Friday 31 July 2015

REVIEW: Patrick Lacey - A Debt to be Paid

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 1st Sept 2015
Pages: 88


I received an advance copy of A Debt to be Paid from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Samhain Publishing Ltd.

The only thing I have ever read by Patrick Lacey was his short story The Lynnwood Vampires which appeared in the anthology, Widowmakers. I have always been looking for something else from him after enjoying that one so jumped at the chance to review A Debt to be Paid when it appeared on NetGalley. I certainly was not disappointed.

Gillian Foster is on the run with her daughter. She thinks she is protecting her but everyone else thinks she is insane. She signed a letter and she has been stalked by dark shadows ever since. She can’t explain what they are or what they want but she knows she must run.

Twenty years later and Gillian’s daughter, Meg is on the run. Her mother has been in a mental institute for years after being deemed to be insane. Meg has recently signed a letter. Now the shadows are chasing her. She must now visit her mother after years of not seeing her to see if she can help banish whatever evil is after her.

Thursday 30 July 2015


This is just a quick note about a new box of links on the front page of the blog.

If you look to your right (presuming of course you are not viewing on a mobile device), you will see a box entitled “Help Support Confessions of a Reviewer!”

I have just become what is known as an Amazon Affiliate. Basically what that means is the huge corporate giant have enlisted my services (willingly I must add) to help promote their site and the huge amount of products they have on offer for you, the paying public.

The links in the box for Amazon US and Amazon UK will take you directly to your preferred site so you can shop until your hearts content. The prices you see on items will be exactly the same as if you went to Amazon directly.

If you would like to help support Confessions of a Reviewer and ultimately me, then please consider using these links when you want to buy something online.

When you read a review I post about a particular book or an interview with an author or a guest post, each individual post will also have links attached. On these individual posts the links will be specific to the book mentioned in the review or the author in the interview or guest post in case you would like to buy anything connected with them. You can also navigate away from the books and buy anything else you wish.

I put a lot of hard work and effort into the content on the blog and support from you would help me to continue improving what I do and dedicate even more time to giving you more features, reviews and interviews.

As always, thanks for popping in to Confessions of a Reviewer and remember to tell your friends about us!



Wednesday 29 July 2015

Monday 27 July 2015

REVIEW: Adam Cesare - Mercy House

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Hydra
Publication Date: 9th June 2015
Pages: 280


I received an advance copy of Mercy House from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Hydra.

Not read much by Adam Cesare but loved his contribution in Jackpot and heard really good things about Mercy House so grabbed my chance to get a copy from NetGalley. What a journey this turned out to be!

Don and Nikki Laurel are on a road trip to Mercy House. It’s an old people’s home. They are taking Don’s mother Harriet there but she really doesn’t want to go. She thinks Nikki is to blame for her going there and hates her with a vengeance.

Sarah Campbell is a nurse in Mercy House. She does everything by the book to make sure all the residents have as much of a pleasurable stay as they can.

Arnold Piper is eighty five and an ex-marine. He served in Korea and is now seeing out his last years in Mercy House. He hasn’t been able to move much for a long time but suddenly he feels fitter. He can move more. He is getting some life back in his old bones.

Something is in the air. No one is quite sure what it is but when it starts to affect the residents in ways that no one could ever expect, it spells disaster for anyone unlucky enough to be staying in Mercy House, or even just visiting.

Sunday 26 July 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #4 - Glenn Rolfe

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Glenn Rolfe

The Past

When I think back to reading as a kid, I think of two books: Where the Red Fern Grows and The Howliday Inn. When I was a kid the emotional impact of Red Fern…let me in on the power of writing, the power of words. I was moved to tears. The Howliday Inn (which I just recently re-read to my daughters) was the first book I read in a day. There was a little mystery, a little fear, and a little comedy. I loved all of this. I loved the reach of both books. I loved reading.

Sadly, I gave up reading when I discovered Guns N’ Roses in 4th grade. I didn’t really start up again until a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Dark Half by Stephen King. I followed that with Christine and Misery. Then I picked up Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned.  I mixed some Kerouac in there, too.

It took me forever to finish each of these books. Throughout all of them, I had no intentions of writing.

Thursday 23 July 2015


Would you like to know more about Jason Parent or indeed read more of his stuff?

If the answer to any of the above is yes then this could be your big opportunity!

I wanted to do something for Jason to help promote the launch of his new book Seeing Evil, out 4th August. Now I have already interviewed Jason on Confessions of a Reviewer so needed to come up with something a bit different for a second interview.

For better or for worse, Jason has agreed (the fool) to take part in a Skype interview with me. Now I have never done this before so it is fraught with danger. Number one, will Jason understand my Irish accent? Number two, will I understand his accent? Number three, will he behave himself? Number four, will it actually work? Number five, the list goes on and on.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

REVIEW: David Bernstein - Skinner

Genre: Horror
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 27th July 2015
Pages: 159


A copy of Skinner was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author David Bernstein via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse.

My only other experience of David Bernstein was reading the rather excellent Jackpot in which he collaborated with some other fine authors, Cesare / Rufty / McKenzie. I was hoping Skinner would be along the same sort of style. I wasn’t let down. You can see my review of Jackpot here.

A group of six friends are on their way to a remote log cabin for a weekend away. As they are climbing through the Adirondack Mountains they hit a bad snowstorm. As they round a corner there is a strange figure standing in the middle of the road. The driver, Rob, swerves to avoid him and they crash over the side of the mountain.

Miraculously they all survive the crash but now must battle against the elements to find somewhere safe to stay warm until they get rescued.

When they find an abandoned cabin they think all is well until they discover the tracks of a huge animal in the snow outside. If they think they just need to stay safe from the animal, they need to think again.

A mysterious and ancient evil is lurking outside. It doesn’t want them to leave.

Monday 20 July 2015


Welcome to Part Two of Confessions of a Reviewer's interview with David Bernstein.

In tonight’s section, David starts by answering some specific questions on his new books Skinner and Goblins, continues to talk about his writing and life in general and tackles The Ten Confessions (Nine in his case)

It’s Monday so go grab something boring like lasagne, a coke, sit back, but most of all……enjoy!

COAR - Moving on to Skinner, where did the idea come from for this one? What did you want to get out of it?

DB - My parents had a summer house on Lake Champlain in upstate New York. We used to go there during the winter, too. We had to travel over a mountain and I remember when it snowed how treacherous it could be. Who would save us or even find us if we tumbled down into the forest? And I love tales—book or movie—that take place in the snow. I love '80's slashers and survival horror. I had written Witch Island—another '80's-like slasher that takes place on an island in the summer involving high school kids. I wanted to write something similar that took place in the mountains in the winter, but make it different at the same time. Both books are quite complimentary of one another. But with Skinner, I wanted to give the feeling of total hopelessness and seclusion.

Sunday 19 July 2015


Welcome to Part One of Confessions of a Reviewer’s interview with David Bernstein.

I must admit to not knowing an awful lot about David before this interview so if you are like me then you are in for a treat.

In tonight's section, David will be answering questions on his life in general and his writing and influences. As you will read, he has already led a very interesting life. In Part Two, tomorrow night, David will be answering specific questions on the two new releases he has coming up, Skinner and Goblins.

On night three I will be publishing my review of Skinner.

It’s Sunday so sit back and relax, get the roast dinner in front of you but, most of all………enjoy!

COAR - Whilst doing my research for this interview I discovered there is very little about your personal life to be found on the internet so, tell everyone a bit about yourself in general?

DB - I come from a small town located about an hour north of NYC, but now I live in NYC. I prefer small town life, the woods and less crowded places. The city has a lot to offer, but I dislike all the chaos—sirens, honking horns and traffic. I studied numerous martial arts throughout my years. I started out practicing Karate, then Aikido before moving into the Chinese arts of Kung Fu—White Crane, Choy Li Fut, Wing Chun, Hung Gar, and finally Tai Chi. Real, made-for-combat Tai Chi. It looks pretty and has lots of health benefits, but it's probably the most deadly. Internal energy is so much more powerful than muscle energy.

I also enjoy camping with friends, watching movies of all types—if it's good, it's good. But I do prefer horror and dark thrillers. Heck, my mother is a horror fan and got me into Alfred Hitchcock when I was a wee little one!

Saturday 18 July 2015

NEW BOOK TRAILER: Seeing Evil by Jason Parent

I have never shared a trailer for a book before but a while back I missed a cover reveal for Seeing Evil by Jason Parent due to being incapacitated (read: off my brains on drugs) (for a bad back I may add, nothing like.. illegal stuff).


I am delighted to announce that starting this Sunday (tomorrow. Sorry for the short notice), I will be posting an interview I managed to bag with Mr David Bernstein.

This is part of the build up to the launch of David’s two (yes two) new books. Part One of the interview will be posted Sunday 19th July with Part Two the following night Monday 20th July. Night three on Tuesday 21st July will feature my review of the first of the books to be released, Skinner, which is out on Tuesday itself.

The interview will also see David answering some questions on his second book, Goblins, to be released on 4th August. I was originally going to publish the review of Goblins as part of this feature but decided to keep it until its actual release date.

As always, the interview will feature some very candid questions all about David’s life in general, his writing, the two new books and of course The Ten Confessions although I am calling this one The Nine Confessions because no matter how hard I try I cannot squeeze an answer from David for one of them.

Please remember to drop in for this interview and review with another Confessions virgin and tell anyone you know that would be interested in finding out about David.

Friday 17 July 2015

REVIEW: Duncan Ralston - Gristle and Bone: 7 Delectable Tales of Terror

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Forsaken
Publication Date: 17th July 2015
Pages: 316


A copy of Gristle and Bone was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Duncan Ralston in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Shadow Work Publishing / CreateSpace.

I have never read anything by Duncan Ralston before. I always find that short story collections are a great way to introduce yourself to someone new. They give you a bit of variety of the writing style of the author. You can see very quickly where they intend to take their writing, and ultimately whether you see anything you are going to like. All of those factors made Gristle and Bone an attractive review proposition.

These are my thoughts on the seven stories included in the collection.


Candace McMurray and her husband Joel have just found out they cannot have children. This causes them to drift apart as this sort of situation often does. It’s heart breaking for both of them and neither knows how to deal with it.

One night, while sleeping Candace suffers a bite that looks like it could have been caused by a baby?

The next day, while working at home and trying not to think about the bite, she hears noises upstairs. Something has trashed a bedroom. It looks like it’s hiding in the attic. Candace goes to investigate. She should have called someone else to look.

Thursday 16 July 2015


Welcome to Part Two of Confessions of a Reviewers interview with Duncan Ralston.

In tonight’s section, Duncan starts by answering some specific questions on his new book Gristle and Bone: 7 Delectable Tales of Terror, continues to talk about his writing and life in general and tackles The Ten Confessions.

It’s nearly the weekend so go grab some pizza, a beer, sit back, but mostly……enjoy!

COAR - Moving on to Gristle and Bone, this is quite a mixture of stories. How did you decide which stories would be included?

DR - What's included in Gristle & Bone are stories that had been percolating while I worked on Salvage and ultimately, when the struggle to get that story out became too much, I decided to get them onto paper.

After about six months, I came out with ten stories in total, and I only realized after I'd selected the best that some of them kind of fit together. It was entirely accidental. When I set out to write them, I thought of doing a wraparound story called The Blood Letters, sort of an homage to Clive Barker's Books of Blood, which are also very loosely collected. After reading Joe Hill's 20th Century Ghosts, I decided it wasn't necessary. Let the stories stand on their own merit.

What I set out to do was show as wide a range as possible in style and subgenre of horror (be it body, psychological, monster, paranormal, technological, etc.). Not sure I quite achieved that, but it started with good intentions.

Ultimately, I chose what I felt to be the best of what I had to offer. I was going to release a smaller collection titled The Leftovers at some point, but I'll probably gather up some more for a longer book in a year or two. So look out for The Blood Letters in… say, mid- to late-2016.

Wednesday 15 July 2015


Welcome to part one of Confessions of a Reviewers’ interview with Canada’s very own, Duncan Ralston.

If you don’t know a lot, or indeed anything, about Duncan then read on. In this interview Duncan was kind enough to take the time out to give us some detailed and, eventually, honest answers to all the questions I threw at him.

In part one, tonight, we find out some general information about Duncan and his writing and influences. In part two, tomorrow night, Duncan will give us some specifics on his new book Gristle and Bone: 7 Delectable Tales of Terror and also take on the mighty Ten Confessions.

On night three as always, I will be posting my review on Gristle and Bone.

Nothing left to say other than go grab some nibbles and a drink and sit back but most of all……enjoy!

COAR - So tell everyone a bit about yourself in general?

DR - I've been called "weirdo" a fair bit, so let's start there. I like to push people's buttons. Generally I'm a bit of a joker, so for a long time I'd had trouble deciding whether to write comedy or horror. I still enjoy writing comedic stuff, but horror comes a little easier. I know way too much about movies, and I'm a bit of a music trivia buff. I talk to myself way too often, and make up silly songs about the things I'm doing while I'm doing them. Weirdo seems like a fair assessment.

Monday 13 July 2015


I am very happy to announce that as part of the build up to his new release later this week, Duncan Ralston will be popping into the Confessional this week for an interview to tell you all about himself, his writing and of course the book, Gristle and Bone: 7 Delectable Tales of Terror, out 17th July.

Part One of the interview will be this Wednesday 15th July and Part Two on the following evening 16th July. I will be publishing my review of Gristle and Bone on night three, 17th July.

Please pop along and show your support for a gentleman making his debut on Confessions of a Reviewer. This interview makes for some very interesting reading and I’m sure this will not be last of Mr. Ralston appearing on Confessions!

Sunday 12 July 2015

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #3 - Erik Hofstatter

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Erik Hofstatter

The Past

If you're an insatiable reader like me, you'll know exactly how difficult it is to select a book that touched you in some way, because there's simply too many to choose from! I read legions of wonderful (and terrible) books over the years, but there is one that will always remain in my mind—Cold Skin by Spanish anthropologist/novelist Albert Sanchez Pinol. The opening paragraph alone enchanted me:

“We are never very far from those we hate. For this very reason, we shall never be truly close to those we love. An appalling fact, I knew it well enough when I embarked. But some truths deserve our attention; others are best left alone.”

The novel itself, chronicles the story of a former fighter for the independence of Ireland who, unmotivated by the events of the Western World, decides to escape from the society in which he lives. He accepts a job offer as a weather official on a remote island in the south Atlantic close to the Antarctic Circle.

On this island there is only one inhabitant, the signals official Batis Caffo, who does not help the Irishman, and hides all the information which he has on the island. So the hero has to spend a night alone, where he suffers the attack of strange monsters that are similar to frogs. They’re called Sitauca.

Friday 10 July 2015

REVIEW: Harvey Click - Demon Frenzy

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: 5th Sept 2014
Pages: 256


A copy of Demon Frenzy was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Harvey Click in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

The story with this one is as follows. Mr Click sends me a review request and for some reason it goes into my spam folder so I don’t see it for a few days. When I do see it I agree to review and put it in the schedule. When I come to it, I open it and, sorry for this Harvey, spot the cover and immediately think “oh dear”. I really didn’t like it at all. This sort of put me off reading it. EDIT: It appears the cover may have changed from the edition I have. Phew. It’s much better.

You know the old saying don’t you? “Never judge a book by its cover”? It’s true. What I was expecting and what I got were two completely different things.

Amy Jackson is returning to her hometown of Blackwood in the Appalachian Mountains on a quest to find her missing brother, Billy. When she gets there she is confronted with a town that has completely changed since she was last there. It seems to be completely under the control of “The Mayor” who just happens to be a huge drug lord.

When she goes to the old family home she sees something that scares her to her very core. It appears that the Mayor has a bigger army than anyone thinks. It seems that he also has control over a huge number of demons.

Amy teams up with Neoma and an unlikely band of misfits calling themselves “The Unseen” in a quest to destroy the Mayor and his army of demons using anything they can, including some mystical powers that Amy didn’t know she possessed.

Wednesday 8 July 2015


I started this blog on 4th February 2015. It was started as a sort of side project for me to get my teeth into after some people had commented on my reviews on Facebook, telling me I should get my own website.

A website was probably a step too far for me at that point in time so I went for the blog instead. I had never had anything to do with a blog in the past so went at it totally blind. Thanks to the help of some very generous people I managed to get things up and running and I have been loving every minute of it since then.

On 4th July the blog was exactly five months old. On 6th July the blog hit 10,000 page views.

I am absolutely, totally, astounded and humbled that I have hit this figure in such a short period of time. I do put a lot of work and effort into trying to make it look good and make the content as interesting and informative as I can but at the end of the day, it’s people visiting the page that gives the numbers.

For that, to you the visitor, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping coming back to read my ramblings and reviews. It means a lot to have so many people show an interest in something I take a lot of pride in.

Thank you again and remember to keep coming back for more and please share with anyone you think would enjoy a visit as well!!


Tuesday 7 July 2015

REVIEW: Christina Bergling - Savages

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Bad Day Books / Assent Publishing
Publication Date: 19th Dec 2014
Pages: 130


This review of Savages by Christina Bergling is the result of an ARC originally sent to Ginger Nuts of Horror in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

Another new author to me. Christina Bergling is not a name I have heard before but after reading this I reckon I will be looking out for her in the future.

Two survivors battle through everything put in their path in a post-apocalyptic world with only one goal…….to find other survivors. They want to find “normal” humans though. Not the Savages. Travelling alone, they fight, sleep, walk and repeat. Things change dramatically when they come across a new born baby hidden in a cupboard. Their goal now must also include the survival of this new life in the hateful world it has been born into. This does not prove easy.

When I was reading this book I wasn’t sure. It had me gripped from the first page but something just didn’t sit right with me. Then I realised why.

When I say this story is post-apocalyptic, forget the normal run of the mill zombie story. This is not it. Yes the world as we know it has ended. Yes the world is now full of Savages. No I don’t know what caused it or why the Savages were indeed “savages”. You don’t find out in this story. Ever. You don’t even find out the main characters names until 65% into the story. They are simply known as the female that’s telling the story and the man she calls “he”.

Monday 6 July 2015

REVIEW: Christina Bergling - The Waning

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Bad Day Books / Assent Publishing
Publication Date: 6th July 2015
Pages: 136


A copy of The Waning was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Christina Bergling in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Bad Day Books / Assent Publishing.

I was super impressed with Christina Bergling’s first book, Savages. When she asked me if I would be interested in a copy of her new book The Waning for Confessions of a Reviewer I could not refuse. Repeat reviews for an author are a perk of running this type of blog. When you get writing as good as this, it turns out to be one of the best perks in the world.

Beatrix is a workaholic. At least until she gets her big break and earns her right to be a partner in the company. It looks like it could be on the cards if she lands this latest account. Her partner Lei is dreaming of the day it all falls in to place so they can finally stop hiding their romance and  announce to the world they are a couple. Beatrix seems to think that “coming out” would be a mistake before she gets her big break.

When the results of the negotiations come in, Beatrix could not be happier. All her dreams are coming true. She just cannot wait to get home and tell Lei.

As she is reaching her car in the car park, someone grabs her from behind. The next thing she knows, she is inside a metal cage in a dark, damp concrete cell.

This is the beginning of a horrific journey of self-discovery, self-preservation and the quest for simple answers such as who has taken her hostage and why?

Sunday 5 July 2015


Welcome back to Part Two of Confessions of a Reviewer’s interview with Christina Bergling.

In tonight’s portion of the interview, Christina talks about her new book, The Waning, some more general questions and then finally takes on The Ten Confessions.

Tomorrow night I will be publishing my review of The Waning so please remember to come back for that.

As it’s Sunday, grab a glass of wine and a nice plate of Sunday roast and……enjoy!!

COAR - Moving on to “The Waning” – where did the idea come from for this one?

CB - The Waning was another instance where the idea just attacked me. I just started hearing the voice of the narrator in my head. I had some friends who were active in the BDSM community, and we were discussing the dynamics of their lifestyle a lot at the time. The psychological dynamic of submission fascinated me, but I didn’t want to write a 50 Shades of Grey flavored knock off.

I wanted to strip out the sex and examine the concept in a more extreme situation.

I also always wanted to try a blended narrative, both first and second person at the same time. The Master dynamic seemed like the perfect opportunity. Once the idea materialized in my head, the words just flowed.

The Waning started as a 15 page short entitled “Ode to Master,” in which it is basically a flash of the narrator in captivity with little to no backstory. After Savages was accepted for publication, I decided to push myself and develop the story into a full length novella.

Saturday 4 July 2015


Christina Bergling is probably a new name to a lot of you. Her second book The Waning is due out on the 6th July in eBook and paperback shortly after that.

She first caught my attention when I reviewed her first book Savages so I was delighted when she asked if I would also review The Waning, and even more delighted when she agreed to do an interview for Confessions.

Part One of the interview tonight sees Christina answer some general questions about herself and her writing. In Part Two, to be published tomorrow night, Christina will answer some specific questions on the new book and also take on the dreaded Ten Confessions. On night three I will be publishing my review of The Waning. Also, after noticing that I have never added my review of Savages to the blog, as a special treat, I will publish it on night four.

So as normal, sit back, grab yourself a beer and some pizza and most of all…..enjoy!

COAR - So tell everyone a bit about yourself in general?

CB - I’m a writer. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I try to describe myself. I have considered myself a writer since I was very young. I am also a mother. I have a great partner, Mike, and we have a four year-old daughter and ten month-old son. I am also a runner, and I love to dance. I try to keep myself pretty active because I really love food.

Thursday 2 July 2015


I am very happy to announce that as part of her build up to the release of her new book The Waning, technical writer (you will find out what that is in the interview), mom and excellent writer of horror, Christina Bergling will be appearing on the blog later this week!

Saturday 4th July will see an interview with Christina where she talks about her life, her writing and of course the new novella The Waning, being released on 6th July. Christina has had to put up with all her time spent at the day job, two young kids, and me pestering her non-stop for a couple of weeks but has still managed to come up with the goods for a very interesting interview for Confessions.

The interview will run for two nights with my review of The Waning coming on the release day 6th July. As an extra treat, I will also be publishing my review of her first novella, Savages (which for some reason I never posted on the blog…..oops) on 7th July.

Please pop along to the blog and show your support for a lady who makes her debut on Confessions of a Reviewer. I can assure you though, it will not be the last.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #1 - William Malmborg - Blind Eye

Welcome to my first “Show-off and Tell” post.

If you aren’t sure what this is all about, it’s easy. I’m going to show-off and post pictures of the books and other stuff I have in my “signed” collection.

If you want more info and a little bit more detail, then head over to the “Show-off and Tell” page on the blog where I give a little bit more insight as to why I am doing this.

I decided to kick this one off with a book I received in the post last week from William Malmborg. It’s his new release Blind Eye. I haven’t even had the pleasure of reading this one yet but hope to in the next couple of weeks and fingers crossed I will also be able to include an interview with Mr Malmborg when I publish the review.