Sunday 31 July 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #41 - Jeffery X Martin

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Jeffery X Martin

The Past

I tend to think a lot of writers my age, which is none of your business, were introduced to the horror genre through the works of Stephen King. My mother allowing me to read The Shining at an early age certainly helped set the path, but it wasn’t until I got my hot little hands on Night Shift that the horror bug really wrapped itself around my cerebral cortex and began to tighten.

King didn’t use high and lofty language. No “sepulchres by the sea” or “Cyclopean eldritch cities of madness and despair.” Sure, I like those things now, especially the madness and despair, but King spoke in words I could understand. When the Boogeyman came shambling out of the closet in King’s story, I got it, and I got it good. Nightmares followed that story, and a couple of the others. I was also touched by his more human than inhuman tales, like The Girl in the Barn, filled with evocative imagery and the wretched stink of regret. It was then I understood that horror was not just all boogedy-boogedy and cheap scares. It was a state of mind, a place in the heart, and to explore it thoroughly, one had to venture into the most frightening place of all: themselves.

Friday 29 July 2016

REVIEW: Rich Hawkins - Scavengers

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 24th July 2016
Pages: 85


A copy of Scavengers was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Rich Hawkins, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.

So after my recent confession a couple of months ago that I had never read anything by Rich Hawkins, here I am again, reviewing something by Rich Hawkins! To be honest, when this one landed on my lap it was a no brainer. I have some of Rich’s earlier stuff still to read but thought that now I have started, I have to keep up to date with the new stuff.

I had seen this one being promoted around the social media sites but had no idea what it was about. I didn’t even read the synopsis before I picked it up. I opened it to read the opening couple of chapters just to see what it was like. I ended up staying up late into the night. Was that for a good or bad reason?

Let’s find out.

Ray and Shell are married. They are about to embark on a week long holiday to Devon with Shell’s bosses, Tim and Jules and their young daughter Molly. Shell can’t wait. It looks like this could be something to do with the long awaited promotion she has been chasing. Ray is dreading it. He has only met Tim and Jules once before but can’t remember much about them. This is not his idea of fun.

On the journey to Tim and Jules’ holiday home they come across a car abandoned in the middle of a country road. When Tim and Ray go to investigate, they come across the children. The children live in the woods. They have escaped, and they want to have some fun.

These are not the type of children who want to play tag!

Thursday 28 July 2016


We are really treating you at the minute over at Confessions!

Just a quick note to let you know about a fantastic week of interviews, reviews and guest posts coming up next week. It is a week nearly full to the brim of Mr Jeffery X Martin!

If you don’t know a lot about this gentleman you surely will by next Wednesday!

Jeffery first came to my attention with his short story, And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees which appeared in the Black Room Manuscripts Vol 1. I have to admit to not really giving this one a glowing report and couldn’t really figure it out. However, Jeffery won me over to his style when he entered, and won, the authors section of the Confessions birthday writing competition.

Wednesday 27 July 2016

REVIEW: Andrew Lennon and Introducing Georgia Lennon - A Taste of Fear

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 29th July 2016
Pages: 114


A copy of A Taste of Fear was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author Andrew Lennon in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.

So, my history of reading Andrew Lennon’s stuff is a bit of a roller coaster ride. I read his stand alone novella Keith and was quite critical of it at the time. It didn’t quite hit the mark with me. I was hoping that review would have been more constructive rather than downright negative. After getting to speak to Andy in person over this past weekend, I found out that was indeed the case and I’m grateful for that.

I have read a couple of his short stories in various anthologies since then. The most memorable for me was his story Twins, which appeared in the wonderful Dark Chapter Press anthology, Kids. It also makes an appearance in this collection.

The second reason for wanting to pick this one up so much is the introduction of Georgia Lennon, Andrews daughter, to the world of published writers. Georgia is only fourteen years of age and from what I hear, has a big future ahead of her. Hopefully I will confirm that after reading this collection.

This is what I thought.

Tuesday 26 July 2016

REVIEW: Matthew Cash - Deadbeard

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 4th June 2016
Pages: 42


A copy of DeadBeard was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Matthew Cash, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is self-published.

Another short from Matthew Cash that intrigued me to say the least. Why did the cover have an Indian Headdress with a beard on it? Is it really about beards? After enjoying Ankle Biters so much, review link at the bottom of the page by the way, I was looking forward to reading more of Mr Cash. He has a, how should I put it, unique style about his writing that I think could be very Marmite-ish until you get used to it. There is something there that I like. I’m just not sure what it is yet.

Maybe this one will help me get to the bottom of it.

Great Bald Eagle is not a Native American warrior. In fact, he lives in the UK. He got his name from his drugged up, hippie parents who knew no better. He also has a distinct appearance, being completely devoid of hair, anywhere on his body.

This angers him greatly and as he grows older, he starts to unleash his hatred of all things hairy and give in to his horrific fantasies about what he would like to do to people with beards.

Detective McMillan must do his best to stop DeadBeard, before he loses his own!
I know what you’re thinking right now; is this for real? Bear with me and you shall find out.

Monday 25 July 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #35 - Duncan P Bradshaw - Hexagram

#35 in the Show-Off and tell feature finishes off the Duncan P Bradshaw week.

It’s Hexagram.

This is one that just arrived in the post one day. I hadn’t been asked previously to review it so it just arrived in the post one day. Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not complaining about that fact. I love getting books to review from Duncan and The Sinister Horror Company and they know my door is always open to them. It’s just an extra special surprise when it comes through the door totally unexpected. It’s like Christmas for a ten-year-old every time this happens to me.

The purpose of this one tonight is purely and simply, to show you what you get when you order a book directly* from Duncan at the Sinister Horror Company. They come to you in the normal brown box or standard jiffy bag but it’s what’s inside that will make you feel like the most special person in the world.

When you open the box or jiffy bag, you will be greeted by your book, wrapped in black tissue paper with the Sinister Horror Company sticker holding it all together.

*this is when you order directly from the SHC website, not from Amazon.

It looks like this:

Sunday 24 July 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #40 - Duncan P Bradshaw

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Duncan P Bradshaw

The Past

My brother and I were always encouraged to read when we were kids. My brother was an avid Mrs Pepperpot fan, amongst other things, and our parents had a suitably imposing bookcase which was built into the wall between living and dining rooms.

Personally though, I loved Roald Dahl, and any time he had anything out, I snapped it up. The stories are just perfect for kids. Over the top, funny, yet with a hint of disgustingness tucked away to put a smile on my freckly face. I loved all of them, but amongst my favourites were George’s Marvellous Medicine, which encouraged me and Stuart to scour the house whilst on summer holidays, concocting the foulest liquids known to man. Obviously, we didn’t drink it, but two boys, left to their own devices, are going to do stupid things.

Looking back, I’d have to say that The Twits is my all-time favourite Dahl title. The story is pretty by the numbers, but the characters are so wonderfully vile and repugnant. I think as well, that the illustrations by Quentin Blake, both on the cover, and inside, were as big a pull as the stories themselves.  They just fit the words so well, and helped to add to the feeling that you really were a part of the book.

Whilst I enjoyed many other books, the Truckers series by Terry Pratchett for instance, or Adrian Mole, the Dahl books will always hold a special place in my heart. When I decided to write books myself, I think the layout of illustrations mixed in with the words has rubbed off. A book is more than just words printed down onto paper. It should convey what the writer is trying to get across. Sometimes, little pictures, or different fonts, can help to get that message across.

Friday 22 July 2016

REVIEW: Duncan P Bradshaw - Hexagram

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Eyecue Productions / SHC
Publication Date: 25th July 2016
Pages: 324


A copy of Hexagram was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Duncan P Bradshaw, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by the Eyecue Productions / The Sinister Horror Company.

Duncan P Bradshaw is a fella who writes stuff that always mesmerises me, but each book does this for a completely different reason. I have been lucky enough to read everything he has put out for human consumption. You can find links for all my other reviews of his stuff at the bottom of this review.

This one has been on the radar for a while so I was delighted to get a copy for review. I knew it was coming but I knew nothing about it and went at it totally blind. This one is put together in a unique and interesting way that will have a lot of people scratching their heads to begin with but begging for more by the end.

This is what I thought.

The story starts in 1538. A group of mysterious Inca’s are preparing for the ritual to end all rituals. No one is sure if it will even work. No one is sure what the outcome will be for all involved. They know what they would like it to be.

The conquistadors are hell bent on stopping the ritual and when they do, this sets a series of events in motion that spans over five hundred years, in countries all over the world. Many different people try many different methods to finish the ritual.

Does anyone actually realise that when the ritual is complete, it could be not only the end for themselves, but all of mankind?

Thursday 21 July 2016


Welcome to an historic moment! PART THREE of Confessions’ interview with Duncan Bradshaw. Yes, the man is so interesting and funny that we had to give him a third night!

In tonight’s section you will learn all about the hopes and dreams of Duncan P Bradshaw, and watch and cringe as he takes on The Ten Confessions.

It’s Thursday, the unofficial start of the weekend. You deserve a treat. Go get a Chinese and a couple of beers, and sit back, and most of all…..enjoy!

Wednesday 20 July 2016


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

In tonight’s section, Duncan kicks things off by answering some specific questions on his new book, Hexagram and finishes off with how his wife sticks him and lets you in on the secret of some of his influences.

It’s the middle of the week so go grab some pizza, a beer, sit back, and mostly……enjoy!

Tuesday 19 July 2016


Welcome to part one of Confessions of a Reviewers’ interview with England’s very own, Duncan P Bradshaw. There are rumours that no other country will have him due to some……incidents!

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, brutally honest and funny 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 Hexagram, and also some more general life stuff. In Part Three on Thursday, Duncan will tell us what to expect from him in the future and take on the mighty Ten Confession!

On night four, as always, I will be posting my review on Hexagram.

There is much much more to come from him this week as well but I will keep you posted on that as we go.

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

Monday 18 July 2016

REVIEW: Hunter Shea - I Kill In Peace

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Horror
Publication Date: 12th April 2016
Pages: 115


A copy of I Kill In Peace was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Hunter Shea, via Hook of a Book Media and Publicity, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

I Kill In Peace, by Hunter Shea is a powerful book, one of the more effective explorations I have seen of the twisted and deteriorating sanity and perspective of a chilling character. I don’t say this very often but this really was a book that I had a hard time putting down so I’m glad I was able to read it fairly quickly. The narrative was that compelling, feeding my need with each page to find out what was happening.

The premise of the book is that of a character being driven to commit murder. After being let go from his job, Peter starts to receive text messages from an anonymous source, instructing him on who he is to kill, providing the weapon and the opportunity to do it. This starts simply enough as revenge against the opportunistic boss who fires him and from there it just gets more extreme.

One of the more effective parts of this book was how Shea demonstrated exactly how Peter is driven to committing acts that most of us would consider unconscionable. I’m not normally the biggest fan of the first person but in this case I think that it is essential to trace his state of mind and why he is doing the things he is doing. Ironically enough, even in the midst of committing unforgivable crimes, you can’t help but feel just a little bit sorry for him, like he was caught up in circumstances more than anything else.

Sunday 17 July 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #39 - Wayne Lemmons

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Wayne Lemmons

The Past

I was nineteen or twenty, living in a leased home in Northern Kentucky, and scraping by as a waiter at the local Steak ‘n’ Shake. Bothering people while they’re eating wasn’t the most lucrative of work for a young man such as I, but there were a few bucks in my pocket on any given day and I was comfortable with the situation.

The one luxury I allowed myself was reading. I wasn’t really a drinker and didn’t care for the other avenues for altering the mind, but books were always my version of fixing. From the moment I could sound out the words of your average Dick and Jane I was looking for the story behind everything. Writing was part of my passion, but that hadn’t become my addiction just yet.

The jones for a new set of paragraphs and chapters was wild in me that night as I walked through a supermarket with my roommate. I scrambled up and down aisles in search of that magic section that would allow my urge to be sated. Disappointment was in my future.

The shelves were full of Romance and Crime, scattered with magazines and old King novels that I’d already paged through dozens of times. The shakes were upon me, making the word-junky itch, as I scanned that rack of nothing. Finally, I settled on something with an oddly gruesome cover and title from an author I’d never heard of. As we left Kroger, I was holding a bag full of Blood Crazy by Simon Clark.

Saturday 16 July 2016


We all love a good week long spotlight on someone at Confessions and we are doing it again next week!

Starting on Tuesday 19th we are kicking off a week of Duncan P Bradshaw, celebrating the launch of his newest book, Hexagram.

This has the normal mixture of features from Confessions during the week including an interview, review, showing off and guest posts from Duncan.

I have to quite honestly say that this is probably the funniest interview I have ever had the pleasure of conducting. It turned out to be so long that for the first time ever I have had to split it into three nights. Trust me, you don’t want to miss any of them!

Thursday 14 July 2016


On Friday the 8th of July, the Confessions die hards (me), boarded a train to sunny Rotherham to attend their first ever Horror Con UK. This was a weekend that I had been looking forward to for a long time. I was going to meet authors I have spoken to on social media for a long time. Most in a professional capacity, and also a lot of them in a personal capacity. Either way, I was looking forward to having some interesting conversations and a few beers and also picking up some lovely new books.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #34 - Matt Hickman - Jeremy: Evil Has One Name

#34 in the Show-Off and Tell is one of the first books I actually picked up in person.

It’s Jeremy: Evil Has One Name by Matt Hickman.

I recently met Matt at Emcon in Nottingham. This was my first con and to be honest the event itself fell a bit flat to me but grabbing some lovely books and getting the opportunity to meet some people for the first time and get them to sign their stuff was, for me, the highlight of the weekend.

I had a bit of a surprise for Matt that weekend as well in the form of a gift for him from my wife Jo. It was a rather fetching T-Shirt featuring the cover of Matt’s favourite book, with the touching slogan on the back which read: I Love The Horse Cock.

He was a good sport about it even though I didn’t see him wear it and he still signed the book for me!

This is my copy:

Tuesday 12 July 2016

REVIEW: Matt Hickman - Jeremy: Evil Has One Name

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 12th Dec 2015
Pages: 103


This is one of those rare occasions when this book was not directly submitted for review. I picked up a copy of Jeremy: Evil Has One Name direct from the author, Matt Hickman at a convention earlier in the year. I have spoken with Matt for about a year now but never met the fella before. I had heard good things about his writing.

The only story I have read of his prior to this was the short story, Anna in the Dark Chapter Press anthology, Kids. I was quite impressed with that one but really wanted to read something a bit longer to see how he coped with that. Again, even though I sort of know the fella (he has weird taste in T-shirts), this does not gain any favours when I review.

This is what I thought.

Jeremy is a troubled eleven-year-old boy. He is an only child and may as well not even exist as far as his parents are concerned. He wants for nothing material, but never gets the emotional love a child deserves.

Along with his friends, Sam and Cole, he suffers at the hands of two school bullies when he moves to secondary school. They just will not let up with the name calling and general nastiness.

When the bullies cause Jeremy and his friends to make a mess of a science experiment and get suspended from school, things take an even nastier turn when a chance meeting outside school leads to a disaster.

Thursday 7 July 2016


There will be no more posts from Confessions until next Monday, 11th July. The main reason for this is that I am going away for the weekend and quite frankly I don’t trust anyone else to publish any reviews or posts without bringing the whole blog to a standstill by deleting everything!

The dog has offered to help out but I worry about the typos due to the fact he has no fingers.

Which brings me to my next point! I will not be here because I am off to Horror Con in Rotherham / Sheffield this weekend!

Tuesday 5 July 2016

REVIEW: Patrick Lacey - Sleep Paralysis

Genre: Horror / Collection
Publisher: Great Old Ones Publishing
Publication Date: 5th July 2016
Pages: 240


I received an advance copy of Sleep Paralysis from the author, Patrick Lacey in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Great Old Ones Publishing.

I have read a couple of things by Patrick Lacey. The first was his short story The Lynnwood Vampires, which appeared in the anthology, Widowmakers and is also included in this collection. The second was his novella released last year, A Debt to be Paid. You can find links for both reviews at the bottom of this review.

You may not have heard of Patrick Lacey before. He is one of those authors that I would love to have a hand in changing that fact. I love his writing. Don’t ask me why. There isn’t a stand out difference in his style that grabs me. It just makes sense, and it’s scary, and tense, and for the most part, beautifully written.

Anyway, I had a chance of reviewing his debut collection Sleep Paralysis. This is what I thought.

Monday 4 July 2016


Welcome back to Part Two of Confessions’ interview with Patrick Lacey.

Tonight Patrick will tell you all about his new collection, Sleep Paralysis. He will also talk about some more general stuff in his life and of course take on The Ten Confessions.

Monday night is a boring night.

Grab a big tub of ice cream and a spoon and lose yourself for a half hour. Most of all……..enjoy!

Sunday 3 July 2016


Welcome everyone to the first night in a three parter featuring a young man that I reckon is destined for a big big future in the writing world.

Please welcome, Patrick Lacey!

I first discovered Patrick’s writing in the anthology, Widowmakers, and immediately fell in love with his writing style. Hopefully after the next couple of nights he will have picked up another few fans!

In Part One of the interview tonight, Patrick will be telling you all about himself in general, his writing and his influences.

In Part Two, tomorrow night, he will tell you some more general stuff about himself and his writing then more specific stuff about his newest collection, Sleep Paralysis, and also, he will take on The Ten Confessions.

The final night on Tuesday will see my review of Sleep Paralysis published.

It’s Sunday night, so, go get some proper comforting junk food and a cold one and sit back, and most of all…….enjoy!

Friday 1 July 2016


A very quick one quys!

I just wanted to let you know about an interview I have coming up next week!

For a couple of years now I have been singing the praises of a young man called Patrick Lacey who some of you may know and some of you may not. He has a new collection coming out next week called Sleep Paralysis and very kindly agreed to do an interview with Confessions.

Sunday 3rd will see Part One of the interview where Patrick will be answering general questions about himself and his writing.

Monday 4th will bring Part Two where he will talk specifically about Sleep Paralysis and also take on The Ten Confessions.

Tuesday 5th, as normal, will be the night I will publish my own review. Trust me, this is a collection you will not want to miss.

Remember to pop along and remember to tell your friends!




Patrick Lacey was born and raised in a haunted house. He currently spends his nights and weekends writing about things that make the general public uncomfortable.

He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, his Pomeranian, his cat, and his muse, who is likely trying to kill him.

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

REVIEW: Alex Kimmell - the Idea of North

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing
Publication Date: 22nd Sept 2015
Pages: 197


A copy of the Idea of North was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Alex Kimmell, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Shadow Work Publishing.


This was sent to Confessions and reviewed before Alex joined the team.

Bit of a story behind this one. If things had gone to plan, I would have had a review of this done last year when it just came out, but things happen sometimes and it takes a little longer to do. It had been on my radar for a while because it had been recommended to me by a few people. I have never read Alex Kimmell before and with the stature of the people recommending this book, I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into it.

So what did I think? Was it worth the amount of time it took for me to get to it?

Dalton plays the piano. A lot. He plays every day. Him on one piano while his two sisters, and mother, play on theirs as well. Music is very important in their family. Dalton has no idea why though.

Whenever the music plays, great storms ravage the country. Storm chasers capture an image of a man standing in the middle of one of these great storms. Who is he and what has he to do with Dalton?

He has no idea. Everyone else seems to know though.