Monday, 14 December 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A REVIEWER TOP FIVE 2015: THE ANTHOLOGIES!




So to the Confessions of a Reviewer’s top five lists proper!

I am kicking things off tonight with The Anthologies. Now I am doing things a little bit different. My definition of an anthology for this list is a collection of short stories or novellas by different authors in one book. This means some of them may have five stories in them and some may have twenty.

This list is made up of books I have read this year so the books may not necessarily have been published this year.

I have judged these books purely on the basis of how much they entertained me on a collective basis. The books will be listed first, with links to reviews and links you can use to buy them. At the bottom of the page you will find all the info you need on the authors or presses that produced the books.

Obviously a couple of them have so many contributors that it would take me forever to list them all so I have listed details for the presses.

So let’s get to it and don’t forget to buy buy buy!


In reverse order:




Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love, is a collection put together by the guys I refer to as The Bad Apples Crew.

These five fellas know exactly what they are doing when they want to put out scary stories in a particular theme. These stories are all horror, and all a bit on the saucy side. If you like your scares a bit sexy then this is the one for you!


You can read my review of Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love here.

You can buy Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK









Bad Apples 2: Six slices of Halloween Horror, is another from The Bad Apples Crew.

Like I said, they know how to put them together. This is the second one in their Halloween themed collections and was released this year. 


Again it’s full of beautiful Halloween themed tales and is perfect to pick up now and save for Halloween next year!


You can read my review of Bad Apples 2: Six Slices of Halloween Horror here.

You can buy Bad Apples 2: Six Slices of Halloween Horror here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK








Kill For A Copy, is an anthology published by the wonderful guys at Dark Chapter Press.

They put out some fantastic books and this anthology is no exception. It is full of some well know names and a lot of fresh names to me. Whether you know the names or not, every story in this book is worth a read for so many different reasons. It’s full of scares and creeps and fiction of the very darkest and the very best.


You can read my review of Kill For A Copy here.

You can buy Kill For A Copy here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK






The Black Room Manuscripts, is an anthology produced by another small but wonderful press The Sinister Horror Company. Again this one has some very well know names along with some totally new to me.

The thing that stood out so much for me in this one was the variety of stories between the covers. Each and every one of them was totally different but equally as scary and creepy. All proceeds from this one go to charity as well so you got another reason to pick it up!


You can read my review of The Black Room Manuscripts here.

You can buy The Black Room Manuscripts here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



And so to the Confessions of a Reviewer number one anthology of 2015!




Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror, is from that Crew again. Now I know that this was out last year but I only read it this year which is why it qualifies for this list.

This is another collection of Halloween tales that you must have on your shelf! This is the only book made up of short stories and novellas that has ever got the full five stars across the board on every story. It is that good, and a very worthy winner of the top spot!


You can read my review of Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror here.

You can buy Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



With Bad Apples being the winner in the anthologies category, it will now go through to the overall top books list that will be published on Saturday.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow night where I will be listing the Confessions of a Reviewer’s top five collections of 2015!



The Authors!



EVANS LIGHT has been in love with the written word from an early age, and works in a variety of genres, but stories of the "Weird Tales" variety remain his favorite.

Frequently drawn to uncommon experiences, Evans has thrown himself headfirst into a wide range of unusual situations, from testing low-level-entry parachutes with British Army Airborne units to travelling the vast reaches of inner space using sensory deprivation tanks.

Evans has lived here and there across the United States, from the mountains to the beaches to the desert, and currently chooses to reside in a southern state where the weather is warm and living is easy. He is the proud father of fine sons and the lucky husband of a beautiful wife.

His brother, Adam Light, is also a bestselling horror writer, and the two frequently collaborate as "THE LIGHT BROTHERS".

And for more about Evans, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Adam Light resides in northeast Florida with his beautiful wife and daughter, and their aptly, though perhaps not so imaginatively named Walker hound, Walker. He haunts a cubicle by day, writes horror stories at night, and virtually never sleeps.

He is the author of several short horror stories, some of which have been published in his first collection Toes Up. He also has stories in the anthologies Dead Roses, Bad Apples, and Bad Apples 2. He is currently at work on a novella, and a novel-length work, with his brother and frequent collaborator, Evans Light.

And for more about Adam, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Edward Lorn is a reader, writer, and content creator. He's been writing for fun since the age of six, and writing professionally since 2011. He can be found haunting the halls of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Goodreads. He has blogs on both Booklikes and Wordpress, with such popular features as Ruminating On and Randomized Randomocity. 

Edward Lorn lives in the southeast United States with his wife and two children. Not to mention, Ash and Coal (a.k.a. his Goombas). He is currently working on his next novel, EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE NOW.

And for more about Edward, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

When he's not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in on knot or takes somebody's head off - he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.

And for more about Jason, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Gregor Xane lives in southwestern Ohio. When he's not writing, he can be found in his workshop bolting little satellite dishes to the foreheads of anesthetized goats. He's the author of the horror novellas Six Dead Spots and The Hanover Block. His short story "It Came From Hell and Smashed the Angels" is available as a free eBook download from just about everywhere.














And for more about Gregor, visit his site or find him on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page


Born and raised in Dungarvan, Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of five novels (Master of the Moors, Currency of Souls, Kin, The Living, and Nemesis: The Death of Timmy Quinn), over a hundred short stories, four collections (Ravenous Ghosts, The Number 121 to Pennsylvania & Others, Theater Macabre, and The Novellas), and editor of four acclaimed anthologies (Taverns of the Dead, Quietly Now: A Tribute to Charles L. Grant, Brimstone Turnpike, and Tales from the Gorezone, proceeds from which were donated to children's charity PROTECT.)

Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a grunge band, and, most recently, a fraud investigator. He also played the male lead in Slime City Massacre, director Gregory Lamberson's sequel to his cult B-movie classic Slime City, alongside scream queens Debbie Rochon and Brooke Lewis.

When not writing, Kealan designs covers for print and digital books through his company Elderlemon Design. To date he has designed covers for books by Richard Laymon, Brian Keene, Scott Nicholson, Bentley Little, William Schoell, and Hugh Howey, to name a few.

In what little free time remains, Kealan is a voracious reader, movie buff, videogamer (Xbox), and road-trip enthusiast.

A movie based on his short story "Peekers" is currently in development through Lionsgate Entertainment.

And for more about Kealan, visit his site or find him on social media:



The Sinister Horror Company is a small press based in southern England. They are producing some fantastic books at the minute including Those Who Survive (Class Four #1) by Duncan P Bradshaw and the new charity anthology The Black Room Manuscripts.

Check out their link below to keep up to date with what they are up to.

If you sign up to their newsletter through the site, you will get a free copy of their book, The Offering as a taster.

The Sinister Horror Company









Dark Chapter Press is another small press based in Northern England. This is another fantastic young press producing some equally fantastic books from the likes of Jack Rollins and his wonderful gothic / Victorian writing style with The Seance and The Cabinet of Dr Blessing to their newly released anthology, Kill For A Copy.

Again sign up for their newsletter at the link below to keep up to date with everything they are producing.








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