Wednesday 16 December 2015


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

Tonight we have the top five Shorts! My definition of a short for this list is a single short story or novella written by a single author. It still, to this day, seems to be a grey area as to when a story becomes a novel and is not classed as something shorter. My definition may differ from others but the stories included in this list are not quite novel length for me.

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 individually. 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:

809 Jacob Street, by Marty Young, is a superb example of how to write something shorter and keep your reader glued to the very end. This is superbly atmospheric and one of the creepiest, paranormal stories I have read in a long time. This is one that you will hear every little creak in your house whilst reading!

You can read my review of 809 Jacob Street, here.

You can buy 809 Jacob Street, here:

The Dogmen of Cedar Park, by Ricardo Bare is again, one of the creepiest things I have read in years. Monsters with mysterious faces and towns you cannot escape, all lead to you reading this one with a permanent chill up your spine. A chill that will stay with you long after you finish this one.

You can read my review of The Dogmen of Cedar Park, here.

You can buy The Dogmen of Cedar Park, here:

The Waning, by Christina Bergling, is one of the most effective stories I have read in years. Again. This is a story that puts you, the reader, directly into the story. You will feel dirty. You will feel ashamed. You will feel evil. Written in a way I have never read before; this is perfect audience participation for a reader. You need to read it to know what I mean!

You can read my review of The Waning, here.

You can buy The Waning, here:

The Séance: A Gothic Tale of Horror and Misfortune, by Jack Rollins, is a gothic masterpiece of a short story. Written in the Victorian style of William Hope Hodgson, this is a beautifully atmospheric tale of horror in the past. I cannot emphasise how good the writing is in this story. It will totally grab you by the throat and squeeze and squeeze until you can nearly take no more. If you like your period stuff, then this is the one for you. Fantastically good.

You can read my review of The Séance, here.

You can buy The Séance, here:

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

Mr Robespierre, by Daniel Marc Chant, is a novella that, if you are old enough to remember, will take you right back to the good old 80’s horror movie days. If you aren’t lucky enough to remember those days, then read this story and you will be very jealous you missed out.

This is a horror story that will scare you but it is much, much more than that. It is everything a story should be. It is everything that people like me look for in a horror story / book / film. It is a perfect homage to old skool horror and the type of horror that so many of us love.

If you want a quickish read that will scare you but also entertain you to the point of making you smile from ear to ear when you have finished it, then this is the one for you. A very deserved winner.

You can read my review of Mr Robespierre, here.

You can buy Mr Robespierre, here:

With Mr Robespierre being the winner in the shorts 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 Thrillers of 2015!

The Authors!

Marty Young is a Bram Stoker-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-winning writer and editor, and sometimes ghost hunter. He was the founding President of the Australian Horror Writers Association from 2005-2010, and one of the creative minds behind the internationally acclaimed Midnight Echo magazine, for which he also served as Executive Editor until mid-2013.

Marty's first novel, 809 Jacob Street, was published in 2013 by Black Beacon Books, and won the Australian Shadows Award for Best Horror Novel. His novel was also given an Honorable Mention in Shelf Unbound's Page Turner competition.

His short horror fiction has been nominated for both the Australian Shadows and Ditmar awards, reprinted in Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror ('the best of 2008'), and repeatedly included in year's best recommended reading lists. Marty's essays on horror literature have been published in journals and university textbooks in Australia and India, and he was also co-editor of the award winning Macabre; A Journey through Australia's Darkest Fears, a landmark anthology showcasing the best Australian horror stories from 1836 to the present.

When not writing, he spends his time in the deep dark jungles of Papua New Guinea as a palynologist, whatever the heck that is.

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

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page

Ricardo Bare was born in Madrid, Spain, the son of an American fighter jet mechanic and a Spanish damsel. Roman aqueducts, crumbling castles, Moorish arches, churros and chocolate, and carving slices off a leg of jamon serrano that hung next to his aunt's kitchen door are still etched in his childhood memory.

It was probably finding an old copy of John Carter of Mars in his grandfather's attic that first seriously ignited his love of reading and eventually led to his high school English teacher recommending he join the creative writing group after finding that a "free writing" exercise she'd assigned turned into a long description of battles between monsters and knights wielding magic swords.

Deeply connected to his love of stories is his love of games. Ricardo grew up playing computer games, board games, and table top RPGs, cutting his teeth on the Commodore 64 version of the Bard's Tale. Many years later, he joined the video games industry as a designer where he helped create the award winning Deus Ex series. Most recently Ricardo worked with Arkane Studios on Dishonored, 2012's Game of the Year.

Eventually he found his way to Texas, the land of tongue-scalding food and infernal summers, where he now lives close to Austin with his beloved family.

Ricardo writes in the slim spaces left between making games, time with his family, and trying to grow all the ingredients necessary for salsa and gazpacho in his backyard garden. He's written dozens of short stories, a few of which have been presentable enough to be shown in public. His first two novels, Jack of Hearts and Fool of Fate are published by Bell Bridge books.

He hopes readers will take as much enjoyment from his works as he's had in creating them.

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

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page

Colorado-bred writer, Christina Bergling, sold her soul early into the writing game. By fourth grade, she knew she wanted to be an author, and in college, she actively pursued it and started publishing small scale. However, with the realities of eating and paying bills, she hocked her passion to profession and worked as a technical writer and document manager, even traveling to Iraq as a contractor.

Assent Publishing brought her back to her art publishing her debut novella, Savages, to be followed by a second, The Waning. Bergling is a mother of two young children and lives with her family in Colorado Springs.

And for more about Christina, visit her site or find her on social media:

Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon Page

Jack 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. Fascinated by all things Victorian Jack often writes within that era and his period gothic horror works include The Séance and The Cabinet of Dr Blessing.

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

Daniel Marc Chant is an up-and-coming author of Horror and strange fiction. His passion for H. P. Lovecraft genre and the films of John Carpenter inspired him to produce intense, gripping stories with a sinister edge.

Currently based in Bath -- a picturesque town in Somerset, UK -- Daniel launched his début, "Burning House," to rave reviews, and swiftly followed with the Lovecraft-inspired "Maldición," the story of a lone survivor of a desert island plane crash fighting for his life with an ancient predator.

Daniel continues to hone his craft with a number of dark titles waiting to hit shelves, including "Mr. Robespierre" and "Devil Kickers." He also created "The Black Room Manuscripts" a charity anthology featuring twenty stories from twenty experienced authors and talented newcomers.

He hopes to one day contribute to the Cthulu Mythos. Although hopefully not as a sacrifice.

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


  1. I really liked Mr Robespierre too and The Seance was a cracker. I was desperate for them to be longer though. They both managed to create a great atmosphere. Such an important factor with horror fiction I think. ��

    1. Totally agree, Adrian. Really different atmospheres that fitted the stories so well.

      Mr Robespierre took me back to all those 80's horror flicks. It was perfect.

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