Sean Seebach – Autumn Dark Review

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

This time of year it’s hard for me to care about much and picking up a book, even less. It’s equally hard for it to keep my attention for more than a few pages at a time. When I find a book that can make me forget my own horrors, for a day or two, and care for the story and its characters, that’s a special thing. This is what happened when I finally pushed myself to open Autumn Dark. I’ve been a fan of Sean Seebach for some time and looking forward to his latest book. I’ve read a number of his stories, and without a doubt find this to be his finest piece of writing I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Before I knew it I was several chapters deep in the story and enjoying the hell out of myself. Sean doesn’t rush to introduce a dozen characters and make me struggle to keep them straight. Sean takes his time with each character giving us the chance to get to know them. It was very easy to slip into the story and forget it’s just that, a story. And when I say that I mean it with the utmost respect for Sean Seebach’s storytelling skills. The protagonist, Alan Decker, is a man who drinks too much and has nearly thrown his life away because of it. This character and his story are great to follow as he works to get his life back on track. There are many characters that bring life to Autumn Dark, and trying to guess who was good, bad, or otherwise added an additional layer to the story. The mystery wasn’t easy to figure out nor who was behind Alan’s sister disappearing. Autumn Dark is one heck of a book, and one worth picking up by an author who is making his mark in the horror genre.

Book Info

Length: 241 Pages

Release date: October 18, 2016

To Purchase Autumn Dark Click Here

When Alan Decker returns to the small town he and his sister grew up in, he realizes that the parts people play haven’t changed, only the players. A new preacher arrives in town just as crazy events begin to occur and no one is sure whether or not he is to blame.

Alan tries to steer clear of the happenings, but is forced to get involved when his sister goes missing. He isn’t afraid of any occult superstitions where his sister in concerned, but he is afraid she may have fallen off the wagon and returned to old bad habits.

Nothing is quite as it seems, and Alan is about to fall deeper into a world he isn’t sure he even believes in.

 

 

T.D. Trask – Banquet of Souls Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

I’m guessing like most reviewers we tend to revisit an author we’ve read in the past. It was nearly a year ago when I read Deadsville by T.D Trask and Dale Elster. So when given the chance to read T.D.’s latest book I was more than happy to do so. The new book, Banquet of Souls, has a bit of everything for everyone. Being there are a dozen stories in this collection I’ve chosen just a few to talk about. The first story I was drawn to was the title story, Banquet of souls. T.D. Trask may have scared me the most with the question of, “what if our idea of hell isn’t far off?” We get a glimpse of technology being the catalyst the devil needs to take control of humanity. Each time a video viewed it leads to chaos, murder and the end as we know it. Banquet of souls is pretty morbid, and in a strange way it doesn’t feel that far-fetched. In this story technology is the two-sided sword we know it to be.

While Banquet of souls scared me the most, Bus 1309 is probably my favorite. Bus 1309 isn’t in service anymore… or is it? 10 years ago bus 1309 crashed while out on a run during a bad snow storm. Now the bus is back to make one final run and pick up one last passenger. I love the way this story hides just enough but you still know something is off. I was on edge the entire length of the story leaving me with an unsettling feeling. The story, She’s still breathing, is a tale of a women named Crystal who has a gift to ‘see’ others people’s lives are just by touching them. She uses her skills at her job as a home care nurse and I love the idea of this story. It had a good plot and some well written characters but was too short. The story skipped along a bit too fast and some of the details weren’t flush out enough. The glass in the window was a close second for the creepiest story. It is a haunting tale of a man who sees a vague image in the reflection of his window. He never can get a good look at it but he sees it moving in his periphery. That alone is enough to get my heartbeat up a notch. I was given just enough details to let me fill in the rest of the image, and we all know our imagination can be far worse. What the blurry shape in the window wants isn’t given away, it watches and waits…

Book Info

Length:  195 Pages

Publisher:  Downtown Books & Coffee

Release date:  October 12, 2015

To Purchase Banquet of Souls Click Here

Please. Sit. We hope you brought your appetite.

Tonight we have a twelve course offering of freshly procured delicacies, each one specifically chosen just for you, our most discerning guest. Some dishes have a dark, heady flavor, quite delicious, always satisfying. And, as always, we offer lighter fare brought between courses to cleanse the palate.

And, certainly, a final dessert piece, one that’s not too sweet.

This is the Banquet of Souls, a feast where death is one breath away and the wine is blood red and always flowing.

Just remember.

You’ll never dine alone.

T.D. Trask

T.D. Trask, biography

T.D. Trask is a freelance writer, copywriter, and Web site designer living in the great city of Binghamton, NY. His hobbies include following politics, movies, books, and, of course, the paranormal. His novels “Still Waters” and “Legend of the Tiger” are available at online retailers.

John Brhel – At The Cemetery Gates Review

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

The stories that bookend At The Cemetery Gates are two of my favorite. In the first, A Dark and Desolate Recurrence, we meet Teddy and Margo who are in their car stuck in a snowbank. A kind stranger pulls them free and leaves before they can say thank you. The car is almost out of gas and not driveable, but they find a cabin nearby to spend the night. After a long night of strange occurrences they return to their car. What they find upon their return brings the story full circle with a surprise ending, and I loved the twist. In A Casket for My Mother, Craig has just returned home from a teaching job overseas. He had no internet connection in that part of the world. Now after returning home, checking his social media sites is his top priority. He learns a close friend’s mom as passed and there is a fundraiser for funeral expenses. After Craig discovers some strange news about his friend’s mom the movie Psycho comes to mind! Time’s Harbinger, the next story I really dug, was straight out of a twilight zone episode. Ross and his estranged father Gary travel to their old home town for Ross’ mother’s funeral. After they cross an old bridge time takes them on a trip they hadn’t planned for. This story has a great twist that I hadn’t expected, but very much enjoyed. A Tale of Palpable Violence is really a great story and has the feel of an urban legend. Sherry and Bram are making out in their car in a secluded location. A warning on the radio tells them a pair of killers are loose and everyone should remain indoors. The couple are pulled over and the officer tells them to head straight home because of the killers. Another excellent twist in this one! The story Passion’s Paroxysm really pulls you in and I loved the ride. Ben can’t get past the feeling that his wife is constantly cheating on him. She’s acted suspicious on several occasions but always has a plausible answer for the situation. Each time Ben accuses her and hears her explanations he feels guilty and buys her flowers to show his love. After her last explanation Ben decides to give her a unique and special bouquet that will make everything ok. What a great ending to a story I thought was going in a different direction. In a Late Blight we visit a small town where a few older residences are dying from strange symptoms. A local college student thinks he may be able to find the cause and a cure. Little does he know but the pathogen isn’t new and a cure isn’t needed. I always love a good conspiracy and I found it in this story. This story feels plausible and I wouldn’t put it past ‘the powers to be’ to step to this level of crazy. An Epistle from the Dead is a really fun, twisted and very well constructed story that took me by surprise. A woman is looking through her late husband’s desk and finds a strange looking journal. What she reads is so shocking she can’t believe he wrote it. The ending is so nicely and cleverly concealed. What a great short tale, this is my kind of story. The last story in the collection, Pictures, is a really good one and wraps up the book very well. A high school girl is taking one a picture a day for a year. The picture is of a tree in her back yard. After 3 months she puts the pictures into a video to see the change in movie form. She starts to notice a strange dark shadow moving below the tree she has been photographing. As the months pass she adds more pictures to the video and notices the shape moving toward her house. I wish I could say more about what happens but that would give it away. I can say I loved how this one ended and it’s one of my favorite stories in the book. At The Cemetery Gates is another fine collection of stories from authors Brhel and Sullivan. It’s one that is well worth checking out.

Book Info

Length:  168 Pages

Publisher:  Cemetery Gates Media

Release date:  October 27, 2016

To Purchase At The Cemetery Gates Click Here

A horror/paranormal short story collection inspired by urban legends, folk tales, and anthology TV shows like THE TWILIGHT ZONE and ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

Twin brothers enter a funeral parlor as a gag and end up uncovering a sinister operation.

A mysterious illness plagues a small town and a college student seems to be the only one trying to stop it.

A girl’s time-lapse photo project reveals an intruder from the cemetery that shares a fence with her backyard.

AT THE CEMETERY GATES: YEAR ONE is for fans of urban legends, manifestations of the macabre, and strange twists of fate.

Follow Marvelry and his hexed objects through twelve tales of suspense, magic, terror, and transformation. Meet his new assistant, fellow illusionists, and some irregular characters along the way. Whatever macabre artifact of the human psyche you’re seeking – you’ll find something special in Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop.

John Brhel, biography

John Brhel is a writer of fiction from Binghamton, NY. He is the co-author of two books (“Tales From Valleyview Cemetery” and “Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop”), a vampire hunter serial titled “Rita’s Midnight Rides” and numerous short stories.

Follow John on Twitter at @JohnBrhel. Visit his website at https://johnbrhel.com.