Tag Archive | horror

Review: The Last Harvest

Title: The Last Harvest

Author: Kim Liggett

Date of Publication: January 10th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad’s throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely Cattle Ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma slaughter, the whole town’s looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won’t leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity…or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

My Review:

I have loved Liggett’s writing in all the books I’ve read by her. And what she does best, is write well-rounded characters!

Clay was such a relatable character and he was going through a lot. Sometimes I didn’t know if he was crazy or what was going on! And I loved that!

I also liked the thing going on between him and Ali but I felt their relationship was a little underdeveloped. I would have liked to have seen more scenes between them with deeper conversations or even flashbacks!

Other than that, I loved all the weirdness, the twists, and the ending! I can’t wait to read more books by this author!

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What’s your favorite horror book?

Author Interview: Gwendolyn Kiste

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From the Nightscape Press Charitable Chapbooks line. One third of all sales of this chapbook will go to support the National Aviary.

It starts with rapping in the ceiling and spirit boards that know them a little too well.

Everly and her best friend aren’t your typical college students. Instead of raucous Saturday night parties, they spend their weekends conjuring up things from the beyond. Ectoplasm, levitation, death photography—you name it, and Everly knows all about it. But while this obsession with the supernatural is only supposed to be in good fun, the girls soon discover themselves drifting deeper into magic and further from each other. Then when one evening ends with an inadvertently broken promise, everything they’ve ever known is shattered in an instant, sending them spiraling into a surreal haunting. Now Everly must learn how to control the spectral forces she’s unleashed if she wants any chance of escaping a ghost more dangerous than all the witchcraft she can summon.

A tale of the occult, unlikely phantoms, and complicated friendships, The Invention of Ghosts is the latest strange vision from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens.

Original art work by Carrion House

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Author Interview with Gwendolyn Kiste:

Can you tell us a little bit about The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: The Invention of Ghosts is my forthcoming novelette due out in November. The story follows Everly and her best friend who have been inseparable for as long as they can remember. Now in college, however, they find themselves at a crossroads in their friendship, as Everly becomes increasingly entangled in the occult, intrigued with everything from Victorian mourning rituals and ectoplasm to spirit boards and other methods of divination. Soon both girls discover they’ve gotten more than they bargained for, as their friendship and reality start to unravel around them. It’s a story not only about spirits and the supernatural but also about growing up and complicated friendships and learning how to become yourself and let go at the same time.

The Invention of Ghosts is part of the Charitable Chapbook Series from Nightscape Press, and a third of all the proceeds will go to the National Aviary, a bird sanctuary in Pittsburgh which is one of my very favorite places in the world. Creepy fiction for a good cause!

What inspired you to write The Invention of Ghosts?

GK: My work often explores complicated females relationships, and this story in particular really focuses on friendships and how they can go awry.

With this story, I also wanted to research and explore the occult a bit more than I had in my previous work. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal, ever since I was a kid, so finally having an opportunity to delve into all the background and history on it and incorporate that into a longer work of fiction was so much fun.

Do you have a favorite character you’ve written and why?

GK: That would probably be Phoebe from The Rust Maidens. That book really changed my career and my life in so many ways over the last year since its release, and I spent a lot of time crafting her character, so she’s definitely the one who’s my favorite. At least at this point anyhow! Perhaps another character will come down the line in the future and usurp her position as the favorite child.

What is your favorite horror book and movie?

GK: This is a tough one! My favorite horror book is probably We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It’s not a typical kind of horror, but it’s got that quiet dread permeating every scene, which is exactly the sort of vibe I love in horror.

As for my favorite horror movie, that changes often, but right now, I’ve been thinking a lot about Daughters of Darkness, so let’s go with that one. From 1971, it’s one of the strangest and most beautiful vampire films I’ve ever seen, and it’s so razor-focused on the female characters. There’s a bit of a Carmilla vibe to it, but it’s very much its own story as well. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend it!

What genre do you prefer to write in and why?

GK: Definitely horror. It’s the genre I’ve always loved the most. I grew up with the books of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe, with Hammer and Universal Horror films on practically constant rotation in our house. My parents got married on Halloween, back in the 1980s when nobody was really doing that. As a result, horror has always felt like home to me. It’s the genre that runs through my blood and always will.

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

GK: On some level, I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. As far back as I remember, I used to make up stories and have my stuffed animals and dolls act them out. Learning to read was one of the most wonderful experiences because I got to explore so many new worlds. That only enhanced my desire to create and tell more stories of my own. I wrote a lot of short stories growing up, and I did a decent bit of screenwriting as well over the years, but it wasn’t until my late twenties when I finally decided to go back to my first love of fiction and start working on becoming a published author. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I wanted to really give it a try. Flash forward a little over five years later, and I have dozens of short stories out, three books, and a couple more on the way soon, so despite some early trepidation, I’m definitely glad I came back to it.

What’s your favorite color?

GK: Green without a doubt. It’s been my favorite color since I was a kid. It reminds me of forests and spring and pumpkin stems and walking barefoot in grass. Almost every permutation of green delights me: sage, emerald, forest green, spring green, chartreuse. It’s such a versatile and lively color. It feels like being alive.

Do you plot or pants when writing?

GK: A little bit of both. Especially for longer fiction, I like to have at least a vague outline to help guide me along like sign posts on the road. My short fiction, however, is more likely to take a free form approach. It’s fun to just let a story take me as the author on a journey, figuring out those beats and all those turns as I go along. I probably prefer simply allowing a story to form as I write, but as I continue to work on more novels and novellas, I’ve definitely found it’s easier to have an idea of where I’m headed. Otherwise, I’m perpetually like a lost traveler in my own work.

What other new things are you working on?

GK: I’m finishing up my second novel right now and in the planning stages for my third. I’m also working on finishing up some new short fiction, and my longer term plan over the next year is to put together my second collection. I already have enough previously published stories for it, and it’s starting to take shape thematically. So if all goes well, readers will have several new books from me in the foreseeable future. Consider yourself warned!

If there was a zombie apocalypse, what three things would you want to have?

GK: A huge supply of fresh water, a bow and arrow, and my husband. The water is obviously an essential, and the bow and arrow is like a renewable zombie-fighting resource (note: I’m not particularly good at archery, but since this will be the apocalypse, I suppose I’ll just have to learn!). For anything else I might need, I have no doubt that between me and my husband, we could figure out some strange and creative solution, so that’s why he’s the third “thing” I’d have to have!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

GK: Find what works for you. Every writer has a different style, so figure out what makes you happiest. Some authors write every day, and some only write when inspiration strikes. Some have daily word counts, and some loathe word counts. Figure out what you like as a writer, and don’t let anyone else’s advice derail you and your process.

Also, above all else, keep going and keep writing the stories you want to tell. Don’t feel the need to shoehorn your style into what’s popular or what you think others want to read. So long as you’re authentic to your own voice and you keep working on your craft, you’ll continue growing as a storyteller, and you’ll figure out how to get your stories out to the world.

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Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; and the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books. Her short fiction has appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Shimmer, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com

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What was your favorite part of the author interview?

Movie Review: Doctor Sleep

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IMDB Summary:

Years following the events of “The Shining,” a now-adult Dan Torrance meets a young girl with similar powers as he tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.

 

My Review:

So when I first saw the trailer for Doctor Sleep, it actually looked pretty good! And I liked that it felt different than The Shining. Now, I haven’t read either book, so not sure how either one measure up to that!

But what I loved about Doctor Sleep was that it was very character driven, and we got to see Danny of the past, Danny during hardships, and Danny prevailing. I also loved the character of Abra—she did such a wonderful job.

The whole steam sucking scenes were pretty good too, especially when the villainous group did it together. It was sort of zombie-like, but more of drinking their essence or whatever! And I will say, when we got to the hotel scenes, I was like, heck yes!

Now, my one pet peeve was for the flashback scenes because even though I liked them, it was still weird having different actors playing the original cast! I mean, Shelley Duvall, for example, has such a distinct and cool face so it was odd! Minus that distraction, I loved the film! Oh, and there was some pretty emotional scenes!

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Have you seen The Shining?

Glass Vault Duology Sale!

You know I get so excited about Halloween, so I have a fun thing to do! Today grab a copy of Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault for only .99 and the sequel, The Bride of Glass, for free! It’s a fun, romantic, and dark duology!

Purchase: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault * The Bride of Glass

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Did you download your copies?

Review: Dark Celebrations

Title: Dark Celebrations

Author: Calvin Demmer

Date of Publication: October 2019

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review:

This was a great collection and I loved that I could read through each story quickly! My favorite would have to either be Prom Screams or Trick or Death! There was true imagination that went into these stories and the writing, along with the dialogue, was excellent!! Wonderful and horrific descriptions! My favorite kinds of things!

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Do you read short stories?

Movie Review: It Chapter Two

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IMDB Summary:

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

 

My Review:

Let me first say that I wasn’t the hugest fan in the world of the first IT. I thought the CGI was super odd and distracting, and I was more interested in the group dynamic of the kids which I loved, loved, loved!

Now, on to chapter 2! I really, really, liked this one. Like, the first movie, the group dynamic—this time the adults—was just as stellar. I mainly went into this movie thinking I’d love James McAvoy the best, because he’s my fave, but I actually thought Bill Hadar’s character shined here! James Rasnone, who plays Eddie, was also awesome! However, I was super disappointed in Jessica Chastain’s character as Beverly, because Sophia Lillis had done such a phenomenal job with the character in the first movie. But for some reason, Jessica always comes off as stiff to me!

If you liked Bill Skarsgård in IT, then you’ll love him here. He pulls off the clown rather well, and I always get a thrill when I see him on the screen versus some of the strange CGI for the other fears. I’m actually confused why the CGI looks so weird when there is such a good budget for these films.

Anyway, I did shed some tears in this one and the ending was utterly perfect! There’s blood and gore and friendship bonds! My faves!

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Have you watched IT?

Movie Review: Ready or Not

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Imdb Summary:

A bride’s wedding night takes a sinister turn when her eccentric new in-laws force her to take part in a terrifying game.

My Review:

I knew after seeing the trailer for this that it would be one of my most anticipated movies of the year. It’s totally my style! There’s some blood, romance, humor, running, a game, and lots more blood!

I’m not the biggest Adam Brody fan in the world here, but he was so good and was my absolute favorite character. The weapons in the movie were awesome, and can I also just say I loved Grace’s bridal dress with the converse and the gun—totally on point!

There were some awesome twists, and I was so glad it was rated R because sometimes when horror movies have a PG-13 rating then they are just so watered down. Anyway, absolutely loved this one and am so glad it did not fail me!

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What is your most anticipated movie coming out?