Monday 29 February 2016

REVIEW: David Bernstein - A Mixed Bag of Blood

Genre: Horror / Short Story
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 1st March 2016
Pages: 130


A copy of A Mixed Bag of Blood, by David Bernstein, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

Wow, another ARC from Sinister Grin. These boys are going to busy this year. I’m glad to hear it because if the ones I have read from them so far this year are anything to go by, I’m going to enjoy this year!

I have read a couple of things from David Bernstein before. There was the collaborative work, Jackpot. Review for that here. Then I read two books from him in quick succession last year, Skinner, review here and Goblins, review here. This is my first experience of his shorter writing though. I have enjoyed his novels so far but how does he fare with short stuff?

Time to find out!


Brad is in pieces. His wife and daughter have been killed and the man who did it has just walked free from court. A technicality setting him free. When Brad turns to drink, dreaming of revenge, help comes to him from an unlikely source.

This is the type of story you would see on The Twilight Zone. A man looking for revenge for the death of his family using unconventional means to get the revenge.

I liked this because it got straight to the point. It’s the sort of story that could be well padded out for a novella or novel but told in its rawest short form, it is very effective.

★★★★ for general.

★★★★ for horror.

Sunday 28 February 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #26 - Daniel Marc Chant

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Daniel Marc Chant

The Past

I grew up in a place called Gillingham in Dorset, often confused for Gillingham in Kent – mine is pronounced with a hard ‘G’ and the other with a ‘J’ so that immediately makes anybody from Gillingham in Dorset a ‘Hard G,’ which I understand is an American term for a particularly tough individual. A Gangsta as it’s otherwise known.

Truth is my growing up was as mundane as you could imagine. And I certainly wasn’t hard – despite what your Mum will tell you. I grew up in a dysfunctional but loving family of four kids and my best mate lived a few doors up from me. While it was a former Council estate the family home was a beacon of happiness. It still is. My parents live there still, and it’s an oasis in a desert, I assure you.

Thursday 25 February 2016

REVIEW: Iain Rob Wright - Wings of Sorrow

Genre: Horror / Young Adult
Publisher: SalGad Publishing Group
Publication Date: 18th Oct 2015     
Pages: 152


So this is the second book from Iain Rob Wright I have read this month. The first was The Gates and you can read my review of it here. I thought it was wonderful. Outstanding. It was a fresh horror book at its best. Wings of Sorrow is, as far as I know, his first attempt at a young adult book so this was intriguing for me to see if he could pull it off. After finishing reading it, I’m still undecided which is a first for me with one of his books.

Scarlet, is a young sixteen-year-old girl, living in Redlake. Everything seems to be quite normal. She lives with her father and has an interesting job in a local curiosity shop. All very smooth, until she comes across a naked stranger lying by a lake.

This is where the strangeness starts. The stranger claims to have been sent to protect her. Against what, she doesn’t know, until The Saint appears. He is out to destroy Scarlet.

Unbeknown to her, it appears she is the central figure in an age old prophecy. A prophecy where the central figure has the power within her to destroy the world. It appears she is the bad guy. It appears the only way for the prophecy to be broken is for Scarlet to die.

Wednesday 24 February 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #21 - William Malmborg - Santa Took Them

#21 in the Show-off and Tell is another that arrived with me last week. Again, this was a surprise delivery, but one that was extremely well received and greatly appreciated.

Santa Took Them by William Malmborg.

Now, thanks to Mr Malmborg, this is my second signed one from him on my shelf and they are both as beautiful as each other. I think I am going to have to get copies of his earlier works as well to complete the collection and keep it going with his new stuff as it comes out.

Can’t only own a couple!

This is my copy:

Tuesday 23 February 2016


If you follow the blog on a regular basis, (and if you don’t why the hell not?) you could not have failed to see the Confessions of my Past, Present and Future feature, where authors write a piece about what they like in books from their past, the present and the future.

If you have never seen it, then go have a look here to see what it is about.

This feature has run for six months now and this was initially all I was going to run it for. But, it still proves to be very successful and you all seem to enjoy reading about what your favourite authors like in books.

So, I am going to keep it going. This is where you come in. I only have a few submissions left and would like more.

If you are an author and would like to take part in this feature, then please see the guidelines for it below and email me at to let me know.

Monday 22 February 2016

REVIEW: Onyx Neon Shorts Presents: Horror Collection - 2015

Genre: Horror Anthology
Publisher: Onyx Neon Press
Publication Date: 23rd Oct 2015
Pages: 185


A copy of Onyx Neon Shorts Presents: Horror Collection - 2015 was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by one of the contributors, Jeremy Thompson, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Onyx Neon Press.

So a new collection of thirteen tales, by authors I know nothing about, apart from one. I read The Phantom Cabinet by Jeremy Thompson last year and it totally blew me away. You can read my review of it here. When he emailed me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing this collection, I initially jumped at it to read his own short story in it. After having a good look at it, I discovered I have never read anything by any of the other contributors. This is the sort of collection I love. It inevitably ends up with my list of authors I like to read growing, and needing to get an extension for the ever expanding to be read pile.

It also appears that this is the first of a planned annual collection from Onyx Neon Press so let’s see what these people can do!


Three students are on the lookout for an adventure. A drinking adventure. One of them being local suggests going to Ellie Hill. They don’t however let the others know the significance of Ellie Hill, or the terrifying legend.

This is a very dark story. Very atmospheric. Very scary. The place where they go almost feels like Royston Vasey. Dark and weird and well, just scary. I don’t know how to describe this story. No plot as such but just perfectly written to give you goose bumps from start to finish.

A perfect way to open an anthology.

★★★★★ for general.

★★★★★ for horror.

Sunday 21 February 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #25 - Iain Rob Wright

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Iain Rob Wright

The Past

Growing up, I first started reading the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine (the Mask!) and the Point Horror book series. Later I went onto the work of Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic being my introduction to that great man. I loved the amazing cast of characters (Rincewind!) and the world-building. My love of reading truly ignited then (when I was around 12) and I never looked back.

As a kid, one of my favourite things would be visiting the book seller at a weekly car boot in the next village. My dad would give me some money and I would leaf through all of the tattered paperbacks with excitement. I found James Herbert’s The Rats amongst those second-hand tomes and read it in one night (it’s not the longest of books). My mum went ahead and bought me The Lair and Domain (books 2 and 3). Eventually I got a copy of Once, when it first came out, but it disappointed me. I felt the book was more porn than horror and I sadly went off James Herbert then.

Friday 19 February 2016

REVIEW: Jon Bassoff - The Incurables

Genre: Horror
Publisher: DarkFuse
Publication Date: 24th Oct 2015
Pages: 258


I received an advance copy of The Incurables by Jon Bassoff from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by DarkFuse.

This is my second outing into the world of Jon Bassoff in recent months. I read The Disassembled Man a couple of months back. I did enjoy it but found it a bit weird at times.

You can read my review of it here. I was hoping for more of the same with this one but a little less of the weirdness.

Although dark and a bit out there, I think I got my wish.

In 1953, disgraced Dr Walter Freeman is travelling the country trying to make money, after being sacked from his prestigious position at a mental hospital for his controversial new procedure, known as the transorbitol lobotomy. He believes this is the way forward in curing all mental ailments.

After landing in the Oklahoma town of Burnwood, Dr freeman, and his docile assistant Edgar, set up a stall to try and entice people into having the procedure to save them.

He has some stiff competition though in the shape of Mr Stanton, a preacher, who believes his son Durango is the messiah. Also in the mix is Scent, a seventeen-year-old whore, who is holding out and waiting on her mother revealing where a hoard of stolen cash may be hidden.

Add all of these factors together and you certainly have a town full of Incurables!

Thursday 18 February 2016

REVIEW: Jason Murphy - Black Goat Motorcycle Club

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 19th Feb 2016
Pages: 328


A copy of Black Goat Motorcycle Club, by Jason Murphy, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

I do enjoy getting ARCS from Sinister Grin Press. You never know quite what you are going to get because they do produce a very wide range of stuff. I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into this one because of a couple of reasons. I loved the cover. It’s a horror. It has motorbikes in it. And of course it’s from Sinister Grin. Never heard of Jason Murphy before and that is probably because it looks like this is his first book.

How does it stand up as a debut then?

Hank is a doctor. He doesn’t class himself as a top notch doctor. He works weekends in a godforsaken hospital in the middle of nowhere in Arizona. He hates it. He normally does his shift very drunk.

Whitey has woken up with a hangover. He remembers shooting a coyote in a trap outside his trailer and goes to get it. It wasn’t a coyote.

The weekend dayshift takes a turn for the worst for Hank when Whitey turns up with his find, a mysterious, fake FBI agent turns up with an equally mysterious crate and the Black Goat Motorcycle Club roll into town.

It’s two for one time.

Review One: Buy it. No excuses. Just buy it.

Review Two: My my. As debut books go, you ain’t gonna get much better than this. This was just absolutely superb. An early contender for book of the year!

Wednesday 17 February 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #20 - Keith Deininger - The Godgame

#20 in my growing list of posts where I unashamedly show off my signed copies of books is one that arrived with me just this week, and I could not be happier to finally get my hands on a hard copy of this little beauty.

The Godgame by Keith Deininger.

This is the first time this has been available in a hard copy and this is purely down to the immense amount of work that Mr Deininger has put into making this book look as beautiful as it does.

This edition includes the first two books in the series, The Godgame and The Blood of Talos. This is a new epic series where Keith takes us to a wondrous land of war and fantasy where the story is dark and mysterious with never ending twists.

This is my copy:

Tuesday 16 February 2016


I bet you thought they were never coming? Well I have heard before that in the in the publishing world sometimes things don’t run as smoothly as you want.

Sometimes there are delays that are no one’s fault. They just happen. They can be frustrating and push your timescales back a bit but when push comes to shove and the final result is in, it all comes good in the end.

You wanted it just perfect didn’t you?

Well this post is all about the four winners. Jo and I would like to thank absolutely everyone who entered. Jo thought it would be easy to pick a winner. It wasn’t. She thought the level of talent shown was immense and found it very difficult to eventually pick a winner so went for four, in different categories.

To all the people who entered but didn’t win – there’s always next year!

Monday 15 February 2016

REVIEW: J.R. Park - Upon Waking

Genre: Horror
Publisher: The Sinister Horror Company
Publication Date: 12th June 2015
Pages: 142


A copy of Upon Waking was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, J.R. Park, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by The Sinister Horror Company.

So I have only read one other thing by Mr Park and that was his short story Clandestine Delights which appeared in the anthology The Black Room Manuscripts, again from The Sinister Horror Company. You can read my review of that little beauty here.

I quite liked it but found it a bit weird at the time. I had been looking forward to reading this one because he is the last third of The Sinister Horror Company that I have to read. Plus, there has been a lot of hype about this one so I couldn’t wait to read it. I hoped it wasn’t going to be the same sort of weird, and would be something different.

Boy was I in for a surprise!

Chris is getting ready for a date with a girl he met online. He has never met her face to face before. He goes to the date and the next thing he knows, he wakes up in a strange house, being helped by Cassandra. It looks like he has been mugged.

He is not alone though. There are a lot of people waking up confused in Cassandra’s house.

Sunday 14 February 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #24 - Christina Bergling

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Christina Bergling

The Past

My literary past, the origin of my love of horror belonged, without a doubt, to R. L. Stine. I was infatuated with and collected the Goosebumps series.

Somewhere in my basement, this collection lurked in the dark for my children to grow old enough (until I began working on this feature and went and dug them out to wallow in memories).

Friday 12 February 2016


So during the Facebook birthday party for Confessions’ first birthday, I subjected myself to some questions sent in from all of you lot.

This was an opportunity for people to get me back and make me confess to my deepest, darkest secrets. You didn’t disappoint.

As expected, the majority of questions did indeed get me back and I slowly realised that, contrary to popular belief, people do hold grudges when you put them on the spot.

We did have a few actual sensible questions and for those I am truly grateful. They took away some of the embarrassment for me.

Sorry that you have to look at me throughout these videos instead of my beautiful wife, Jo who was asking the questions. And what a wonderful job she did!

I can’t believe I am giving the opportunity for people to watch these again but, in case you missed them, here you go.

*****WARNING***** some of the discussions in these videos will not be suitable for younger ears!!

Thursday 11 February 2016

REVIEW: Jim Goforth - Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger

Genre: Horror
Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press
Publication Date: 8th Jan 2016
Pages: 422


A copy of Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Jim Goforth, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by J. Ellington Ashton Press.

Jim Goforth is another name I have noticed on Facebook and such like for a very long time but never read. He has always been described to me as an all-round top bloke and great writer. He has actually been a friend of my wife’s on Facebook for a couple of years before I even connected with him. I know he does fantastic work for authors all over the world but how is his writing? I took on this brick of a book to find out.

Death metal super group, Undead Fleshcrave, are playing in Armada. Seth, Julietta, Mark and Miranda, along with other friends go along to the gig.

Although their preferred choice is black metal, this gig has been talked about for weeks and they feel they must go to see what all the hype is about.

Shortly after entering the venue, Seth gets the feeling that something just isn’t right. He doesn’t realise just how perceptive he is.

Undead Fleshcrave are about to unleash The Zombie Trigger and change the world forever.

What follows is a crazy chase across the country to try and prevent the trigger from going off, turning the world into a world of the undead.

Wednesday 10 February 2016

REVIEW: David Dubrow - The Nephilim and the False Prophet (Armageddon #2)

Genre: Armageddon / End of the world.
Publisher: Obsidian Point
Publication Date: 10th Jan 2016
Pages: 374


A copy of The Nephilim and the False Prophet (Armageddon #2), was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, David Dubrow, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Obsidian Point.

So David Dubrow. Dirty Dave as he is sometimes known. I have known him for a while now, since reading part one of the Armageddon Trilogy, The Blessed Man and the Witch. You can read my review of it here.

Now I have a lot of respect for Mr Dubrow, both as a writer and as a person. He has been a tireless supporter of Confessions since it first started and for that I am truly grateful, and he knows this. He also knows that because I think he is a decent guy, this will not grant him any favours when I read his stuff and post a review.

That being said, here is what I thought of The Nephilim and the False Prophet.

****Warning**** this book follows on from The Blessed Man and the Witch. As such, this may mean spoilers for you if you have not read book one. So, go buy it and read it first then come back and read this review!

Tuesday 9 February 2016

INTERVIEW: David Dubrow: Part Two

Welcome back to the Confessions of a Reviewer interview with writer and all round good guy, David Dubrow.

In Part Two, tonight, David starts by telling you some of the stuff you need to know about the Armageddon trilogy and in particular, his new book, The Nephilim and the False Prophet.

This part of the interview is purely from the heart and to me, proves that as well as an imagination to die for, Mr Dubrow has qualities that a lot of us could learn from.

It’s only Tuesday but go grab something nice like a pizza and a beer, sit back and relax, but mostly……enjoy

Monday 8 February 2016

INTERVIEW: David Dubrow: Part One

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me the greatest of pleasure to welcome you to an interview with David Dubrow!

I have wanted to do this interview for a long time. Not only because in my opinion Mr Dubrow is a fantastic author that, again in my opinion, should be getting more airplay than he does, but also because he is one of the good guys. A gentleman that would give you the shirt from his back and the last piece of wisdom he had left in his brain.

If you don’t know a lot, or indeed anything, about David Dubrow, then read on. He answered everything I threw at him in a brutal and honest fashion, giving you a perfect insight into the man behind The Friday Links!

Part One, tonight, sees David answer some questions on his life in general, his writing and his influences. Part Two, on Tuesday, will be specific questions about his books, The Blessed Man and the Witch and his new one, The Nephilim and the False Prophet. Night three, on Wednesday, will see my review of the latter, which Mr Dubrow hasn’t even seen!

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

Sunday 7 February 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #23 - Jack Rollins

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Jack Rollins

The Past

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint a particular book from my childhood that made me want to write. I think the urge to write came much later. That being said, I loved to draw little comic books for my brother, so I was heavily influenced by late 80’s, early 90’s Batman and Superman. I learned how heroes can be driven to the extreme and collapse through storylines such as the Death of Superman, and Knightfall. There was something about those stories, the sense of doom, the fatalism of it all, where these heroes just kept on going, right until they lost, that had an impact on me. So yeah, those comics, fused with other influences such as the early 90’s Xmen cartoon, Swamp Thing, Toxic Crusaders (that later saw me seek out late night Troma movies when my Dad first got Sky TV), fuelled my imagination and the desire to tell a story, albeit through pictures as well as words.

Going back a little further, I know that a lasting impression was made on me by Roald Dahl through books such as The Twits, The BFG and The Witches. These stories had elements of horror running through them – I mean; those giants are eating the kids!

Through high school, even though lots of my friends were reading adult horror books, I shied away from it. I wouldn’t even watch horror movies until they re-released The Exorcist in cinemas. I think I caught A Nightmare on Elm Street once before then, but certainly it was a genre I had no great interest in until much later.

Saturday 6 February 2016


I am absolutely delighted to let you know that next week, Confessions will be hosting three nights of David Dubrow, for your viewing and reading pleasure.

David is a fantastic author of two of my favourite ever books, The Blessed Man and the Witch and his latest in the Armageddon series, The Nephilim and the False Prophet. These are both superb reads that more of you lovely people need to be picking up!

Friday 5 February 2016


So it’s the end of the first official year of Confessions of a Reviewer. Phew, it’s been a busy one. I reckon it’s been an OK one as well but then what do I know? I’m knew at this game. I think at times it showed. I also think at times it looked like I’ve been doing it for years.

I thought I would do this blog post as a sort of end of year round up. I’m totally winging it so bear with me. This is the part of blogging that I’m not really good at. Talking about myself, and how difficult or easy it has been.

Let’s give it a go though and see where it leads us!



Guys, just a very quick note to let you know that due to unforeseen circumstances, the live interview with Chris Barnes has had to be cancelled tomorrow night, 6th February.

Our apologies for the late notice in letting you know.

The interview will be rescheduled for a later date and we will keep you informed of when that will be.

Sorry to have ruined your Saturday night plans!

Nev & Chris.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

REVIEW: William Malmborg - Santa Took Them

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Darker Dreams Media
Publication Date: 30th Nov 2015
Pages: 245


So when it comes to the Christmas period, you want something festive to read to get you in the holiday mood, yes? As a lover of all things horror, my festive reads normally don’t tend to be very Home Alone-ish or Chris Cringle-ish. Which brought me to Santa Took Them, by William Malmborg. It has Santa in the title so it must be to do with Christmas!

I was hoping it had the same amount of blood, guts and gore and Mr Malmborg normally produces. Was I right in my assumption?

Christmas Eve 2005 in Holly Brook. A family has been massacred. The only survivor is eight-year-old Michelle. Her entire family has been killed, her siblings beheaded and her mother left for dead.

The only clue is written in blood on the wall. “Santa Took Them”

Ten years later and Michelle has been released from a secure psychiatric hospital after being believed to have been the perpetrator in the massacre.

The uncle she has been sent to live with has been murdered, along with his girlfriend, and Michelle is missing. A chilling message written in blood on the wall. “Santa Took Them!”

Now the hunt is on for Michelle to try and stop her rampage once again. The only question left to answer is, is Michelle really the murderer?

Tuesday 2 February 2016


OK guys, we have news on the Chris Barnes interview.

Chris and I have had a dummy run to figure out which system we are going to use for this, so that we can have some audience participation and also record the interview to post it on the blog for those who can’t come along, for whatever reason.

Monday 1 February 2016

REVIEW: Jason Parent - Unseemly

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Corpus Press
Publication Date: 25th Jan 2016
Pages: 48


A copy of Unseemly by Jason Parent, was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publisher, Corpus Press in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

So it’s no secret that Jason Parent takes up space on my bookshelf. I think anyone who doesn’t have him on their shelf is quite frankly either a bit stupid, or plainly haven’t discovered him yet. If you are the first, then fix it. If you are the second, then fix it.

I was very pleased when I was asked to review this one. I would have gotten it anyway but I always consider it a privilege to be asked to review Jason’s stuff.

This is what I thought.

Peter Callum has had a pretty shady past which he is trying very hard to leave behind him. An ex-wife, and her money demands however, mean he is considering teaming up with an old acquaintance, Dervish, for one more scheme.

The money maker.

Along with a professor McCoy and a gentleman he doesn’t really care for, Corbin, they are going hunting. Hunting for something Dervish is convinced exists and can make them very rich. Something that Peter thinks cannot possibly exist.

What does exist is nothing like they were expecting. It’s not the kind faerie they were looking for!