Tuesday 8 March 2016

REVIEW: Dark Chapter Press - Eight Deadly Kisses - An Anthology

Genre: Horror / Anthology
Publisher: Dark Chapter Press
Publication Date: 13th Feb 2016
Pages: 141


A copy of Eight Deadly Kisses was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Dark Chapter Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

This is the second anthology I have read from Dark Chapter Press. I know David Basnet had a lot of input into this one from an editing point of view so I was intrigued to find out how that worked out for him. Plus, I make no secret that I think Dark Chapter Press are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the next few years. They put their heart and soul into the books they produce and it shows.
Eight Deadly Kisses also has two other great things going for it.

Number One is the fact that it was released as part of Woman in Horror month so all of the contributors are, you guessed it, women!

The second thing is that this book is Dark Chapter Press’s first foray into the world of charity.

Dark Chapter Press and the writers gathered in this anthology have committed to supporting CAMFED, a charity providing education for girls and young women in Africa, to build brighter futures and to encourage the development of female leaders. All money received by Dark Chapter Press from sales of Eight Deadly Kisses will be donated to CAMFED.

For more info on CAMFED, please visit here.

To donate to the Dark Chapter Press Just Giving page, go here.

So how did this bunch of ladies do then? Let’s find out!


Anias has night terrors. They are so bad she is totally paralysed and hears voices and feels someone touching her. Her roommate Amily uses her psychology training to try and convince Anias it’s all in her mind.

It’s not though. Amily should have listened.

Now this is how you open an anthology. This was a very relaxed and to the point short story that left no room for confusion or doubt. It is very creepy because when the terrors hit, Anias cannot move a muscle and cannot prevent certain things from happening to her.

The way this is written is very effective in putting you into the situation yourself and feeling the fear. You will hold your breath during these scenes.

A good twist at the end makes this a good opener.

★★★★ for general.

★★★★ for horror.


Soul Seekers is not a dating agency nor a psychic service. Peyton and Olivia run it and they hunt ghosts.

The business is just taking off when they are called in to investigate some nasty goings on at a bed and breakfast. Peyton thinks she is out of her depth on this case but maybe it’s time for Soul Seekers to take on the big boys.

Think Poltergeist from the perspective of the ghost hunters and that’s what you have here. I really enjoyed this one. To be honest maybe the writing could be a little more polished but the potential is definitely there.

I could see this developing into a very successful series of stories for Ms Black.

She has the ideas and the undoubted talent for writing. Just needs a bit more oomph for me to lead it more to the darker side and make it scarier.

★★★★ for general.

★★★ for horror.


Chloe hasn’t had the best of records on the dating front. When she comes across an advert for Soul Match, she seems to be convinced they are the company to finally find her the match she craves. When they set her up on her first date, she begins to wish she had stayed at home.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. This is a deeply dark tale that is told so convincingly well that you will believe everything about it and if you are in the dating scene, you will stop.

Fiona Dodwell has a very nice, free flowing writing style that is uncomplicated but not overly simple. It drags you in and keeps you hooked until you can’t stop reading. Remember to breathe.

Brilliant stuff.

★★★★★ for general.

★★★★★ for horror.


A lady wakens in the middle of a field. She has no idea who she is or where she is but hears the name Marion. Soon after, she is rescued by George, who appears to know her, also as Marion.

That’s all I can give you without spoilers. I was really enjoying this one and then it ended. A little prematurely for me. Yeah I know it’s a short story but sometimes they need to be padded out a little bit so they don’t feel rushed in the end.

★★★★ for general.

★★★ for horror.


Tamar is on her daily commute home when someone breaks into her car at an intersection. Facing a madman with a gun, she has no choice but to drive and hope someone rescues her.

Bobby is behind her and sees everything. Will he be able to come to the rescue?

Another crackin story. This to me is more of a thriller but is horrific in the fact that this is all mental torture. Tamar is in turmoil, trying to figure a way out of things when there seems to be no hope and you do get a true picture of the fear in her head.

This has a wicked twist at the end as well just when you think you have it sussed.

★★★★★ for general.

★★★★ for horror.


Aissa lives in Morocco with her native born mother and French father. He is in the Navy and spends his time battling against pirates on the high seas.

Aissa is kidnapped by the same pirates and faces a struggle just to survive but also to escape.

Hmmm not sure on this one. I could see what was intended and the idea behind the story. It just didn’t do it for me in the execution. It felt as though it was rushed and put together with a few things missing.

A shame, because up to a point I was really enjoying it and the potential it had.

★★.5 for general.

★★.5 for horror.


Kris and Alicia are meeting for lunch. They enjoy these days where they can totally relax and enjoy each other’s company.

They try the Vassal Bar and Grill. Somewhere new. Somewhere intriguing. Somewhere they should have avoided.

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Dark and mysterious, this is a story that just keeps building and building the tension and the hatred and the horror right up to an explosive ending that will leave you thinking wow!

And breathe!

★★★★★ for general.

★★★★★ for horror.


Mara works in a bookstore. When Jake approaches her for help one day, she thinks he is ok, even possible boyfriend material. When Jake starts to turn up in places he shouldn’t, Mara gets worried that he is not all he is making out to be.

This is a really good one to close the book. Again, this is all mental torture and horror. It’s a story about how simple things like seeing someone where they are not supposed to be can mess with your head to the point where you think you are going mad.

An excellent psychological horror, again written in such a way that the tension is built perfectly and you can’t help but read from behind a cushion.

★★★★★ for general.

★★★★★ for horror.

So there you have it. Eight Deadly Kisses. Eight stories by eight different women for Women in Horror Month. Eight very different styles of stories that truly show the merits of an anthology like this.

I liked the fact that the only connection between the writers in this one was the fact they are female. That then left them open to write stories in completely different styles, which was really good. Sometimes I get a bit bored halfway through an anthology if the stories are all of the same theme. Not this one.

Most of the stories could not be more different.

Dark Chapter Press have done it again in my opinion.

To summarise: if you want an anthology with vastly different stories that won’t take you a month to read then this is for you. All about the women and all very powerful stories in their own rite. Good stuff.

Plus, you will be giving something to charity when you buy!

As always with an anthology, I am very scientific in my scoring. Average scores for each story divided by the amount of stories.

General rating:

★★★★.3 for general.

Horror rating:

★★★★ for horror.

To buy Eight Deadly Kisses or any other books from Dark Chapter Press, visit the link below.

This will take you directly to your local Amazon, no matter which country you are in.


Book Synopsis:

Evil does not consider, or discriminate, it simply selects its target, stalks, and strikes. Evil is a concept in which the sexes are equal. We're all fair game.

Dark Chapter Press is proud to present Eight Deadly Kisses. Bringing together the freshest new voices in dark fiction, to thrill you and chill you with tales focused on women facing horrors including demons, deranged car-jackers, pirates, poltergeists and a restaurant specialty that is simply to kill for.

Featuring stories by Fiona Dodwell, D.A. Chaney, Alice J. Black, Veronica Smith, Sharon Higa, Audrey E.L. Coots, Erica Chin, C.A. Viruet.

Dark Chapter Press and the writers gathered in this anthology have committed to supporting CAMFED, a charity providing education for girls and young women in Africa, to build brighter futures and to encourage the development of female leaders.

All money received by Dark Chapter Press from sales of Eight Deadly Kisses will be donated to CAMFED.

Contributor Biographies


Audrey E.L. Coots

Audrey E. L. Coots currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, where she is working on her next novel and enjoying city life. She loves hearing feedback from readers and can be reached at AudreyCoots@gmail.com

Alice J. Black

Alice lives and works in the North East of England where she lives with her partner and slightly ferocious cats! She writes all manner of fiction with a tendency to lean towards the dark side.  Dreams and sleep-talking are currently a big source of inspiration and her debut novel, The Doors, is a young adult novel which originally came from a dream several years ago and grew from there.

Fiona Dodwell

Fiona has had a passion for the written word since she was a child, and found herself a regular visitor of local book stores and libraries from a young age.

Growing up, she became a big fan of the supernatural and horror genre – in both film and literature. She devoured Susan Hill, Dean Koontz and Stephen King novels with relish, and soon realised she wanted to create dark fictional worlds of her own.

Fiona has studied a variety of subjects in recent years, from Theology and Psychology, to Film Studies and Drama. Her passion for writing, though, is what she focuses on now. In 2011, she released her debut horror novel, The Banishing, and then went on to publish Obsessed and The Shift. These novels were published with Double Dragon Publishing and Damnation Books.
Fiona also enjoys writing articles and has written for Paranormal Underground Magazine, Pinched Literary Magazine, and Supernatural Magazine. She also runs her own website, which contains various selections of her articles, interviews and reviews.
In September of 2015, Fiona signed a contract with Media Bitch Literary Agency where she is now represented.
Fiona currently lives with her husband, Matthew, and her unruly ginger cat, Oscar.
Twitter: @Angel_Devil982
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fionadodwellauthor
Blog: www.studyparanormal.wordpress.com

Erica Chin

Erica Chin was born and raised in Malaysia, a country with a diversity of ethnics, cultures and cuisines. She enjoys learning about and writing in Mandarin and English. She revels in plotting stories that unnerve people. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Find Erica Chin on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ericachinstories

Veronica Smith

I live in Katy, Texas, west of Houston. I have been married to my husband for over 25 years and I have a son who is in college. I’ve always loved writing and although my overall school grades were only average, I always got A’s in English. My self-published novella, Chalk Outline, is available at most book retailers and I’ve had short stories published in anthologies (Bite Sized Offerings, A Very Zombie Christmas, Crossroads in the Dark, Fifty Shades of Slay and Grynn Anthology). Look for more of my stories in anthologies to be published soon:  Kids Volume II, Dead Silent Zombie Anthologies, Edge of Darkness, New Years Day, & Twisted Tea Party Tales. I am also an editor for Stitched Smile Publications.

Email Address:  veronica.smith.author@gmail.com

Sharon L. Higa

Sharon L. Higa is a published author with three novels, One novella and at least two dozen short stories in ‘a few’ anthologies. She has been writing horror, supernatural thrillers, Fantasy/action and dark comedy steadily and full-time since 2013. She lives in East TN with her husband Mark, nine cats and one rambunctious little mutt named Bailey.

C.A. Viruet

C.A. Viruet is proud to have work in her second Dark Chapter Press publication. Her story 'Noah's Burden' is featured in the 2015 Flashes of Darkness Horror Anthology and her story 'Black Mass' was a part of the 2015 Dark Chapter Press Christmas competition. You can follow her on Facebook at her author page C.A. Viruet. She has published one story under her full name entitled 'Thrall', it is available in the Burnt Offerings Press anthology, 'Till Death Do Us Part'. She is a US Army veteran, wife, mother and horror fan.

D.A. Chaney

D.A. Chaney is the author of ‘Cryptic’ and she has been in anthologies including, ‘Before Plan 9: Plans 1-8 from Outer Space’, ‘Read the End First’, ‘Hell Hath No Fury’, ‘Wake the Witch’, ‘First Time Dead volume 2’, and ‘Monster Gallery’. She co-hosts a podcast with Mike Sabourin called The Shelf Life Podcast where they discuss books and makes appearances on Slashercast SideEffect where they discuss latest movies. She can be reached on Twitter at @DA_Chaney, on her Facebook page at DA Chaney, or the podcast @TheShelfLifePod


David Basnett

Hailing from north of Hadrian's Wall, the true life inspiration for Game of Thrones' The Wall, that was built to keep the Roman empire intact, David was raised amid the foothills of the Cheviots and in the shadow of the sprawling Northumberland National Park. His fast paced style of writing and knack of breathing life into tired genres has established him as a horror and young adult author to watch out for.

Young Adult:
Eve of the Damned
Island of the Dead
The Shadow of Life

Kill for a Copy

A regular on social media and always responding to fans, keep in touch with David on:


Jack Rollins

Jack Rollins was born and raised among the twisting cobbled streets and lanes, ruined forts and rolling moors of a medieval market town in Northumberland, England. He claims to have been adopted by Leeds in West Yorkshire, and he spends as much time as possible immersed in the shadowy heart of that city.

Writing has always been Jack’s addiction, whether warping the briefing for his English class homework, or making his own comic books as a child, he always had some dark tale to tell.

Fascinated by all things Victorian, Jack often writes within that era, but also creates contemporary nightmarish visions in horror and dark urban fantasy.

He currently lives in Northumberland, with his partner, two sons, and his daughter living a walking distance from his home, which is slowly but surely being overtaken by books...

Jack’s published works are as follows:

The Séance: A Gothic Tale of Horror and Misfortune
The Cabinet of Dr Blessing
Dead Shore, in Undead Legacy
Anti-Terror, in Carnage: Extreme Horror
Home, Sweet Home in Kill For A Copy
Ghosts of Christmas Past in The Dichotomy of Christmas

Jack can be found online at:

Twitter: @jackrollins9280
Facebook: www.facebook.com/doctorblessing

Website: jackrollinshorror.wordpress.com

Founded on 1 August 2014, Dark Chapter Press is a horror Publisher with a mission to foster new talent and high quality speculative fiction.

Dark Chapter Press aims to find and develop new talent in speculative fiction and to guide new authors from manuscript to published work.

And for more about Dark Chapter Press, visit their site or find them on social media:

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