Tuesday 15 December 2015


Welcome back to the Confessions of a Reviewer’s top five lists for 2015!

Tonight we have the top five Collections! My definition of a collection for this list is a collection of short stories or novellas by the same author in one book. This means some of them may have five stories in them and some may have twenty but all written by the same person.

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 individual authors.

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

In reverse order:

Rotten Bodies: A Zombie Short Story Collection, is a collection by Steven Jenkins.

It is exactly what it says in the title and full of stories about zombies. Now I enjoyed this collection. The writing is very good. The reason it doesn’t appear further up the list is the fact that the stories all have the same theme and I would have liked more variety.

You can read my review of Rotten Bodies: A Zombie Short Story Collection, here.

You can buy Rotten Bodies: A Zombie Short Story Collection, here:

Ugly Little Things: Volume One, is a collection by the very talented Todd Keisling.

Full of vastly different stories, this one really creeped me out. No big elaborate casts of characters or blockbusting stories. Just slow, creepy writing that seeps into you, and will have you shivering as you read. Oh and keep the lights on!

You can read my review of Ugly Little Things: Volume One, here.

You can buy Ugly Little Things: Volume One, here:

Gristle and Bone, by Duncan Ralston, is a top notch collection of seven stories that couldn’t be any more different.

Again not so much of the jump out of your skin scary but stories that will have you engrossed from the first page none the less.

Mr Ralston’s writing is superb and each story cuddles you in while you read but leaves you feeling very disturbed once you are finished. Brilliant storytelling.

You can read my review of Gristle and Bone, here.

You can buy Gristle and Bone, here:

Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, by Evans Light, is, at the time of printing, the entire collected works of Mr Light.

If you haven’t read anything by him, then do yourself a favour and go pick this up. Every story is different but equally scary for very different reasons. This also includes probably my favourite short story of all time, ArborEATum.

You can read my review of Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, here.

You can buy Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, here:

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

People Are Strange, by James Newman is, for me, the ultimate collection of short stories by a single author. This collection is full of stories written about everyday people doing everyday things. The difference is that those everyday people and things will scare the absolute bejesus out of you. James Newman writes in such a way that I almost swoon when I read his stuff. It completely absorbs me and seeps through my very skin until I close the book and put it down. You would almost think he casts a spell on every copy made. You would be mad not to own this book.

You can read my review of People Are Strange, here.

You can buy People Are Strange, here:

With People Are Strange being the winner in the collections 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 when I will be listing the Confessions of a Reviewer’s top five shorts of 2015!

The Authors!

Born in the small Welsh town of Llanelli, Steven began writing stories at the age of eight. His inspiration came from his love for '80s horror movies, and novels by the late Richard Matheson.

During Steven's teenage years, as well as being a black-belt kickboxer, he became a great lover of writing dark and twisted poems - six of which gained him publications with Poetry Now, Brownstone Books, and Strong Words.

At twenty-two, Steven started his own personal training business, teaching everything from fitness to self-defense. During that time he met his wife Vicky, who has supported him every step of the way.

Over the next few years, and after becoming a father to his beautiful daughter, Steven spent his free time writing short stories, gaining him further publication with Dark Moon Digest: an American horror magazine. His terrifying tales of the afterlife and zombies gained him positive reviews, particularly his story, Burning Ambition, which also came runner up in a Five-stop-story contest.

Finally, in 2013, after years of hard work and familiarising himself with the publishing industry, Steven got his debut novel, Burn The Dead, published by Black Bed Sheet Books, followed by Fourteen Days, published by Barking Rain Press (coming soon)

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

Todd Keisling is a writer of horror and speculative fiction, as well as the author of the novels A LIFE TRANSPARENT and THE LIMINAL MAN (a 2013 Indie Book Award Finalist). Born in Kentucky, he now lives with his wife and son somewhere near Reading, Pennsylvania. He still has a day job, he's awkward and weird, and if you were to live next door to him, your grass would probably die.

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

Duncan Ralston was born in Toronto, and spent his teens in a small town. As a "grown-up," Duncan lives with his girlfriend and their dog in Toronto, where he writes about the things that frighten and disturb him. In addition to his twisted short stories found in GRISTLE & BONE, THE ANIMAL, and the charity anthology THE BLACK ROOM MANUSCRIPTS, his debut novel SALVAGE is available now.

"Mr. Ralston writes horror fiction that is unflinching and pulls no punches." - Kit Power.

"Duncan Ralston is writing honest stories about real people, pitched headlong into extraordinary situations. And that is what makes them so horrifying." - Ken Preston, Dirge Magazine

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

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:

James Newman is the author of a diverse selection of horror and suspense tales, dark fiction told with a distinct Southern voice and more often than not with a hint of pitch-black humor. His published novels include MIDNIGHT RAIN, THE WICKED, ANIMOSITY, and UGLY AS SIN. When he's not writing, he enjoys watching horror movies (and showing off what he knows about the genre with the recent release of his first NONfiction book: 666 HAIR-RAISING HORROR MOVIE TRIVIA QUESTIONS), listening to loud rock n' roll, and even dabbling in some stage-acting every now and then.

In real life, James lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and their two sons. Online, he divides his time between Facebook and his website.

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

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