Categories
Book Reviews Extreme Horror Unrelenting Human Horror

Rotten Apples

by Jon Athan

WARNING: This book contains scenes of graphic violence and disturbing themes. Many of these scenes involve violence committed by and against minors. This book is not intended for those easily offended or appalled. Please enjoy at your own discretion.

On his thirteenth birthday, Jacob White discovers his older brother, Kevin, is a violent serial killer. Kevin doesn’t want to hurt Jacob, though. Kevin wants to teach Jacob about the world—from his twisted perspective. He wants to mold his little brother into a serial killer so that they can kill together. However, as his brother goes on a murder spree, Jacob finds himself wrestling with his conscience… Can one rotten apple spoil the whole barrel?

Jon Athan, the author of A Family of Violence and The Abuse of Ashley Collins, brings you a provocative horror story of family, adolescence, and violence. Could you keep your brother’s secret?

Brothers Who Slay Together, Stay Together!

I just read this for the second time – it’s sooooo good!
I am enjoying Jon Athan’s more realistic ‘human horror stories’ even better than the fun & sadistic extreme horror that made me find him in the beginning.
It’s not very common to get emotional while reading extreme horror, but this author seems to get me every time.
I highly recommend Rotten Apples.

You all know that I have been fan-girling on my blog since… what, 2015, or 2016(?), but, you also know it’s for damn good reasons. He somehow keeps getting better, and his stories shine a light on real human horrors, helping to bring attention to subjects that matter, but people want to ignore. Stories based on real cases, like Into The Wolves Den, and The Groomer.
Please Check him out so we can talk about these books, and share fangirling moments… Until next time…

LIKE Jon Athan on FacebookGoodreads & @Jonny_Athan on Twitter.

P, L & N 💋

~sg

Categories
Book Reviews Horror Short Story

A House In The Country by Matt Shaw

You ever have a moment where something was SO CREEPY that you threw up, or almost threw up?
About a year ago… I was checking out a series of pictures posted online, and when I found out where the pictures were taken, every hair on my body stood up, I got so weirded out! I never verified if it was true – don’t really care, either. It freaked me out, I moved on.
Then, I read this book.
That moment came flooding back – with a vengeance.

A House in the Country

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When will people learn?
A dream home in a perfect location, with a price tag that you can actually afford… Too good to be true! Turn around, you’re not welcome. Doesn’t anyone watch movies? Do the walls have to literally drip blood before people take a hint?
Not me, fuck that noise! I’m outta that bitch like it’s on fire. Meet ya at the county line!
Dean and Jess apparently don’t watch movies, either.
Not only is it a dream house, in a perfect location, with an affordable price tag – (that’s already three strikes!) – it also has a tragic history. ♪ ♫ ♩ Dun dun duuuuuun… ♪ ♫ ♩
This novella details the events of the seven days spent in this house in the country.

::whispers:: sssseven daysssss….

This book felt very similar to THE LOST SON.
Almost the same blueprint, just decorated differently. I’m not pointing out the specifics, and I’m really not saying anything bad, merely stating an observation.

I’m also not pointing out the specific moments that freaked me out. Except for one… omg – the twist in this story is messed up!! ::shudders:: The discovery made by Jess – I swear, I almost threw up!! Not because of gore or anything like that, just because of that ‘Aw, HELL no!’ moment of fright. (Refer back to my opening statement).

I think I regret filling out the LITERATURE-LY YOU questionnaire, because Matt has a direct link to the freak-out sensor in my brain. 😉

After you’ve read this, if you know what story I’m talking about with the pictures – I would love to hear your opinion!!

Categories
Art Book Reviews Free Horror Horror PicArt / PicEdit Short Story

DANNY BOY by Tonia Brown

DANNY BOY is a short story written by TONIA BROWN, for
Dark Valentine | Issue 4 | Spring 2011

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Daniel Brewster tries not to panic as he paces around the corpse of the old woman. He could hear Mike’s voice in his mind… “Get the job done, Danny-Boy! What’s done is done.” His brother’s voice doesn’t help to calm him down, though.
With his brother is in jail, and his mamma – who resembles this old woman in a remarkable way, off in the home where Mike sent her five years ago, Danny is lonely.
At home, he sorts through the meager haul that he lifted from the old woman. He’d even removed the ring from her slowly cooling finger.
Thirty bucks. Thirty measly dollars, and a few trinkets that couldn’t be worth much of anything. The ring he took off of the old woman’s finger, though… THAT was pretty snazzy.
Was it worth her life?
Danny is feeling woozy. He forgot to eat, and his body was chanting ‘pay the price, pay the price…’ Mike said that big guys like him needed to watch their sugar. Mike said that low blood sugar would make him feel really bad.
As he reaches out to grab an apple, his hand brushes across something else, something that’s definitely NOT an apple!
He touches …wth?! The old woman’s face?!
That’s not possible!
She’s dead! I killed her!
Danny Boy cries, and cries, and cries. He misses his brother, and wants him to come home – he’d get that old woman to leave!

When Danny answers the ringing phone the next morning, he’s relieved, and surprised, to hear Mike’s voice on the other end. Mike has a big surprise for his baby brother!

Danny Boy lowers the phone in his hand, and slowly turns to look down the hallway – and at the bloody footprints .

The links for this issue, the ones that I’ve had for ages, just decided to NOT work anymore. They were working a week ago, but… Not anymore. ::sigh::
You can see all the info about this issue HERE, but the download link on that page is also broken.
E-mail Katherine Tomlinson for magazine information, or connect via Facebook

The Backseat Writer

Goodreads

COFFEE TALK with ToniaInterview, Books, Links, & Stalking Info

Twitter – @ToniaBrown1

Spring_2011_cover_small

ABOUT DARK VALENTINE ~
Dark Valentine is a quarterly journal devoted entirely to dark fiction, which we define as any story in any genre that is disturbing, provocative, haunting, scary, dangerous, or any combination of those things.
Think of classic stories like “The Mummy’s Paw,” “The Open Window,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Lady or the Tiger?” Think of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily,” Harlan Ellison’ “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” J.D. Salinger’s “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and Tanith Lee’s “Because Our Skins are Finer.”
The world is a dangerous place, as full of shadows and moonlight as it is sun and blue sky. We want the stories that come from the dark places—words that sear and scar and bewitch and bedazzle. Words that are as dangerous to hear as they are to tell.
Tell us a story.

Visit the noted sites to view more art by Larry Nadolsky
Visit the noted sites to view more art by Larry Nadolsky

Larry Nadolsky on Facebook

Dark Valentine on Facebook

ComicMix

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror Short Story Zombies

KELLIE’s DIARY By Thomas Jenner & Angeline Perkins


This is the diary of a nine year old girl who is experiencing the very beginning of the zombie apocalypse, although she doesn’t know that’s what it is. It starts with her classmates getting sick, and staying home from school. While these kids are home, even more are getting sick… school is becoming a ghost town. Kellie’s patents make sure she gets her flu shot, and she continues showing up at school, even when she is one of only six students left in her class.
While she is at school, the monsters come. Kellie has to figure out what to do to survive while there, and if she wants to leave. She needs a plan to get out of the school, and to make it back to her home & family.
Although this book is short, it’s only the first story in the series, and it’s available for free download.
It is in diary form, and the font used is a handwriting font. I couldn’t get it any larger on my Kindle.

Categories
Book Reviews Horror Short Story YA

YA HORROR, Stories by Marissa Wood (updated)

 

I recently picked up 4 stories written by Marissa Wood. I caught them on sale, but they are regularly priced at only 99¢ – a great deal for Kindle shorts. I didn’t have horror like this available when I was reading YA novels as a YA. I’d like to be able to get the word out, so we can raise our next generation of horror lovers! Let your kids know that there is more out there than just GOOSEBUMPS and Darren Shan… (don’t get me wrong, I loved GOOSEBUMPS, and read Darren Shan books as an adult!) But, there is more out there! ( I just remembered, there was another Darren Shan series that I wanted to read!)
* See notes at the end for important Darren Shan info!

(Click each title photo to go directly to it’s Amazon page)

 

A RASH OF KILLINGS:

This is a YA short story, I want to make sure you realize that before you pick it up just by my five star rating. I usually stick with the dark & bloody, 17+, horror stories. But, I gotta say, this was a great short, no matter what age you are! The Amazon synopsis reads -Life isn’t easy for Dale. Kids at school are dropping like flies. The girl he likes turned him down for the prom, and his sister is as irritating as always. He didn’t get his scholarship, and with all of the murders in town, his mom is completely overprotective. How’s a teenager supposed to make it in a world of curfews, blood, and irritating parents?Besides a couple sentences geared directly towards a younger person, I’d have never known this was classified as YA. It is a really good story, with a smack in the face twist! I’m going to be on the lookout for more from this author!

A STRANGER AT THE CABIN:

 

Have you ever heard a story about a cabin that didn’t end in horror? From A Cabin In The Woods to Evil Dead… all bad. Even The Three Bears turned out bad for one little blonde haired girl, so don’t let A STRANGER AT THE CABIN’s ‘young adult’ category fool you! Actually, I was surprised at how gory and tense this was. I wish Marissa Wood had been around when I was stuck reading Sweet Valley High YA stories, but, maybe she was stuck reading those, too! Maybe that’s what inspired her to write these YA horror stories. Hmm.. The Amazon synopsis reads -When his mother is called back to work for an urgent errand, Jonathon doesn’t mind. He’s watched his sister before and there’s no problem this time. When the power goes out, though…and the phone lines, too…he knows he’s in for a long night. It isn’t until a strange man shows up at his door that he learns the long night will be filled with terror!Warning: This ebook has very dark and disturbing images, and adults should read carefully before allowing a child in their care to read this story.Whatever your age, this is a great book. I’m not one to impose reading restrictions on kids, so, if you have any worries about whether these are appropriate, I suggest reading them for yourself first.Bloody fun for all ages!

 

THE PEEPER:

Amazon synopsis – Jack has some friends over while he’s laid up with a broken leg. They want to watch some horror movies, but he’s more interested in spying on his sexy teacher a few houses down the road! With the telescope, he hopes to see something exciting, but he never expected a psycho killer punching and stabbing everyone!Warning: This ebook has very dark and disturbing images and adults should read carefully prior to allowing a child in their care to read this story.

Jack is bored to tears since breaking his leg & being confined to a boring life indoors. He’s watched every movie, and can’t play another video game! His mom suggests he take out the telescope his grandfather got him a couple years ago, to see if he can find some solace in the stars. He finds more than that when he witnesses a brutal murder at his teachers house!
PEEPER is another great horror story written for the YA audience. It is a modern version of Alfred Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, only a lot bloodier, and a lot more brutal! Like the other titles, I suggest you read this first if you’re purchasing for your kids. You know your children better than me 3:)
 

MAX IS MAD:

Amazon synopsis -Max lives in a little room. Max wears a strait-jacket. Max eats insects. Max gets lobotomies and electric shocks. What the doctors don’t know is that the shocks and the cutting aren’t making him dull and quiet but increasing his intelligence…and his rage. The scariest part of all is that Max has a plan.Warning: This ebook contains very dark, bloody, and disturbing imagery, and adults should read very carefully before allowing a child in their care to read this story.

Max is a genius. He lived with his mom, his dad died before Max was born. He graduated high-school, and began college, by the age of 15. It was also at age 15 when the men broke into their house & started to hurt his mom. Max did not let that happen. As a result of that, Max’s mom ends up on death row, and Max himself lands in the mental hospital. He vows revenge for what is done to his mother & himself…and, revenge is what he gets!
This is an extremely bloody & violent book. It’s very good, I love it, but if you’re purchasing for your kids, please take the time to read it first. You will know if your son or daughter can handle it 3:)
Stay involved in your children’s lives, it’s up to us to raise the next generation of horror aficionados!!

**************************************************************************
This is the only one I haven’t read yet, but, I will update you as soon as I do. I fully plan on buying it, not only to round out the group – but because I have enjoyed the previous ones!
I am trying to find the author, Marissa Wood. So far, no luck. But, my best “private eye” is on it! Haha! Suzanne has a knack for tracking down authors, so, it’s only a matter of time. Contact me if you know her, or have an address for her. (Email, not post. I’m not a full on stalker!)

THE WITCH HOST:


(available for 99¢)

Amazon synopsis -Kayla is bored at the thought of school until a field trip to a historic graveyard peaks her interest. As far as she can tell, an innocent girl was tortured and burned as a witch and the grave is in this place! With the help of her friends, she’s determined to raise the ghost of the witch so it can have its revenge. Of course, she has no idea that the ghost might not be grateful.Warning: This ebook contains very dark, bloody, disturbing images. Adults should review carefully before allowing a child in their care to read this story.
**********************************************************
Or, you can pick up all five shorts in one book!

SICK REVENGE

offers all five stories for only $2.99!

SICK REVENGE is the horrifying and suspenseful new collection of short stories from Young Adult Millennial Press by author Marissa Wood. In this collection you get all 5 full length stories. What’s happening to the teens in a small town? Is there any escape from a madman killer? Are crazy people really as crazy as we think? What might a peeping Tom really see through a sexy teacher’s window? Can an innocent spirit really help the living? Revenge has never been so sickeningly sweet!Warning: This ebook contains very dark, bloody, and disturbing imagery, and adults should read very carefully before allowing a child in their care to read this story.
***********************************************************
So, Darren Shan…If you never read any of his stuff (it’s YA, too), I was researching to give you the series I already read (CIRQUE DU FREAK), the series I wanted to read (DEMONATA), and anything new, when I found this new vampire series, book one is available for free download!

The rest of the books, surprisingly, a rip-off at eight bucks per story in Kindle format! I’m all for getting today’s youth into the horror genre, but, this pisses me off! Because it’s still a small niche (excluding sparkly vampires), I think it’s awful to raise your prices because you know parents will be willing to pay any amount to get their kids to love reading! Criminal.
SUPPORT INDIE!

 

 

 

 

Categories
Book Reviews Family Fiction Horror News Preview

GIVING UP THE GHOST by Dan Dillard

I received an early copy of GIVING UP THE GHOST from Dan in February. Right when I started it, my dad died. I read it on the plane, going to the funeral. I know this might sound strange to most of you, but, this story helped me get through the next few days! I took much comfort in it. Odd place to find peace, in a horror novel, but I did! The story is excellent! I cried, I laughed out loud, I got angry… I fell in love with these characters.
FINAL E-COVER-small
Gerry Sheffield is a real piece of work. Can’t keep a job, can’t stay any sort of sober, and he has always relied on his parents to bail him out of the trouble he can’t seem to keep himself out of. A grown man who won’t take responsibility.
After a particularly nasty bender, and a run-in with his landlord, Gerry is calling his parents, again – not asking for help as much as demanding their help. After all, they are his parents. It’s their job to look out for their son.
His parents, Margo & Bill, are at the end of their rope.
They’d always tried to help their son. The college tuition that was wasted, the car repairs, the down payment on his now ex-wife’s house, everything. They’re out of patience, and they’re almost out of means. After 27 years, they decide – no more. Clean up your self, clean up your act, put on your big-boy pants & cowboy the fuck up.
The following morning, Gerry gets two checks.
One is for his rent & a thousand bucks for the month.
The second… a great big really check from his dad.
This is it. No more. Sink or swim.
Gerry actually makes a whole-hearted attempt, one last shot to make something of his life, to make his father proud! But, within a day, any chance of walking the straight & narrow is blown. He’s actually made things far worse!
Self righteousness mixed with self pity doesn’t make a good combination. So, once again convincing himself that his problems are all because of someone else, Gerry’s anger helps propel him into calling his parents, to blame Bill & Margo for every single thing that has ever gone wrong in his entire miserable existence. It is bad. He finally says the things that make his parents turn their backs, close their hearts and lock him out. He’s gone too far this time. Realizing what he has done, Gerry’ s hurt eventually gives itself over to hate. And, Gerry lands himself in jail. Again.

Read GIVING UP THE GHOST to find out how far Bill & Margo willing to go to get Gerry to change his ways.
After death, is there anything they won’t do?

GIVING UP THE GHOST by Dan Dillard will be available June 1’st

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Categories
Fiction Horror Horror

CONSUME some free Matt Shaw!

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Hurry & Download this limited free e-book from Amazon!

I apologize for using this link this way, but my new device does not have an easy link set up. I’ll figure it out soon. Until then…

 

You can also check out my post about this book, view the synopsis, & chat with me when you’ve finished!

https://beckisbookblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/consumed-by-matt-shaw/

 

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror

CONSUMED by Matt Shaw

CONSUMED
The “TASTY” new horror novel from Matt Shaw
cover
Since I am a huge fan, and I follow both of Matt’s Facebook pages, I got to watch as he began writing & posted updates for this one. His teaser posts made me crazy! ‘Warnings’ by him included things like ‘I may have crossed the line on this bit’ or ‘I might get some complaints on that bit’, “WARNING: NOT FOR THE EASILY SHOCKED. SOME SCENES MAY BE DISTRESSING!” Warnings, to me, are a wonderful selling point. (I like to say that warning labels on books are like warning labels on prescription bottles, the worse the warning…the better the content. Alcohol may intensify the effect? Thanks for the suggestion! Don’t read this on a full stomach? Don’t mind if I do!)
I do love what the Amazon page says…” A tasty new horror from the author who brought you “The Cabin” and “Smile” – this book is not for the easily offended nor is it for people who don’t appreciate shocks galore. Having previously had positive feedback for his numerous horror and ghost stories – Matt Shaw decided to write “Consumed” for the more gore-hungry horror fans…And he delivers by the bucket load!”
I sat on this book for a couple days before opening it, scared to finish it too fast! Then, I couldn’t take it any more & devoured it (see what I did there?).
Going into a horror novel about cannibalism & seeing “non non nom” is a delightful way to spend a day!

The story starts with a group of college age friends packing up & leaving for a camping trip. Deciding that using the GPS is for pussies, they disconnect & rely on their map reading skills. (Guess how that goes). I don’t know if it was just my mindset, or his writing, but I had a TCM vibe going from Jump Street. So, when they run into a little trouble & strangers come to the rescue – I’m saying ‘don’t do it! Don’t go! Oh…you dumb ass…!’
Some ‘down-home’ hospitality is offered, insisted upon, and our friends just can’t say no. The sexy young sister greeting the boys at the house didn’t hurt, either! Around this time, I’m having feelings of House Of 1000 Corpses, but – Rob Zombie didn’t have a dinner party like this one at the Firefly house!
I have to stop here, fearing I might give too much away. CONSUMED read a little different than the other stories. A little more ‘fluff’ than usual – but, that really turned out to be a good thing in this story. A little bit more background on the characters just makes you love/hate them even more! You get to know the bad guys history a bit…and that’s a bonus! A great thing about it is that it goes into the how’s and why’s of the family eating ‘long pork’. How they started & why they continue – not too much, though. Just enough. You might think you know this story – but Matt gives his unique spin on it, making it fresh & new. Blood was shed, gory good times were had, definate cringe worthy scenes and stomach turning moments! All that AND a great story line to back it up!

Another five star book from Matt! Don’t pass this one up!

ALERT3

From this point on – I’m calling out SPOILER ALERT! Read at your own risk!

While writing CONSUMED, Matt had a little ‘contest’.
He was searching for names for some of the characters, and made a post on Facebook asking if any of us would be interested in lending our name to one of the bad guys.
The response was huge & I tried to get in on it – as a bad guy, or even just a random victim! The name Becki just doesn’t have a good “flow”. Two hard sounds, a ‘BUH’ and a ‘KEY’ – see? Not a good flow.
I’m still excited! Because, if I couldn’t be immortalized in this one, and least a friend of mine could! Suzanne M. made the CUT (see what I did there?) – and reading this a second time, focusing on Suzanne’s character, was so much fun!
First introduced at 42%, the part with her character that I enjoyed the most came at 88% … “Suzanne looked at Robert whilst nibbling on one of Charlotte’s fingers… which she had already bitten off.” The giggles were great! The visual was even better!

nomnomnom
nomnomnom

Sadly, Suzanne meets with a grisly demise at around 91% – but, she can be proud of the fact that she wasn’t the first to go, and she lasted almost to the end 🙂
I’m not giving up. I’m keeping the dream alive. One day, there will be a character to whom I can lend my name.
Until then, I’m still in a cartoon!

Peace, Love, & Necrophillia ♥
~ Shadow Girl

Check out my most recent interview –
LOW TEA WITH MATT SHAW
4/20/13

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As Mark Wahlberg, playing Chris Cole, said in Rock Star …

“You know, I’m just a regular guy who grew up with the posters of these guys on my wall… and now I’m one of them! That’s right, I’m standing here, living proof that if you work hard enough, and you want it bad enough… dreams do come true. So follow your dreams…” que music for We All Die Young

Guess who made it into the newest book of short stories…
Don’t miss INSOMNIA in SHORTS

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror Short Story

THEY By Vincent Hobbes

THEY
A short story by Vincent Hobbes
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Two couples on vacation in Colorado when they run out of gas on a back mountain road during a blizzard, one that has dumped 3″ of snow on them in a matter of minutes.

Freezing cold & scared to death, the men leave their wives to walk up the road toward the light they see. A gas station. Everything will be ok… right?

One of the men returns, bloody and missing two things he left with. His brother and a body part.

I can’t say more, for fear of spoiling it for everyone. It’s a short horror story that got my stomach tense, and brought on that uncomfortable claustrophobic feeling in the short amount of time I was there. Not a lot of authors can pull that off.

I’ve enjoyed the three stories I read by Vincent Hobbes today, and I will be reading more of his work. I recommend his work for both horror fans & non. Reading his work brings on the nostalgia of watching The Twilight Zone late at night. Maybe that’s just me, but it’s where my mind takes me, and in case you can’t tell – it’s a very good thing.

Categories
Book Reviews Fiction Horror

THE SORROW KING by Anderson Prunty

THE SORROW KING

Anderson Prunty

“There is but one truely serious psychological problem – and that is suicide.”
~ Albert Camus
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The life of a small town…
The death of a small town…
Gethsemane was a small rural town. As small rural towns went it was a sleepy little burg. It woke up with the sun. It went to bed with the moon. The fields had been planted, and now the farmers watched them grow.
And the teenagers who normally ran rampant about the town – fucking, drinking, and vandalizing away the days – were afraid to leave their houses.
The teenagers in Gethsemane are dying.
When the news and papers finally pick up the story, they call it ‘The Suicide Virus’, but two residents of this town, Stephen & Elise, know differently. This is no virus.
But, let us not get ahead of ourselves here. THE SORROW KING is not the first thing I’ve read by Anderson Prunty, although it is the best so far. When I picked up the others, it was before I knew what Bizarro Fiction was, before I knew Prunty’s name. Knowing this now, I fully intend to go back and re-read my copy of Jack and Mr. Grin, and dive into the (at least) five other titles I already own.
Prunty does an excellent job with characterization. I got to know the main players well, Steven & Elise, Steven’s dad – Conner, Drifter Ken…(I would like more on this character – a SS maybe? There’s another story in Ken Blanchard.) You can get a feel of each character, without ever getting the feeling of TMI.
Alright. That’s way more than I’ve ever said on that. The story just grabs you in the first chapter, and never let up. I never had a moment of wanting to stop reading, and when I had to… I’d start again asap. This wasn’t one that just sat there like – ‘meh. whenever.’ It’s dark. Surreal.
It’s uncomfortable in spots. Capturing the teenaged mind all too vividly, it drags you through those disheartening emotions. Those days when every trouble is multiplied x100. There are some graphic sexual pieces. But, your not a prude. Not if your reading my reviews. They may be cringe worthy if you remember their ages, I do know a lot Steven’s sexual fantasies now. Hmm.
Back to the story.
The teenagers in Gethsemane (Ohio) are dropping like flies. Dying in apparent suicides. Steve knows better, he feels it, he’s writing about it in his sleep, but how can he stop it? Elise knows better, too. But, she believes she might be part of the problem.
Conner, desperately trying to make certain his son doesn’t become a statistic, starts looking for answers, too. The story he hears from the town’s Drifter is one of ghosts and poisoned towns.
Behind it all, is the Sorrow King. The Jackthief. And he’s growing stronger each day.
Did that grab ya? How ’bout this… “There are no happy endings in Hell”.

Visit
LOWERED EXPECTATIONS
The something of Anderson Prunty
http://www.andersonprunty.com

And click on the links at the beginning to get your copy.