Book Review: VanHelsing vs. Dracula’s Daughter #graphicnovel #bookreview #VanHelsingvsDraculasDaughte #NetGalley

Release Date: July 13, 2021

Author: Raven Gregory

Introducing Helsing’s deadliest villain yet! Liesel Van Helsing returns in a brand new series set to turn the inventive huntress’ world on fire. A mysterious being rises from Helsing’s long forgotten past hell bent on revenge. A being whose secrets could very well destroy Helsing…and all she holds dear. Don’t miss this exciting new series written by fan favorite Wonderland writer Raven Gregory and artist extraordinaire Allan Otero!

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MY REVIEW – 4 stars

Van Helsing vs Dracula’s Daughter has amazing artwork and a storyline with enough twists to keep you entertained. While I enjoyed the unique additions to the Dracula/Van Helsing story, there were times I felt like I was missing something. I hadn’t read the other comics in this universe, so if you’re trying to read this as a stand-alone, be advised there are bits and pieces that are further explained elsewhere. All in all, it was a great graphic novel and I definitely want to read more.

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

BOOK REVIEW: They by G. Allen Wilbanks #horror #bookreview @gallenwilbanks

I do not know what They are. I don’t know where They came from.

All I know for certain is They appeared in the house about six weeks after Amy and I moved in.

They may have always been in the house, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe they found something compelling about the old building that drew them to it. My wife and I were merely the unfortunate souls who resided there when They arrived.

Lock your doors, close the drapes, turn on all the lights…Supernatural horror from G. Allen Wilbanks at its best.

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BOOK REVIEW – 5 stars

They is a spine-tingling, hair-raising, chilling tale that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Do you love things that go bump in the night? Enjoy tales of spooky things stalking you in the dark? If you answered yes to both of those questions, They is a must-rest you won’t be able to put down! Mr. Willbands packs quite a punch in so few pages that will leave you wanting more. Be prepared for a dark tale with an even darker ending… buckle up because it will be quite the ride!

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Spotlight: Invasion of the Undead by Samurai Dan Coglan #horror #zombies @CoglanDan @RoxanneRhoads

 

Invasion of the Undead

Death Stalker Chronicles 
Book One
Samurai Dan Coglan
 
Genre: Horror
Publisher: L’Oste Vineyard Press
Date of Publication: 5-28-2021
ISBN: 978-1-7353896-7-7
ASIN: B08XNS92W5
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 60500
Book Description:
Former Marine Lance Corporal Chase Brooks fought the enemy in Afghanistan and lost his unit.
Now back in America, he fights to keep from losing his mind, as he is repeatedly attacked by the undead that he believes wiped out his men overseas.
Convinced that what he saw over there was real, he goes to war to wipe out the undead on American soil.
#samuaraidancoglanbooks #invasionoftheundead #deathstalkerchronicles #lostevineyardpress #horror #zombies #horrorbook #zombiebook
 

Excerpt

“Get those damn charges set, and let’s get out of here,” I growled into
my mic.  Shadows moved around me, and a turbaned face appeared out of the
murky darkness.  I shot the onrushing insurgent twice and looked around
for more.

“Come on, come on, come on,” I muttered.  “We’re past time for
evac.  Move your slow asses!” Lt. Rodriquez was suddenly at my side,
scowling.  “We’re doing the best we can, Corporal.  Hold on to your
hat.”

“Charges set, Lieutenant,” Stevens called out.  “That makes all
four; we can blow this popsicle stand!”

“About damn time,” I snapped.  “There are hostiles everywhere.
What the hell is this place, anyway?”

McGavin scoffed.  “It’s a temple, Brooks.  Remember? We had a
briefing and everything.”

“Screw you,” I told him.  “This ain’t like no temple that I’ve
ever seen.  And it smells like a fucking crypt.”

“No lie,” my buddy, Lance Corporal Jeremy Stevens, chimed in.  

“Marines,” Rodriquez barked.  “Let’s go.”

I led us back out, the six of us in tight formation.  Stevens was
on my left flank; Sgt. Bates was on my right, and the Lieutenant was in the
middle with the beady-eyed “guide” that the Colonel had stuck us with.
McGavin brought up the rear.

Dead bodies were everywhere; our ingress had come with a high body count.
I ignored them.

Two tours had made me immune to corpses. I had bigger priorities.

There was a commotion in front of us; heard but not seen.  Voices
cried out in excitement.  We froze.

Our position was suddenly hit with massive spotlights.  “We’ve been
cut off! Break left!” Rodriquez yelled as gunfire erupted all around us.
We returned fire, hot and heavy.
Being in front has its disadvantages.  I got hit three times, twice in the
chest and once in the leg.

My vest took the brunt of the two to the chest, but the leg shot really
sucked.  I went down but staggered back to my feet and kept fighting.

Stevens took over point; Lt. Rodriquez slid over to his spot and put me
in the middle with the guide, who looked scared out of his mind.  I didn’t
blame him.   

We raced through the gloom, moving downhill but not having a choice in the
matter.  McGavin took a round to the lower back and went down.  I
shouted, and the unit took up positions around our fallen comrade.  

We created a semi-circle facing back the way we’d come, weapons up and
ready.  There wasn’t long to wait.  The horde was on us quickly, the
heavy sound of their AK-47s threatening to overwhelm the sharper cracks of our
M-4s.  

It was over in less than sixty seconds, and to my amazement, we were
still standing.  There were bodies all around us, and the air was thick
with the smell of cordite.  Clouds of smoke from the gunfire obscured our
lights even further.
It was like being in hell, I thought, sweeping the area with my carbine.
Something flashed in my light, and I swung back.

There was a figure standing at the edge of the light.  It couldn’t
be a friendly, so I shot at it.  I missed, and it ducked behind a pile of
bodies.  The Lieutenant motioned, and Stevens and I went out to get
whoever it was.  

I’d taken maybe three steps when the figure reappeared, much closer.
I could tell it was a man, head and neck wrapped in a shemagh.  One
arm was holding a bundle, and the other was outstretched toward the ceiling.

His eyes were glowing red.  I blinked.  His eyes really were
glowing; it wasn’t goggles or an optical illusion.  Glowing or not, I knew
what my job was.  I put that head with glowing eyes in my sights and prepared
to pull the trigger.

Our guide, who’d been useless and paranoid the entire mission, started
screaming and babbling in complete gibberish.  The only part that I could
make out was something about Manziel or manzazu or some such nonsense, but his
outburst caught me off guard, and I missed my shot.
Suddenly there was movement all around us.  The bodies of the enemy
combatants were stirring.  Impossibly, they were staggering to their feet.
All around us, corpses were rising from the floor, their eyes shining a
baleful crimson.

“What the fuck?” Stevens shouted.  “This ain’t happening, man.”

I put a three-round burst into the chest of the corpse nearest me and
blew out his heart.  It didn’t seem to affect him at all; he just kept
shuffling toward me, his arms reaching out.  I shot him again, this time
doing the Mozambique technique that had been drilled into all Marines.
The two shots to the body didn’t do anything, but the follow-up round to
the head dropped it.
I could hear my unit screaming, cursing, and shooting the reanimated dead
bodies all around me.

 They were coming at us from every direction.  

We tightened our circle, trying to cover each other as we changed mags
and shifted targets.  It didn’t matter; they overwhelmed us. There were
just too many of them, and we couldn’t put them down fast enough.

I watched in horror as my best friend, Jeremy Stevens, was pulled down
by a mob of freaking zombies and torn apart.  Behind me, Lt. Rodriquez
screamed, and then his voice trailed off into a muffled gurgle, and I knew he
was gone, too.

My mag ran dry, and I reached for another, determined to keep fighting.
My fingers closed on air.  I was out.  The undead pressed in,
their hands clawing for me.  I swung the empty rifle like a club, trying
to clear a space.

The undead mob pulled the rifle from my hands, so I drew my Colt 1911
handgun.  It was a fine weapon, and I was good with it, but it only held
eight rounds.  Those eight rounds went quickly.

 When the pistol was empty, all sounds of gunfire ceased.

I was the last of the unit standing.  The zombies surrounded me.
To my right, two of the obscene things were eating my Sergeant.
Behind them, more were tearing our guide to pieces.
I spun to my left and saw what was left of Stevens.  Hands fastened onto
my vest, and I twisted away.  More grabbed hold of my legs, and I went
down.  

The zombies crowded around me.  Behind them, looking on, was the
man with the glowing eyes, triumph on his face.  He cackled with glee.

In desperation, I felt around for anything to use as a weapon.  My
hands reached above my head and found the remains of the Lieutenant.  His
head had been ripped off.  My hands shifted lower and found the detonator
on his belt for the explosive packages that we’d set.

I yanked it free and held it up.  The zombies were all over me,
and their leader was looking down at me, sneering.

“Fuck you,” I screamed and pushed the button.
There was a distant rumble, a pressure wave, and then the world collapsed
on me.




About the Author:

 
Dan Coglan, A.K.A. “Samurai Dan” is the acknowledged masters of marital… er, martial mayhem.  Dan travels the civilized portions of the U.S., bringing his unique show to curious and horrified audiences alike.
In addition to their high-energy, mostly safe stage shows (where razor-sharp blades and barbs fly),  Dan teaches historical and hysterical panels on the way of the warrior.  Offering a wide range of lectures and interactive workshops, Dan provides joy and laughs wherever he goes.
Due to a supreme lack of filter, Dan also performs standup comedy in censored and uncensored settings.  A storyteller at heart, Dan is releasing his first book in his Deathstalker Chronicle Series:  Invasion of the Undead.
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BOOK REVIEW: John Carpenter Presents Storm Kids – Sacred Hearts by Steve Niles #graphicnovels #horror #NetGalley

For Chris, Dirk and Shelley, life in their small town has always been quiet. But they have all heard about the Franklin Farm… a place they should never go near. When the three best friends decide to build a tree fort in the woods, they dare each other to go to there in search of wood, and find themselves in a strange world they never expected, setting off a terrible chain of events. In this place, monsters are created, and an ancient evil from an old family curse is rising within their little town. But in all the chaos, they come to learn that not all monsters are bad. Some are special… some are born with a Sacred Heart… From his horrific beginnings, this special Monster was born from a broken pact with evil, and somehow a door to a dark world had been opened. With the help of their new Monstrous friend, the kids try to stop the destructive forces happening all around them, and end the curse once and for all.

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

I admit I wanted to read this because I’m a John Carpenter fan. I loved the artwork and the storyline held my attention from beginning to end. While the story was mostly predictable, there were some unexpected twists that kept me entertained. The artwork alone is enough reason to add this one to my collection. If you’re looking for horror that’s not overly gory, you can’t go wrong with Sacred Hearts. Great for young adults, and adults who are young at heart.

A gripping, fast-paced read with gritty artwork, Sacred Hearts is a must-have for horror fans!

BOOK REVIEW: The Devil’s Tree by Susan McCauley #horror #ghosts @SusanBMcCauley

Kaitlyn didn’t believe in ghosts—not until one killed her boyfriend and her best friend. Now she must stop the spirit haunting the Devil’s Tree, or she could be next.

Seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn wants to escape her drunk mama and her trailer park home life to enjoy a Saturday night off work. Instead, her boyfriend, Hunter, convinces her to go with him and their best friends, Dylan and Keisha, to photograph a desolate tree with an evil past. A terrifying presence chases them from the tree, killing Hunter and Keisha. Left alive with Dylan, Kaitlyn must struggle with her unexpected romantic feelings for him, come to terms with her loss, and face being trapped in a dead-end town. Kaitlyn is desperate to put the past to rest, but when their friends’ spirits begin haunting them, she and Dylan have no choice but to seek help from a Catholic priest and attempt to set the trapped spirits free. 

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MY REVIEW

5 stars!

Beautifully written!

Ghost stories have always fascinated me. The light romance threaded into this one made it even more perfect. With a theme of much needed tolerance for those who are different, violent spirits and demons, and young love, The Devil’s Tree was a book I couldn’t put down,

A curse, a town with deep secrets, and a courageous girl… The Devil’s Tree will leave your heart racing, make you cry, and give you hope. An outstanding book!

*Disclaimer: I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.

Release Blitz: The Reaper by Jade Royal #horror #supernaturalthriller @jaderoyalauthor

Title: The Reaper

Series: The Reaper Collection
Author: Jade Royal
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Horror
Release Date: October 29, 2020
They’re coming without mercy…
 
The Optimist
The Child
The Scorned Woman
The Best Friend
 
They want revenge…
 
A chain of lies spoken by trusted parents, stolen possibilities from a lover, the wrongful conviction of a stranger, and betrayal by the greatest ally. Pain corrupts their minds, twists their souls, and schemes a plan for death. Their victims will face karma, delivered as retribution.
 
And nothing will stop them…

“Thirty,” Remi blurted.

“Thirty what? It’s going to take more than a measly thirty bucks to get you out of this, Remington.”

“Thirty seconds,” Remi pushed anxiously. She needed more time.

“Fourteen. No more. No less.”

Remi mumbled to herself. Maybe this was just a sick joke that would reveal itself after the fourteen seconds were up.

“Ready, little rabbit?” Zachary’s voice was low and threatening. Danger.

 

When the voices begin to speak, Jade Royal sits down in her lab to write the tale. The story unfolds with each keystroke as she listens to her instincts bring the words to life. For as long as she can remember, Jade has always expressed her creative nature artistically, especially by writing. She refers to herself as “Slave to the Pen” because it’s difficult for her to resist the call to write.

Jade resides in Cincinnati, Ohio where she was born and raised. She has many siblings and is very family oriented. She spends Sunday evenings eating dinner with them keeping the bond between family nice and strong. 

As an international bestselling author, Jade hopes to pull in her readers to experience a community of stories that they can relate to on various levels. The emotional roller coaster that is bestowed will hopefully make her readers stalk her words and provide literate entertainment. 

For more information on Jade Royal, follow her on her website and social media avenues.
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Book Blitz: The Monsters Within by Kody Boye #NewAdultRomance #horror

The Monsters Within
Kody Boye
Publication date: June 15th 2020
Genres: Horror, Mystery, New Adult, Romance

Not all monsters can be seen.

When Dean McAllen wins a writing fellowship that offers him the chance to escape his abusive homelife, he boards the first plane out of Utah and prepares for a life free of dysfunction.

Not long after arriving in the small town halfway across the country, he meets Brad Michelson. Kind, sweet, and caring, the fellow artist is everything Dean could ever want in a man. He’s also Dean’s first true shot at love.

But what Dean doesn’t know is that Brad harbors a darkness inside of him—and though Brad has struggled to hold it back his entire life, Dean will soon find that the monsters that dwell within Brad’s conscience are real, and out to destroy them both.

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EXCERPT:

We drove along a dark road that night. Flanked by cars that slowly but surely fell behind, I watched the vehicles traveling alongside us disappear as we advanced out of the city limits and onto the lost stretches taken only by farmers and their equipment. Beside me, Brad drove with the window down, one arm braced along the frame, his free hand around the wheel. He drove without a care in the world, humming softly to Top 100 on the radio; and I, left only to observe, watched the fields before us extend forever into the distance.

“This is nice,” Brad said, tossing his fringe away from his eyes, “isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “It is.”

His hair—which was lengthier on the top but shorn along the sides of his head—blew haphazardly in the wind, creating the impression that we were two kids doing nothing more than enjoying the world for what it was. He was twenty-one, I eighteen, fresh and new and completely and utterly enamored. I tried my hardest not to watch him out of my peripheral, but found myself doing that regardless.

Remember, remember, the code to remember, I thought. Straight men get a pass because their love doesn’t last.

Of course it didn’t. That was why it was stupid for me to even consider that this was anything more than just a casual outing. Besides—if anyone was going to make the first move, if they even were, it would be him.

Which wasn’t going to happen.

I drew in a long breath of the cool night air and smiled as the scent of grass and wildflowers entered my nose.

“They have much of this up in Utah?” Brad asked.

“I lived at the edge of Salt Lake,” I replied, “so it was mostly lots of flatland, mostly farms.”

“There’s a lot of that here. But this—this is absolutely beautiful.” Brad smiled as he turned his high beams on. “Do you see?”

The world bloomed before me. Wild, untamed, uninhibited—the grass extended on both sides of the road and was marked only by the separation of land with wooden fences and wire. Flowers dotted the area at various intervals, creating the impression that this place, though encroached upon by humanity, was untouched. It was utterly magical, in a sense—and, in a way, haunting.

So far out, there were no lights to be seen; and with no traffic behind us, it was dark as it could.

Normally, I wasn’t afraid of the night. Something, however, gave me cause for concern.

But what was it?

Was it the belief that we would simply pull over alongside the road and stop? Was it the fact that we could get stranded out here and not be found for hours? What, exactly, was it?

I brushed the thought off as I considered it and cleared my throat as Brad continued to drive.

“Something up?” he asked.

“I… just realized that I haven’t asked you about your art.”

“Oh. That.” Brad laughed. “No need to worry. It’s not like we’ve exchanged notes or anything like that.”

“Still,” I said. “I’d like to see some of it sometime.”

“My phone’s in the back seat if you want to reach back and grab it.”

“You have it on your phone?”

“All my stuff’s digital, and the files are in the cloud. Go ahead—grab it.”

I twisted around, quickly located his phone, then loosened the seatbelt around my waist before leaning back and clawing at his phone.

“What’s your PIN?” I asked, lowering my head and tilting the phone at an angle to avoid blindsiding him.

“0434,” he replied.

I started typing the numbers in.

Brad inhaled.

I looked up.

He asked, “What the hell is that?”

And I paled.

Hovering alongside the road was what I at first assumed to be the rear lights of a car. The only problem was: they were too small to be from a car, and lower to the ground. And worst yet, they were moving.

“What in the world…” I started to say.

Brad pressed his foot down on the accelerator.

The headlights shifted.

A brief glimpse of fur could be seen.

Then whatever it was lunged for the car.

Brad jerked the wheel.

We swerved to the left.

He corrected.

We centered along the middle of the lane.

“What the fuck was that?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Brad replied, “I—”

He paused.

“What?” I asked, turning my head to face him. “Brad, why are you—”

“Look behind us,” he said.

I did.

And saw that the red lights were moving—directly behind us.

“It’s just the light reflecting off its eyes,” I said as Brad slowly began to accelerate the car. “Slow down, Brad. Everything’s going to be fine.”

“It’s chasing us,” he said. “It’s fucking chasing us.”

“Yeah it is. But we’re going to outrun it. We—”

Brad increased his speed.

The car continued to accelerate.

The lights—or, more aptly, eyes—continued to pursue.

But what was even more haunting was that they weren’t slowing down.

No.

They were speeding up.

A low, trembling breath escaped me; and Brad, seemingly aware of this, pressed his foot even harder on the accelerator. Even as the car began to pick up speed, and the wind whipped through the open window, the figure kept pace—and I, so enraptured by its presence, could only watch as it continued to pick up speed.

“It’s following,” I said. “It’s following us, Brad.”

“It’s fucking chasing us!” the man yelled. “The goddamn thing is fucking chasing us!”

“Go faster! Faster!”

“I’m trying!” Brad screamed. “I’m fucking trying, Dean!”

I twisted my head back toward the window.

Saw that it was moving toward my side of the vehicle.

Saw that it was attempting to come up alongside us.

Brad, hysterically laughing—or, I should say, crying—at this point, refused to turn his gaze to the side as the figure continued to pick up speed.

“Faster!” I said. “FASTER!”

He slammed his foot on the accelerator.

We went sailing forward.

The speedometer passed sixty…

Seventy…

Eighty…

Ninety.

When we coasted one-hundred, I thought for sure that he was going to lose control and crash. But somehow, someway, he didn’t. He was able to maintain control of the vehicle.

“We’re coming up on a curve,” I said. “Brad! Brad!”

“I see it!” he cried. “I see the damn thing!”

“Slow down!”

“We can’t!”

“Why?”

“It—”

I refused to turn my head, but apparently, he could still see it, because he continued to accelerate to a speed we shouldn’t have been going regardless of whatever was chasing us.

We came along the curve.

He began to slow.

Then, suddenly, he lost control.

Somehow, we didn’t flip. Instead, we began to spin at an alarming rate: once, twice, a third time, then a fourth. When the fifth and sixth revolutions took place, I opened my eyes, and saw a flash of red before them.

“Brad!” I cried. “Brad!”

Something grabbed me.

I screamed.

He screamed.

The car spun three more times, then came to a stop.

Head spinning, stomach lurching, I opened my eyes to find that there was absolutely nothing to be seen.

Whatever was chasing us was gone.

“Buh… Brad?” I asked, trembling. “Are you all right?”

“I’m okay,” he said. “I’m… I’m fine.”

“What the hell just happened?”

“I don’t know, Dean. I… I don’t know.”


Author Bio:

Though he was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho, Kody Boye has lived in the state of Texas since 2010. His first short story, [A] Prom Queen’s Revenge, was published at the age of fourteen. He has since gone on to publish numerous works of fiction, including the young-adult novels When They Came, The Beautiful Ones, The Midnight Spell and ALT CONTROL ENTER, as well as fiction for adults. He currently lives and writes in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

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