SPOOKY STACKS is Halloween book with SS from authors I already know & love, and it was free to download (>.<) FREE makes everything better, but SPOOKY STACKS earned the 5 star rating for it’s content, not it’s price.
“Fast Zombies Suck” – Brian Keene I wholeheartedly agree with this, fast zombies do suck! These things with the RAGE virus… they may be bitey, but they’re not real zombies. Ken thinks this way, too. He wants his zombies traditional, shambling and moaning. He’s been ready for them to come, he’s seen all the movies. He knows what to do when TSHTF, and, it sure looks like today is that day…
“Pizza Face” – Bryan Smith Will Hopkins delivers pizza for a living, but he dreams of getting away, and of a bigger & better life. With one ring of a doorbell, his life is about to change forever – let’s hope he can survive what’s waiting for him on the other side. I think this was my favorite story in this collection. There were a couple points when I made audible sounds, earning me that ‘youre crazy’ look from my husband.
“A Farewell to Arms” – Scott Nicholson Casey & Maleah have holed up in an old barn at the edge of town. They met when the zombies came, and just kind of went in the same direction. They didn’t consciously decide to pair up. Now, though, they must decide if they want to team up, or is it better if they just go their separate ways.
“Cooked” – Jonathan Maberry Billy & Cooter had caused a bit of a ruckus the other day, kidnapping a few flamingos and garden gnomes from someone’s lawn. They thought it was the funniest thing in the world at the time. It’s not so funny anymore.
TEN DAYS, TWELVE COMPETITORS, TWO MILLION POUNDS IN CASH.
What at first appears to be a wonderful opportunity for Damien Banks turns out to be the worst nightmare he can imagine.
Trapped inside a house with eleven strangers, and a booming voice known only as ‘The Landlord’ controlling his every move, Damien will be forced to compete not only for the money, but for his life.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN…
Wherever you’re from, you’ve seen the garbage that is known as ‘REALITY TV’. (in actuality… It’s the furthest thing from reality on TV!) (IMHO)
I know that even if you tell me “you refuse to watch that trash” – you still know, basically, what the shows are about.
Survivor (aka Expedition Robinson) is a reality show where contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes. It uses a system of ‘progressive elimination’, allowing the contestants to vote off other tribe members until only one final contestant remains and wins the title of “Sole Survivor.” (The format for Survivor was created for a United Kingdom TV production company, but it is still a popular show in the US as well.)
Big Brother is a different kind of reality game show . The premise of BB is that there is a group of people who are housemates or house guests living together in a large house. During their time in the house they are isolated from the outside world and are not commonly aware of outside events. Contestants are continuously monitored by in-house television cameras as well as personal audio microphones during their stay. Each series lasts for about three months, with 10–20 contestants entering the house. To win the final cash prize, a contestant must survive periodic (usually weekly) evictions and be the last housemate or houseguest remaining in the compound by the series’ conclusion. HOUSEMATES by Iain Rob Wright is like a mixture of the shows ‘SURVIVOR’ and ‘BIG BROTHER’, mixed with the movie ‘SAW’.
A hand-selected group of people living together in a large house, with cameras continuously monitoring their every move, like BB. And, like Survivor, they are forced to participate in Elimination Rounds to be able to stay until the next challenge. Except the penalty for losing each round is a bit more severe than Survivor. The all seeing and all knowing Landlord has to be compared more to Jigsaw, than Jeff Probst – If Jigsaw was sicker, and more twizted, that is. Like both shows, everything is being filmed.
A little deeper – no spoilers, but describes in more detail …
The Players, our Housemates, are selected, blindfolded, and whisked away to a secret location. Upon arrival they’re made to forfeit certain possessions, (like cell phones), and their luggage is taken so it can be searched for items that may be against the show’s rules. The House Rules are explained to the group as they are outfitted with electronic devices, placed around their necks & wrists. Once the entry process is completed, they are shown to their accommodations.
The housemates have been supplied with copious amounts of alcohol and tobacco, but have been deprived of basic necessities like beds and bathing facilities. They don’t find their luggage inside, either. Following the tradition of all great reality shows, they decide to worry about those trivial details later, and start drinking!
They get acquainted, get knackered, and whether it is consciously or subconsciously… alliances already start to form. Someone found a bathroom, of sorts. Well, someone found a toilet. No sink, or bath, or shower. Someone else found the bedroom, wasn’t that door locked the first time they checked it? The ‘bedroom’ was antiquated, to put it politely, and held only six beds. Some are upset, some are pissed, but they come to the conclusion that all these things are just inconveniences for the sake of theatrics.
THE FIRST COMPETITION is a ‘Survivor’ type of physical challenge, and it is for their luggage. Two teams are decided and each team has a large, clear container. The housemates luggage is divided into the two containers, some team members have luggage in their own container, some in the opposite team’s container.
The rules are explained quickly. Each team has a pump, (like a bicycle pump), they must grab the handle as a team and pump air into the hoses. The hoses are connected to a hydraulic water tank. The first team to fill their container with liquid wins the challenge.
The luggage that the winning team is now in possession of is theirs to keep, regardless of its former owner. (they now see that the luggage has been sealed against water damage). Some team members are lucky enough to have their own, others are left with someone else’s belongings. The Housemates start to show their true colors now!
That is only a very basic outline of what happens. I didn’t want to expose any deeper parts of the plot, but this competition plays a major part in this storyline.
In these few pages you are learning that this is NOT a normal game, and things are not as they seem. It is the first glimpse into the housemates as well, what is REALLY under the chatty & shiny exterior.
It only gets more intense from here.
It has taken me forever to get this review finished. I bought this book on the day it was released, started it the next morning, and finished it faster than I wanted to.
I loved it so much, I want my review to reflect that, and I want it to grab your interest so you’ll read it, too. When I did finish, I looked through my Kindle and pulled every Iain Rob Wright book onto the carousel, pissed that I hadn’t read Iain’s work earlier. I trusted people and got the books, just never started. DON’T BE LIKE ME. Pull ASBO out and read it, tonight. When you finish, download this one & devour it quickly. Then come back and talk to be about it!!
There are so many MOMENTS throughout this book –
moments of realization, ah-ha moments, and oh-shit! moments.
5 of 5 stars +
Would you please hurry up and read this so I can discuss it with you?!
One last comment…
I enjoy seeing the author give special thanks to people I know! Cathy Hudson – I had already purchased this book, but her comments about it and the Author got me to move it to the very next book I opened. (Now, we must convince Suzanne to do the same. I believe she’ll be easily persuaded, especially since the last 20% of this book is INFLUENZA by Matt Shaw.) Vix Kirkpatrick and Marcus Blakeston were listed as well. I may not know them IRL, but after spending so much time with them online – who’s going to tell me I can’t refer to these people as friends? And, of course, who can forget Barney, the purple dinosaur? I don’t know why Iain listed him, but, I think he’s awesome for it.
Don’t miss the latest from Iain Rob Wright, ‘ANIMAL KINGDOM’. Just released and on my carousel… ready and waiting!
HURRY, FREE DOWNLOAD FOR A LIMITED TIME!
HIDE AND SEEK:
• Right now, she’s being hunted. It all happened so fast! One minute, she’s celebrating at her annual birthday party with her besties, some drinks, some laughs… good tiimes. A minute later- she’s hiding from the man who destroyed everything, and left pieces of her friends in his wake! This ss is tense & uncomfortable. I’m kinda pissed at Katy Perry, too.
• Do you realize just how much personal information you put online? For this stalker, social media has made finding his prey almost effortless. This story will make you think about deleting your entire networking persona!
SILENCE IS GOLDEN:
• “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. ”
Having to surpress your deepest desires, for [lietrally] as long as you can remember, is not only futile – but it’s also dangerous. When that dam bursts open & the first drop of blood trickles out … nothing will be able to stop the impending tidal wave that is to come.
This one gives a whole new visual to the phrase ‘hold your tongue’! :p
• Waking up bound & gagged in an unfamiliar place, with no memory of how she ended up here… Janice is terrified. Once she calms down, she realizes that the reason it’s hard to breathe is because of the duct tape on her mouth. And, she cannot see because her eyes have been sealed shut. How long do you fight against your restraints, how much pain do you put yourself through, how much silence can you take before you give up? Just give in & accept your fate?
• Keeping a journal is therapeutic, I’ve had one readily available for as long as I can remember – even if my most recent entries have been sporadic, at best. Serial killers need an outlet, too. That’s what this short story is about. Short, but to the point. It has a particularly gruesome murder detailed within its pages, too
JUST SAY NO:
• Haven’t finished this story yet – but had to stop to say OHMIGAWD!!! Wait till you see!!!
Ok. I finished … I could have waited, it was only a little more – but… on the Kindle, you’re never really sure. I can’t say too much. I’ll just stick with what everyone tells me. “Smoking is going to kill you.” AbFab story! Please comment – I want to talk ♥
• You’ve heard me say it before – (‘Holiday Horror’ anthologies & Genital Grinder reviews etc.), I love when the shorts give a little nod to each other. Especially if they’re from different authors. This is the same author, but – this final story, ZEN, ties together with the first story, HIDE & SEEK. So so good. It gives the whole collection a nice feel of closure. This time around, told from the killers POV instead of the victims, we get a little deeper into the story… the birthday party, the friends, the killings!
I’m so pleased with this book. I loved each & every SS, that’s pretty rare – with a lot of anthologies, you’ll get a couple really good ones, and a few ‘meh’ stories. (If you’re lucky – none of em suck). I wished they were longer, I just didn’t want to stop reading. The stories live up to the title! Slightly sadistic stories, written for the sick & twisted! I am going to go on Amazon right now to see what other work is available from Jeremiah Cress!
As always, leave comments – I can’t wait to see how you like it ♥
HAPPY EVER AFTER
Book One of the Peter Chronicles
By Matt Shaw
*A quick note. This is my first review of HEA, written ages ago.
I have plans on re-writing this, and writing an additional review for the whole series.
You are put into the minds of both the main characters in this story, Peter and Vanessa. Told from both characters P.O.V.
All Peter wants is to love and be loved in return – is that so bad? Even if the woman he loves changes frequently? If she feels that she cannot love him back – It’s not like he forces her to stay. She has a choice. He asks – ‘If it’s just you and me, together, for the rest of our lives – no-one else to mess things up… could you ever love me?’
“[He falls in love with] Vanessa. He loves her a lot and is looking forward to starting a nice life with her, and only her. No one else to get in the way and mess up their beautiful relationship. He’ll do anything for her. Absolutely anything to make her happy. Anything to see that beautiful smile of hers. Anything to live happily ever after with her.”
The problem? Vanessa has no idea who Peter is. She just wants to go home, to see her parents, to be un-handcuffed from that damn bed.
Is it just me, or will everyone feel sorry for Peter, even just a little bit… I felt a little sorry for Jeffry Dahmer and Denis Neilson. Even Vanessa has a hard time not feeling kinda bad for Peter – when he isn’t breaking her bones or drugging her.
This is so messed up, but, Ohmigod, I was cracking up at some of the stuff in this book, and my husband wants to admit me to the asylum, he thinks I am psychotic. Matt told me a reviewer gave him some shit for using dark humor in the midst of all this depravity… but I think it is great. I’m sure someone will give me shit for saying I love it, or give him some fresh shit for warping minds like mine – cuz we all know just how sweet & innocent I was before I was introduced to Matt Shaw’s work!
Be warned. Finding something so perfectly sick & twizted was a long journey. I found exactly what I was looking for in the HEA series. Everything plus some. Even I felt the need to take my eyes out & scrub them after reading this, and laughing as much as I did makes me feel a little dirty.
””’ 5 stars and a ‘like’ are just not enough. I am now a lifelong fan – eagerly awaiting more
SMILE was my first experience with Matt Shaw.
Let me share this little story with you…you can always just skip to the next paragraph if you’re not interested.
I was on a quest for something to read. Something different. I needed a break from zombies for a minute, and was looking for some good old serial killer depravity. I wasn’t in the mood for True Crime, either. So – my search begins. I found a ‘Diary of a Serial Killer’ that looked promising, warnings all over the place…(you know what I say about warning labels!) It was… meh. Good, but not sick. I ran across another title, ‘Shut The Fuck Up & Die’, and it was great. But, not quite ‘it’. I put the call out to my friends in a Facebook reading group, because I was starting to believe that I was the sick & twizted one. Maybe it was just me? I sure hoped not. My friends came through with flying colors! Names like Wrath James White and Ed Lee were common, but one name kept popping up. Matt Shaw. I swear, 80% of the people who commented dropped his name at some point. THIS WAS FATE! It had to be! I had recently downloaded one of his books – Smile. I was ready! Then, Matt commented on the post, too. He told me if I enjoyed ‘Smile’, drop him a note, he’ll hook me up with a copy of HAPPY EVER AFTER. I know now that he’s like a dealer! First taste free to hook you for life! Man! These stories are like none other. The Happy Ever After series is probably my favorite, because they are so twizted & hilariously wrong, but SMILE will always be special, because it was my first.
Big thanks to my friends in the Kindle Horror Books group, especially to Cathy Hudson & Suzanne Travolta-Delaney. And, of course, to Matt Shaw.
Let me show you the synopsis first. The Amazon Book Description:
He was stood there. Right there. He kept shouting that he was going to go but…. he wasn’t moving… he wasn’t. I thought he was bluffing… I only turned my back on him for a moment. A moment! Had I seen him go… of course I would have followed. Of course I would have gone after my younger brother! The thought of him lost in this shopping centre… alone… it sends shivers down my back.
I have to find him. I WILL find him. Anything to get out of having to make the call home to mum. She’s going to be so mad…
* * * * * * *
Alex’s mum was tired and over-worked. Holding down a full-time job, keeping the house clean and looking after the children – the youngest of which was still a handful with his ADHD as they tried to get the medication right – she just wanted a break. Even if it were only for an afternoon – so she sent Alex to the shopping mall, with his younger brother who was throwing a tantrum because he wanted to go to the toy store to spend his pocket money. She never once thought Alex would lose his younger brother in the crowds.
And no one would have guessed how the day would have ended or just how many more children were missing.
‘Smile’ is a new horror from the best-selling author behind the ‘Happy Ever After Trilogy’ – told through the eyes of the main character as he frantically searches for his missing brother.
I wanted to do that, because this was one of my earlier reviews. It’s short, because I was always scared I might spoil something. I’m using the original review because…if you have read some of my others, I like to review stories, especially Matt’s, as soon as I finish them – to try and catch my truest emotions. Here’s mine:
* I’m not great at reviewing books – but I have to review the ones I love! ‘Smile’ pulled me in from the very first page and I only put it down once – at 49% – and only to post a comment on Facebook about it. I stayed up and was so sleepy this morning – Worth It!! I felt the emotion of the characters so vividly that my stomach had butterflies. I have turned around to find my son not there before, it was only for a second, but Matt described those feelings to a T.