Thursday, March 16, 2023

Ronald McGillvray

Another of my favorite independent authors is Ronald McGillvray. These are the books I have read by him along with review links. I am also including links to his Author Pages and Websites. I will update as I read more of his books.

Tales From The Parkland- 5★


A collection of horror stories that will keep you up at night. Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, these tales of terror will make your heart race as they drag you into a world of nightmares.

One novella and eleven stories of horror for late at night. Welcome to the many "What If" scenarios of Ronald McGillvray's imagination.

James' Journey to Dreamland- 5★

Paraprofessional and Classroom Approved πŸ’™


James is an ordinary boy except for the fact that he can't sleep. That all changes the night a magical train comes through his bedroom closet.

Follow James' adventures through Dreamland as he learns an important life lesson at every stop.

With his trusty dog Gypsy and Alex the Conductor by his side, James must solve the many puzzles in Dreamland or face the consequences of never sleeping again.

Ronald McGillvray is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He writes short stories, scripts, novellas and is currently working on a novel. His horror short story collection, Tales From The Parkland is available as a print or ebook on Amazon. His writing credits include the short story, The Garbage Collectors, which was published in Horror Library Volume 2 as well as in their best of anthology. An audio version of his story, Big Boy, was produced by Pseudopod and his story, A Night Out, was published by Dark Fire Fiction.

His new children's fantasy novella, James' Journey To Dreamland is now available as a print or ebook on Amazon.

Two of his film scripts, The Storm and The Goodbye, were produced by Cellardweller Projects. The Storm was chosen as one of the films to be screened at the World Horror Convention. It also screened at the Shocklines Film Festival in New York City.

His story, Head Case, was made into a film produced by Columbia College in Chicago. His film script, Magic Man, was optioned by Hyde Park Media.

His stage play, The Line, was chosen as part of the reading series by the Saint John Theatre Company.

In the works are two new films, Chimes and The Crepuscule, that he’s recently written.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Little Black Crimes by Nathaniel Blackhelm

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Genre: Crime Noir/ Short Stories

Format: Paperback/eBook

Pages: 189

Read: 03/14/23


For the sinners and antiheroes in LITTLE BLACK CRIMES, the road to deliverance is paved with brutality, and chock-full of deadly twists and turns.

Heavy are the crosses and crowns of these wayward souls, who wrestle with the pain of loss, the torment of lust, the burning need for retribution, redemption, power.

Sparks and bullets fly in these tales of noir and terror that ignite the page, blazing their way into the pantheon of modern pulp.


"Mine was a chronicle of abuse by men; his, a history of family disappointments."

Crime Noir, stories that delve into the darkest places of the heart, mind, and soul. Desires that are unconscionable. Desires that go beyond the acceptable. The war within, churning and boiling, yearning for release. The sleazy, seedy, and corrupt looking for their next victim, their next fix, or the redemption they feel they deserve. 

Pitch black, gritty, deep poetic prose with an inky and gloomy atmosphere, these stories cause the mind to stagger. Breaking the boundaries with the need to process the atrocities within. Checking the locks on the doors, making sure the windows are shut tight, and leaving a light or two on through the night. 

Doom and gloom, despair, and a discernment of deep emotions, wanting to believe there are no such thing as monsters, but knowing full well they do exist. 

Fans of dark crimes, terror and horror, stories that will leave you feeling uncomfortable and a little chilled, I recommend you grab yourselves a copy of "Little Black Crimes" , but be sure to grab that warm drink of choice and a warm cozy to wrap up in to help with those spine tingling chills. 

"Time can’t kill the heart, no matter how hard it tries. That’s what my mamΓ‘ used to tell me. A lot can happen in four years. Old loves can die. New loves can be born. Anything you can imagine. It’s all possible if it’s the heart."

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Sunday, March 12, 2023

Ross Jeffery

Ross Jeffery is one of my favorite independent authors. These are the books I have read by him along with review links. I am also including his bio and a link to his Author Pages and Website. I will update as I read more of his books.

Tethered-5 ★

Tethered explores the fractured relationship of a father and son. Each story is told with unflinching and honest prose that is both hard hitting and heartrending. These stories delve into themes of toxic masculinity, love, hope, despair, domestic violence, sexuality, weakness and overcoming oppression. Tethered also asks the bigger question of 'do we ever escape the harm our parents do to us; or do we go through life marred and influenced from our upbringing.'

Only The Stains Remain-5★


Only The Stains Remain is the haunting story of Jude and Kyle, two brothers whose lives are destroyed when, following the death of their mother, their three abusive uncles Dwight, Lucius, and Lenny move in to the family home. But whilst Jude suffers to a degree, Kyle is the one who takes the brunt of their attention, submitting himself to preserve his younger brother’s innocence.

As a grown man, Jude’s mind turns to vengeance for what they have endured. He has waited a long time, but now he is strong enough, and cold-hearted enough, to do the deed. Enacting one harrowing revenge after another, Jude’s dark quest to punish the wrongs of the past will show that after all is said and done, only the stains of the past will remain.

Beautiful Atrocities-5★

Beautiful Atrocities collects eighteen stories of literary dark fiction from the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Ross Jeffery, who terrified us with the sensational Juniper Series. These chilling stories run the gamut of modern horror and will leave the reader entertained, breathless and horrified in equal measure but still wanting to turn the page.

This is a masterful debut collection from one of horror's bright shining lights.


Juniper is the first book in Ross Jeffery’s proposed trilogy: a post-apocalyptic horror about an insane American town seemingly at the edge of reality. As Juniper suffers from scorching drought and medieval famine, the townsfolk are forced to rely on the ‘new cattle’ for food: monstrous interbred cats kept by the oppressed Janet Lehey.

But there’s a problem: Janet’s prized ginger tom, Bucky, has gone missing, flown the coop. As Janet and her deranged ex-con husband Klein intensify their search for the hulking mongrel, Betty Davis, an old woman clinging to survival on the outskirts of Juniper, discovers something large and ginger and lying half-dead by the side of the road.

She decides to take it home…

Juniper is surreal, dark, funny, and at times: excruciatingly grotesque. Buckle up for a wild ride through the dust-ridden roads of a tiny, half-forgotten American town…

Ross Jeffery is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of 'Tome', 'Juniper', 'Scorched', 'Only The Stains Remain' and 'Tethered'.
His debut collection 'Beautiful Atrocities' was published in the summer of 2022 through Cemetery Gates Media.
His works to date have been self-published / indie-published and his stand-out, self-published and award-nominated series 'The Juniper Trilogy' is getting a well-deserved re-release in late 2022.
He is also a 3x Splatterpunk nominated author and has had his novellas 'Tethered' and 'Only The Stains Remain' translated into Czech.
'The Devil's Pocketbook', his latest and most anticipated novel to date, will be published by DarkLit press in 2023.
Ross lives in Bristol with his wife and two children.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Uncanny Valley Days by C.J. Sampera

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Genre: Horror/Occult

Format: eBook

Pages: 223

Read: 03/04/23


Rocked by grief and recurring apparitions of her dead brother, Olivia is losing her grip on reality and may have inadvertently invoked a cybernetic, serial-killing slasher demon. Or is it all in her head?

Olivia Peramo is a writer and an artist at heart, barista by trade who struggles with multiple mental health issues. All of which have only been intensified by the recent loss of both her parents and her older brother Alejandro. And to top it off, she may have just inadvertently invoked an evil entity with one passive-aggressive rage tweet.

Soon enough, the people that cross Olivia start winding up dead, and she’s being made to watch each grisly murder as they unfold. Is she part of some elaborate hoax? Is this sinister force really breaking her reality and murdering innocent people? Or has Olivia completely lost it and started killing them herself? Not to mention, the ghost of her dead brother keeps popping up every time she smokes a little weed.


“T H I S. I S. N o T. A. G a M E.”

"He’s a glorified guard dog in Hell, an agent of pure chaos and pestilence, but a guard dog, nonetheless."

Life has not been easy for Olivia. She lost her parents and her brother in a plane crash. She misses them so much and she feels quite alone. Working in a job she really doesn't care for, she is just trying her best every day to make it or break it. Her mental illness keeps her in some very dark places and the guilt she feels inside for not being with her family on that fateful day has her wishing that she could leave this life behind. 

When she decides to make a post to Twitter of a summoning circle she sets in motion a series of events that puts herself and others around her on a path of destruction. She is now not only fighting her own demons, she is fighting a demon from hell. One that was created through a cybernetic summoning that took on a life of its own and stepped through the veil into our world. The only way he can be destroyed is by being permanently deleted deep within the system of which he was created. Until then he destroys everyone connected to Olivia and he is becoming stronger as he feeds on Olivia's darkness. 

“When we are in our bodies, on Earth, there are certain frequencies that we can’t tap into. The spirit world is all around us, but we can’t see it because it’s behind the veil. When you take something that alters your state of consciousness it opens your perception and sort of lets you peek behind that veil. See, hear, feel things you wouldn’t be able to normally. Of course, to do this, it also has to shut down something else, like common sense or your inhibitions… sometimes motor functions if you’ve taken too much of something hard.”

This story not only creates a character suffering from mental ilnesses, pain of loss, and fighting ones own inner demons, it has given life to a new kind of demon that feeds on all the darkness inside humanity, creating even more pain as his desire is to destroy life. He revels in death and the knowledge of being untouchable. 

I started reading this without knowing much about it. I avoided reading the synopsis as I wanted the element of surprise and wow what a surprise it was! Not like anything I have ever read before, I found myself completely engaged in the story, connecting to the characters and being utterly horrified by the cybernetic demon. Just the thought that the demon was practically impossible to destroy and was able to slip past the veil was frightening. The atmosphere was chilling as the demon appeared and the descriptiveness of his death blows were gruesome and shocking. 

Exciting storyline, great characterization, and an excellent build up to a great ending!

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Sunday, February 26, 2023

Influence: #horrorstories by Lucy Leitner


Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Horror Short Stories

Format: eBook

Pages: 125

Read: 02/26/23


Social media reflects our world.
Are you not terrified?

Satirical and harrowing, 
Influence is a collection of experimental stories exposing the horror that lurks in modern society. Artificial intelligence for exorcisims, wellness fads gone deadly, lockdown cabin fever, and the dangers of our need to be adored.


This newest release from Lucy Leitner includes 6 short stories and a sneak peak of her upcoming release. Lucy has become one of my favorite author's. I enjoy her writing style, her focus on transgressive fiction and satire. 

These stories have a focus on societal trends that twist into horrifying entertainment but are also thought provoking. 

The dark side of society!

News stories that send people into a panic, social norms and the influence of the internet, wanting to be the sensation, the trends that seem to influence others to give it a try even though it's not always safe but everyone is doing it so I will too mentality. AI trends, viral fads, and the entitled, demanding "Karen". 

"They Say the Sky is Full of Snakewolves"~ Sometimes the monster that is on the inside is worse than the monsters on the outside. "How do you defend yourself from monsters you've never seen when you're cowering in a bedroom from a monster you promised to marry."

"Get Me Out of This Shimmering Oasis"~ @wellnesswarrior497 is extreme, she wants the likes, the recognition, to be an IG sensation. She has been invited to a wellness retreat, and she posts almost every moment, sharing her total experience. She quickly learns that nothing in her world is as it seems.

(I read this one last year and it was one of my favorite of the year: It captured the essence of Social Norms, Mental Health, and the blindness to facing to what some may call "our inner demons.)

"Karen"~ Karen is a really big pain in the backside. She is the lowest, most annoying human. She has no respect for anyone, she sets herself as superior to everyone. She is rude and violently brutal to anyone who gets in her way and she especially hates anyone who she deems as overweight. She is a nightmare upon humanity.

(I also read this one last year as this is a story included in "F*cking Scumbags Burn in Hell"  eBook series on Godless which then was published by Blood Bound Books as a paperback "Call Me Hoop"- a totally unique form of horror narrative where eight different authors bring you twelve entwined stories that will change everything you know about heaven… and hell!)

"The Shoebox Challenge"~ Everyone else is doing it so we should too. It doesn't matter if it's safe, what could possibly go wrong? "Probably some combination of insecurity, desperation for acceptance, and desire for attention. In other words, adolescence. What inspired everyone else to watch it, well, that should be the real story." 

Viral challenges that many want to try as the world watches and if you missed it, well, you can always get it on a streaming service.

"Xorcize.Me"~ Podcasts, TikTok, adverts, and the new sensation of an AI program created to exorcise demons. (Why not order a kit, you never know when you might need it!)

"The People Around You"~ Viral fads and fever dreams. "You can't change the people around you. But you can change the people around you." Can you? Is it a possibility? One may never know unless they try!

Bonus: A sneak Peak of Lucy's next novel "The Girl With the Lollipop Eyes". An adventure in Slacker Noir! (Keeping an eye out for the rest of the story, for sure!)

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Friday, February 24, 2023

The Wilderness by Nat Whiston


Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Psychological Fiction

Format: eBook

Pages: 51

Read: 02/23/23


Stuck in Temporary accommodation and plagued by horrible nightmares, Olivia must try to force her mind to unlock its secrets. With no memory of the last 2 years coupled with vivid hallucinations, Olivia feels like she is slowly being driven mad. Will learning about her past help her break the cycle and help her confront her trauma? Or is ignorance truly bliss when you are lost in the Wilderness?


"Please, please don't make me go through this again, I remember now. Please don't make me relive it."

Olivia has no idea why she is living where she is and she continues to have recurring nightmares. She wakes terrified and screaming wondering why this is all happening to her. Her closest friend Brandie is the only person she knows, but Brandie may not be who she seems. As Olivia's memories of her past begin to return she realizes her nightmares are all too real.

This is a story that had me in wonder of what was going on, feeling as lost as the main character. As the cause of the dreams are revealed, it ripped out my heart and tore it to shreds. Just absolutely heartbreaking!

A very emotional read and one so easily to connect to. This could be your best friend, your neighbor, your co-worker, your sister, your daughter, or just about anyone you know. 

This is real life horror so wonderfully written it makes the heart bleed, wanting to reach out to give comfort and love!

Dedication from the Author:
"To all the women who are still fighting their demons and to those who managed to escape."

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Ronald McGillvray

Another of my favorite independent authors is Ronald McGillvray. These are the books I have read by him along with review links. I am also i...