Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon – HALLOWEEN HORROR!!!

PumpkinSteve Vernon’s ‘Tatterdemon’ is a horror like no other! It is more than appropriate to read at this time of year during the harvest and Halloween season! Highly recommended for adults only due to its violent, gory and horrific theme, Tatterdemon is full of terrifying tales as well as being one complete horrifying nightmare based in the small town of Crossfall. TatterdemonThe town’s people have all been cursed by Thessaly Cross, a witch, 300 years previous and now after a wife-beating husband is killed by his wife he returns from being buried in his field as a zombie scarecrow – the Tatterdemon! Many of the local folk begin to take their personal matters into their own hands and face the ones they feel ridiculed or belittled by. As each person is killed the Tatterdemon is able to have them buried and then begins to raise the dead for more mayhem and to destroy the town of Crossfall for good!

The prologue introduces the reader to Thessaly Cross, a witch who has been condemned by the townsfolk and is being buried alive, after many various methods of trying to kill her has failed. She accuses them of trying to take her land and as she is being buried she ensures that she leaves the people of Crossfall with a curse for their descendants to encounter some 300 years later. We then fast forward to the present where Maddy Harker has had enough of her violent and abusive husband and kills him spontaneously with a frying pan after he comes home late complaining about his dinner or lack of it. Maddy then buries her husband, Vic, in the very same field that Thessaly Cross had been buried in all of those years before. Only for Vic to be raised from the dead as a demon of the witch, the Tatterdemon, a somewhat strange and scary vision of a scarecrow mixed together with mud, straw and of course Vic.

From the very beginning the reader is introduced to the atmosphere of Tatterdemon. It is dark and horrific, tense and terrifying with a great deal of violence and gore. Tatterdemon is certainly not for the young reader or those faint of heart, however it provides a story complete with action and evil depths that provides readers of the horror genre something profound to become gripped with instantaneously. It is a nail-biting and under-the covers type of read and works brilliantly late at night with the lights dimmed! Steve Vernon also shares his sense of humour which really relieves the tension and calms the blood in between the most tense scenes before it begins to boil with adrenalin again for more fear.

One of my favourite aspects of Tatterdemon are the characters. Many of them seem to be going through their own personal ordeals, however they are familiar with each other and as their paths cross their own troubles do too. From the victim of an abusive husband, Maddy, to the grieving husband of a suicide victim (who just so happens to keep his wife’s body in his freezer at home – and that is the Chief of Police for you), you can already begin to imagine what life might be like in Crossfall. From the creepy peeking mailman to the reclusive circus freak living reclusively in a trailer and to many, many more wonderful and weird characters. Tatterdemon in many respects is a fascinating read from the vivid imagination of Steve Vernon. If this genre is for you, Tatterdemon will tick all of the boxes that intrigues you and draws you in to this surreality.

Within each chapter the reader visits the different characters of Crossfall. And even though they have their own story to tell they are not too dissimilar from each other. The chapters themselves are broken down into smaller sections so that the reader can discover which character is doing what. In this way there is no waiting pages or whole chapters to find out what your favourite character is up to. The chapters have been put together cleverly and carefully in this manner. I also found this method to be faster to read and keep up with the story, especially with Vernon’s style of writing that is direct and easy to follow, allowing for plenty of momentum and horror to build up!

To make Tatterdemon the perfect horror story Steve Vernon hasn’t missed a thing from this genre. Tatterdemon holds it all, from witches, ghosts, zombies and killer scarecrows and complete with resurrections, spells and voodoo. There is no shortage of crime with murders and suicides taking place regularly. Yes, Tatterdemon is very disturbing but for all of the right reasons in this fantastic fun and gruesome horror!

Tatterdemon was provided by the author, Steve Vernon, for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

The Kindle version of Tatterdemon is available at Amazon.com for $1.24 and at Amazon.co.uk for 77p! (Prices correct at the time of posting.)

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Beware the Lure of the Fairy Ring on Halloween & some Spine Chilling Book Recommendations

Summer 2013 169Be Very Careful where you Tread!

I have always been fascinated by toadstools and fungi, finding the sight of them particularly magical due to their connection with fairies, whether they occur singly or in a what I was told as a child is a fairy ring. I thought that I would look into the folklore and legends surrounding them in the run up to Halloween and reflect on their appearance in a book that I have read recently, Elena Han’s Hunter on a Moonless Night, click for my review. Although not set at Halloween, it is nevertheless a short, entertaining and tasty erotic dark fantasy read for this time of the year and which fits in well with the images that writing this post conjure up for me. The novella has a scene with a fairy ring that has magical qualities and plays a key role in the fate of the heroine. For some spine chilling book recommendations that we’ve reviewed which would make suitable Halloween reads scroll down.

hunterWhilst we are not lucky enough to have a fairy ring in our garden, we do have a number of toadstools in our lawn, hence the pic. According to what I have learned from Wikipedia, one of the largest fairy rings ever found is near Belfort in France, thought to be about 600m in diameter and over 700 years old – how hufungus is that (apologies for the terrible pun)!

There are a host of traditions and folklore surrounding fairy rings, cited on Wikipedia and sites such as Envirinmentalgraffitti.com, (scroll down for the links). They are known as ronds de sorciers  ‘sorcerers’ rings’) in France and Hexenringe (‘witches’ rings’) in Germany. European superstitions tend to warn against entering a fairy ring or dire consequences will follow, from curses to loss or an eye or worse…..

In English, Scandanavian and Celtic mythology, fairy rings are said to be the result of elves or fairies dancing. British folklorist Thomas Keightley noted that in Scandanavia in the early Twentieth Century it was believed that fairy rings (elfdans) arose from the dancing of elves and whilst entering an elfdans would permit one to see the elves it could put the person in thrall to them and their illusions. In the British Isles fairy rings are regarded as dangerous and best avoided, lest the fairies become angry and curse the interloper, who may be unable to leave the circle or be forced to dance to the point of exhaustion, death or madness. Entering the fairy ring on May Eve or Halloween night is also thought to be particularly dangerous.

Fairy rings also feature in literature: Shakespeare mentions them in A  Midsummer Nights Dream and The Tempest and Thomas Hardy uses a a fairy ring as a symbol of lost love in the Mayor of Casterbridge, the character of Michael Henshaw passes a fairy ring and remembers that he last saw his wife Susan there when he sold her to a sailor in a drunken rage.

In some parts fairy rings are regarded as omens of good luck – the Welsh believe that mountain sheep eating fairy ring grass flourish and so do nearby crops. What do you think? Will you be avoiding fairy rings on Halloween or will you be celebrating their mystical qualities?

Spine Chilling Book Recommendations (click titles for our reviews)

Bloodroom, by Naima Haviland

The Bad Death, by Naima Haviland

The Wolfstone Curse, by Justin Richards

Ways to see a Ghost, by Emily Diamand

Welcome to Skullcrusher Mountain, by Christine Pope

Hunter on a Moonless Night, by Elena Han

On the Lips of Children by Mark Matthews

Happy Halloween to all our readers. Tina and Caroline 🙂

Sources consulted for information on the mythology and folklore surrounding toadstools, fungi and fairy rings:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_ring

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/plants/news-fantastic-folklore-surrounding-fairy-rings

On the Lips of Children by Mark Matthews (with author bio and author post link)

PumpkinHappy Halloween, readers. If you’re looking for something that’s chilling-to-the-bone to read on this cold, dark day then you may want to try Mark Matthews’ On the Lips of Children! You’ll most certainly need those bed covers to hide behind!

Caroline & Tina 🙂

areadersreviewblog

on-the-lips-of-children_1On the Lips of Children by Mark Matthews is absolutely terrifying and chilling to the bone, quite literally within the first few pages of the prologue. Certainly not for the younger reader, On the Lips of Children is an over 18yrs read due to the horror and gore, not to mention the emotional scar it leaves behind. This is definitely a must-read for all horror fans that like a book to leave a profound impact on them.

Macon is a tattoo artist and an avid marathon runner. These two interests of his are his life along with his partner, Erin, and their six year old daughter, Lyric. Erin and Macon have had their fair share of dark ordeals before they met, however nothing could have prepared them for the terrifying horror that they were about to encounter.

After arriving in San Diego to run a marathon in two days time…

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Read Tuesday Progress and Plans

For readers and authors everywhere! Read Tuesday on December 10th 2013, a chance to check out oodles of discounted books and treat yourself to some early Christmas presents. It’s a definite date for my diary! There is a growing list of books to be featured on the event’s blog and Facebook page so why not check it out! Enjoy Tina 🙂
Thank you to author Erica Dakin, whose site brought it to my attention and who is also participating herself 🙂

chrismcmullen

 

What is Read Tuesday?

It’s a Black Friday type of event just for books. This is a great opportunity for readers to shop for books at discounted prices; not just for themselves—books make nice gifts, too. It’s also a great opportunity for authors to participate in a global one-day sales event.

When is Read Tuesday?

In 2013, Read Tuesday will be held on December 10. Mark your calendar.

Is it free?

Authors, self-publishers, and booksellers can participate for free. Everyone is eligible. There are no forms to fill out, no obligations. To participate, a book simply has to have a short-term discount including Read Tuesday, which is lower than the ordinary selling price.

Similarly, there are no special fees, sign-ups, or obligations for readers to participate. Simply buy discounted books on Read Tuesday at your favorite booksellers. Authors may choose to list their books in the Read Tuesday

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A Heartless Design, #1 in the Secrets of the Zodiac series, by Elizabeth Cole

PrintFast Paced and Oh So Sexy Regency Romantic Suspense!

A Heartless Design, by Elizabeth Cole, is an absolute delight. It contains a Regency style James Bond  and an unconventional lady of independent means in a raunchy and rambunctious read. It absolutely sizzles with passion and desire and houses secrets that threaten the very security of the country, peppered with danger and deceit. It is guaranteed to entertain and get your heart beating ever faster as the tale develops and reaches its conclusion.

In A Heartless Design Cordelia Bering, a singular young woman who does not always abide by society’s norms, lives in London with her widowed aunt Leona, her parents having died. Cordelia uses practical scientific knowledge, gained from working with her late father, to secure a lucracive income to support her household. To continue her work in this field, Cordelia has many secrets, including one that could endanger her life. Secrets that she is compelled to hide from all, including any prospective suitor, let alone a husband. Cordelia is dubbed ‘heartless’ as she shuns the many marriage offers she continues to have on account of her engaging character and beauty.

Whilst attending a ball with her aunt, Cordelia encounters a mystery man to whom she has not been introduced. Sebastien Thorne, now the Duke of Thornewell, is one of the Crown’s elite secret agents belonging to a group known as the Zodiac. He has been summoned to the ball by his handler to retrieve instructions as to his next mission -preventing a certain piece of technical information leaving Britain and falling into enemy hands, which could give them a significant advantage. Sebastien can afford for nothing to get in his way, not even a woman as beguiling and challenging as Cordelia. However, as Sebastien pursues his leads, it becomes evident that Cordelia is involved and hiding something and he is compelled to employ whatever means necessary to persuade her to reveal her secrets to fulfil his mission and secure the safety of the nation.  However, he did not gamble on his growing feelings for the lady……

Cordelia is a woman in a man’s world, who has to rely on subterfuge and her intelligence to pursue her dream of pursuing the scientific inquiries she loves and  I was quickly drawn to her as a heroine. She is unaware of Sebastien’s work for the Crown and is therefore suspicious of him, although grateful when he proves himself useful to her safety on a number of occasions. Sebastien, for his part, does not conform to society and battles with the conflicting priorities of his title and work as a secret agent. He immediately senses Cordelia’s vulnerability, at the same time being drawn to her unconventional demeanour and kindred spirit. It is clear that they are attracted to each other and have a lot in common – but can a relationship succeed when Cordelia has vowed never to marry and there is so much deceit between them, not to mention those who are out to prise Cordelia’s secrets from her by fair means or foul? The couple must learn to trust one another and  reveal all to one another before it is too late. There is plenty of sexual tension between the main couple and a number of sensual lovemaking scenes which I enjoyed. Both the plot and dialogue were well crafted, believable and full of suspense.

The secondary characters were also a delight to get to know, those making up Cordelia’s household and other members of the Zodiac in particular. I hope to find out more about them in future novels in the series by the author, which I sincerely hope that she plans to write. The bad guys in the story were menacing without being over the top and added sufficient suspense and tension to the plot without detracting from the romance.

I recommend this novel to readers of historical romance, particularly Regency romance, who like suspense with their read and who enjoy unconventional heroines. All in all a rollicking Regency read, which I heartily recommend!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received this book for free from Story Cartel in exchange for my unbiased review.

 http://skysparkbooks.com/aheartlessdesign/

https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethColeWrites

http://storycartel.com/

‘Unscathed’ by Tim O’Rourke and C.J. Pinard release!!!

Product DetailsToday is the release of UNSCATHED, written by my favourite two authors, Tim O’Rourke and C.J. Pinard.

I am planning to review Unscathed very soon! In the meantime, check out the synopsis:

Mina Porter’s mother sent her away because of a terrible secret. When Mina meets tattooed bad boy Jax McElvoy, she’s immediately drawn to him, but not for the reasons he might think.

Jax falls for Mina too, but quickly figures out she’s hiding something. He’s determined to break down her walls and find out her secret. But Jax soon realizes he should have just let hidden secrets stay buried, because this one will cost him his dearly.

Unscathed is a contemporary romance with a deadly twist by bestselling author Tim O’Rourke and author C.J. Pinard.

Unscathed is available at both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com!!! Add it to your reading list, guys!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Caroline 🙂

 

Another free promo!

Erica Dakin’s first novel, The Ritual, is FREE for Kindle for the next day ot two. For adults only it is a mixture of romance, fantasy and adventure. Why not grab yourself a copy? Tina 🙂

Theft and Sorcery

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you! My first novel, The Ritual, will be absolutely FREE for Kindle today and tomorrow. It is an equal blend of romance, fantasy and adventure, with a good dollop of spice to keep your blood up. To grab yourself a copy, follow your country-appropriate link below. Adults only! Re-blogging much appreciated.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYYVT1G/ (United States)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AYYVT1G/ (Great Britain)

http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00AYYVT1G/ (Canada)

It will be free on most other Amazon sites as well, but I didn’t want to overload everyone with twenty-five links.

Need an incentive? Here are some excerpts from the various reviews I’ve had on both Goodreads and Amazon:

“The build-up of the relationship between Rin and Zash is tangible, palpable, to the point that I held my breath when they were on that knife-edge point of succumbing to desire.”

“I read the book in two sittings – I just had to know what happened.”

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