What’s the Time Mr. Wolfdog? by Stephen J. Willis

Summary

Before the lone wolf’s cry, Tim Connery had been resigned to the fact of a cold Christmas alone. Encompassed by snowy landscapes, the views from his cottage toward the outbound vistas were but another reminder of his desolation.

Deserted by his wife and children, he is forced into the gradual admittance of his betrayal, and in keeping an unspeakable secret that is slowly tearing him apart.

Before long however, Tim suddenly finds himself surrounded by a battalion of desperate and starving dogs that have recently broken free from the nearest pound for illegal and unstable animals. Since being liberated from restraint and subservient only to a vicious pack leader, they will do anything and eat anything to survive – and Tim is no exception to the menu.

The unpredicted appearance of a woman’s dead body however, finally brings Tim to his knees, forcing him to finally confront not only his past and his future, but the very fundamentals of his faith in God. It becomes apparent thereafter that death is no stranger to Tim, when truth is revealed at even the most unexpected of times.

Here, the line between man and beast becomes lost in the overwhelming will to endure and overcome, wherein only the victor will survive to tell the tale.

Overall

This is a shorter read which was a major plus. There are a lot of glossary terms at the end, so the book was shorter then I was anticipating. The writing was easy to read and created many vivid scenes. It did a good job bringing in other senses and setting the eerie feeling. It was gripping and surprising more then a few times. However, some of the surprises didn’t necessarily match up with the blurb ‘unpredictable appearance’ is paper thin. That being said after a slow start and a character I found somewhat annoying, I was sucked in. I had to know what was going to happen to Tim and who of his newly loyal beasts would survive the night. It was gripping at times and down right chilling at others.

This was a horror story with a humanity element that twisted itself around the grotesque scenes like a bow. As with most horror though, once the crisis was averted the story simply ended without wrapping up many aspects of the story. Which speaks to excellent writing because a character I disliked for most of the book, I still invested in knowing what happens to him. What really clenched it for me was by the time he faced the ‘final boss’ I was starting to question how realistic it was and how timid Tim could really accomplish some of that. Beyond that, it was a great horror read for a quiet evening in.

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down and up)

Overall this was an okay read that had a lot of great chilling moments and action oriented scenes. A horror with a human angle.

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Doctor Bell Anthology: Tinnitus Terror Tales by Jan L Mayes

Summary:

Horror. Humour. Educational. Dr. Bell is determined to find the cure for tinnitus (ear noise). No matter what it takes. No matter how high his dry cleaning bill is. It’s hard to get blood out of a white lab coat. Warning: violence and coarse language. Not for the faint of ear.

Overall

This is an outlandish horror with a level of bizarre that as each story is told, more strange than the last, it is hard not to question how Dr. Bell continues to get away with such ‘experiments.’ Thankfully just as the most tragic story is told, the author switches to Dr. Bell’s ‘punishment.’ I will be honest in saying the ending was disappointing. Without giving anything away I expected Dr. Bell to get his comeuppance…

A vivid horror of incompetence with a Machiavellian lead. If you are looking for a creepy set of horror stories about medical disasters, this is for sure worth your time. Leaves one shuddering. Also a bit of a lesson on blindly following authority. (As a side note: I could see how this could be offensive to those with Tinnitus, so be warned.)

Rating

3 Stars

Creepy and bizarre this set of short stories about medical disasters to cure a terrible disease will leave you squeamish.

Painted by Kirsten McKenzie

Summary

When art appraiser Anita Cassatt is sent to catalogue the extensive collection of reclusive artist Leo Kubin, it isn’t only the chilly atmosphere of the secluded house making her shiver.

Upon entering the house, Anita stands before a silent audience of portraits clustered on every wall. Every painted eye is watching her, including those of the unfinished portrait on the artist’s easel. A portrait with an eerie familiarity.

Kubin’s lawyer didn’t share the detailed instructions regarding the handling of the art, and Anita and her team start work in ignorance of the very instructions designed to keep them safe.

Disturbed, a man eases himself out of his portrait and stretches. Free at last from the confines of his canvas, he has no intention of ever returning. He has a painting to finish…

Characters

This was probably the biggest drawback to this book. When I started reading this Anita was a pretty well formed but blah character. After the rest of the group shows up I just couldn’t stand her! She kept making the same stupid choices but then so did all of them. I felt like they were all the typical horror movie characters. I was almost rooting for the villain! (The ghost not the other evil one). Almost none of them have any sense of self-preservation. Downside the author does a ridiculous amount of head hoping instead of going full narration. Also the lawyer is so over the top that it was a little painful to read at times—pretty sure he didn’t have a single good trait.

Plot

This is a horror based ghost story. It does an excellent job building the tension and is without a doubt super creepy. The ancient house, the moving portraits, and the hapless heroine. It had all the elements of a horror story and was super gripping. Downside it was such a cliche! I struggled through the idiotic characters and almost repetitive decision making.

I did appreciate two major points of this book. There was a plot within a plot and the author didn’t play it safe with the ending. Those were what took me from despising this book to sort of blinking in surprise at the last page. I don’t want to give anything away but it was refreshing!

Overall

I have a love hate relationship with this book. There were aspects of it I just loved and there were aspects I just hated! I liked the start of the book with Anita but after others arrive starting with the lawyer, all of the characters take a nose dive and never really recover. Mostly because of their completely illogical decision making that seemed only to exist to shock or drive the plot in a very specific direction. While the nail biting plot had me hooked and I just had to know the ending. Although I did see aspects of it coming, I was utterly surprised at the way the author ended it. That aspect is what really hit home as being a good book.

Rating

3.5 stars (one up and one down)

It doesn’t deserve 3 stars because it was better than that, but it wasn’t a solid 4 star book in my mind. A tense book that has all of the hallmarks of a good horror just not good characters!

This is a voluntary review.

Cover Reveal – The Sixth Gate (The Gate Trilogy #1)

I am proud to announce that the cover for The Sixth Gate has been fully finalized.  The Sixth Gate is due out July 7, 2017 – exactly two months away. I’ve also finished the back of the book text – welcome to the first of The Gate Trilogy, a dark fantasy.

The interplanetary gates have existed between the five planets and the Netherworld for as long as living memory.

Dr. Elisabeth Avery is a woman caught between two worlds. Little does she know that others like her, other half-breeds, are being hunted. When a creature drags a princess into the Netherworld, Elisabeth is determined to save her.

Meanwhile, on the planet of Hystera, a Keeper and his assistant investigate a grisly string of suicides. The Gate Guardians know something is coming, know that the Netherworld has begun to bleed through to the planets, but not why.

Will Elisabeth be able to come to terms with what she is so that she can face the coming evil?

Here is the full cover wrap:

book1_the_sixth_gate.jpg

What do you think? Can you feel the eeriness – the dark world I built? I’d love to get your thoughts!

Interested in a sneak peak? You can get the pre-order prequel to the entire series HERE. Get to know Elisabeth as a child and what put her on her path. Want a free copy? Sign up HERE for my mailing list and you’ll get a free eBook copy.

 

Asahi Art.jpgI also want to give a special shout out to Asahi Art who designed this amazing cover. As you can see I was fortunate to find someone so talented. He is diligently working on the cover for the second and third books so they all match! I highly recommend him.

See more of his amazing art HERE.