High school junior Cassie Adler just wanted the bullying to stop. She thought gaining a spot on the varsity soccer team would whip up instant friends, but it isn’t until the popular girls need Cassie’s help that they acknowledge her presence. Cassie reluctantly agrees to participate in a prank that turns sour fast. Now with blood on their hands, she and the popular girls race to cover their tracks. But something savage knows what they’ve done, and it’s hungry for revenge. Can Cassie redeem herself before it’s too late, or will her deadly sins ketchup to her?

Thoughts –

Food Fright is a 90’s camp horror that takes the phrase ‘death by chocolate’ quite literally. Nestled among the stress of high school politics, a hierarchy obsessed gang of witches, and one poor girl who just wanted to make friends on the soccer team, this is a story that will have you reaching for the snacks and getting concerned at every gurgle of your stomach thereafter.

Cassie as a main protagonist is a typical down trodden teenager who hates the popular girls almost as much as she wants to be them, desperately trying to make right what she did wrong. Ms Bower is your not quite so average teacher with a dark background, a yearning to belong, and not quite as well put together as her students might seem. With misplaced magic, murderous desserts, and teenage angst, Food Fright is a campy, violent (with fudge in place of blood) story of revenge that will have you laughing, rolling your eyes, and forever suspicious of a croissant that smells just a little too irresistible.

Nico Bell manages the characters well and keeps the tone of the book anxious, thrilling, yet as light as a French pastry much of the time. The reader is pulled into the story from the off with a familiar setting and characters, but a unique method of murder for the poor girl caught up in her own high school tragedy.

A palate cleanser for any horror fan.

About the Author –

Nico was born in New York, in 1983.

Nico started her writing career as a Christian fiction writer under a different name. She was a semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writer Genesis Contest, a finalist in the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Music City Melody of Love Contest, a finalist in the Splickety and My Book Therapy Flash Fiction contest, and a finalist in the RWA Great Beginnings Contest. Her flash fiction has been featured in Splickety, and Spark.

Her love of psychological thrillers and twisted plots led Nico into the world of horror where she unleashed her unsuspecting characters. Her stories have been published in several collections including The Second Corona Book of Horror Stories, Drabbledark Anthology and her debut novel Food Fright was released on March 26, 2020.

For more, find Nico on her website, twitter or instagram

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‘After the Fall: Children of the Nephilim’ by Paul Freeman – Review

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

***

 

He hawked and spat as stomach acid burned inside his chest. It was time. The first one appeared, a shadowy figure emerging from the trees. He could make out its hideous face as it moved into the clearing, appearing to float on the mist. It hissed and snarled at him, a grotesque smile of fangs. Slowly he unslung the shotgun from his back. His heart beat a steady rhythm as his hands only shook a little. He brought the weapon up all the while his eyes darted about the clearing, squinting in the shadowy twilight. There was never just one. 

 

Synopsis –

Twenty years after the Fall and what’s left of mankind is eking out an existence in a post-apocalyptic world. With much of the Earth now a nuclear wasteland, civilization has been knocked back two hundred years. By day the remnants of humanity gather together in small groups drawing from the land what they can in their new technological wasteland. By night they hide behind walls and bank up fires in an attempt to ward off the evil stalking the land during the hours of darkness.

The world needs a savior. A hero unafraid to face his own fears and terror of the vampires. An ex-preacher disillusioned by the world and his god is not that man… or so he says.

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Thoughts –

Set 20 years into the vampire apocalypse that has plunged the world into darkness, After the Fall paints a grim picture of one small town struggling to eke out an existence while fighting off the monsters that stalk their nights. But not only this, the group also have to protect themselves from the worst opportunistic scum of humanity – raiders.

Freeman’s storytelling strengths lie in the authentic tone of his characters and their rich lives. He creates sympathetic characters from courageous town leaders to horny and misguided teenagers, who’s bad luck genuinely pulls at the readers heart strings – characters that you can’t help but root for.

After the Fall‘s main hero is Preacher, a former man of God who lost faith in his leader when he saw his congregation torn to pieces in front of his eyes, turned after death into soulless monsters intent on pulling others down with them. Motivated by his hatred of these demons and fearless against their onslaught, Preacher also has the burden of leading the town of ‘Colony’, a group that looks to him for strength, guidance, and hope, a burden that gets heavier by the day, highlighting the struggles and vulnerabilities we so rarely see in our heroes.

 

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After the Fall: Children of the Nephilim is a post apocalyptic novel that pits faith against evil, takes no prisoners, and is dripping with darkness.

 

About the Author –

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Paul Freeman is from Dublin, Ireland, where he now works, plays and writes. In the past he has lived in Germany and America but is now content to keep his roaming to the worlds he creates and writes about. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, or on his website here.

Tribesman is his first published novel, an epic fantasy with hints of Celtic myth. He has also published a short story in the steampunk anthology, Strange Tales From the Scriptorium Vaults. Season of the Dead is a novel about the zombie apocalypse, told from four different perspectives by four different authors and published by Spore Press. Book 2 in the Tribesman series, Warrior is now available.

 

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‘John McNee’s Doom Cabaret’ – Review

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

***

 

“So… this is the club?” I asked.

“Down,” he insisted, urging me onward. “It’s called the Doom Cabaret.” 

“Catchy.” 

“Its an ancient and noble tradition of the theatre, dating as far back as the Roman Empire. From them to now, the Doom Cabaret has been dedicated to bringing revelry to the darkness, spitting in the face of the apocalypse and providing joy to a niche and dedicated audience.” 

“I see,” I said, though it was hardly the case. In truth, it was becoming difficult to see anything in the fading glow of the lamps. 

 

Synopsis –

This is the stage. These are the players.

A young woman’s sexual appetites prove too powerful to be undone by death. Hedonistic clubbers covet a drug that warps flesh rather than the mind. A wealthy cannibal encounters a meal too beautiful to be eaten. The Lullaby Man ushers another eager victim into his clockwork lair. Here is where such stories are told. Blood and beauty, defilement and deformity, musicians and monsters.

Welcome to the Doom Cabaret.

 

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Thoughts –

Being a cabaret fiend myself I couldn’t resist a horror collection with a cover and title like this, and I’m glad I gave into temptation. Doom Cabaret is a set of eight horrific stories ranging from grotesque freak shows that go beyond any freak show you’ve ever seen before in ‘Bebbel‘, to a gruesome mural that  comes to life in ‘Man Holding Razor Blade‘. McNee weaves a tapestry of violence, gore, passion, and revenge shrouded in shadows and as entertaining as it is stomach churning.

McNee’s writing relies heavily on the realistic characters that he creates. There is no such thing as holding back with McNee’s stories, no line that he won’t cross in service of the story.

This collection is bookended by a first and last story of some very different, yet equally hypnotic performances, ‘Bebbel’ and ‘Midnight at Doom Cabaret‘. Hitting you with the hard stuff first, the crunchy middle of the collection ramps down just a little, but always with the shadow in the background of that no holes barred beginning. Horrific performances with horrific stage managers, McNee’s stories are not easily forgotten, and not easy to put down either.

 

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About the Author –

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John McNee is the writer of numerous strange and disturbing horror stories, published in a variety of strange and disturbing anthologies, as well as the novel ‘Prince of Nightmares’.

He is also the creator of Grudgehaven and the author of ‘Grudge Punk’, a collection of short stories detailing the lives and deaths of its gruesome inhabitants, as well as its sequel, ‘Petroleum Precinct’.

He lives in Scotland, where he is employed as a journalist.

 

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