Friday 30 September 2016

REVIEW: Daniel Marc Chant - Into Fear: 22 Bizarre Tales of Despair and Dread

Genre: Dread & Despair Collection
Publisher: Sinister Horror Company
Publication Date: 1st October 2016
Pages: 290


A copy of Into Fear was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Daniel Marc Chant, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by the Sinister Horror Company.

So another one by Daniel Marc Chant, or Mr Posh to his friends. A collection of stories no less. Twenty-two in all. Where does he get the time to write these things, let alone the ideas? It is no secret I like his writing and it is no secret that I have been impressed this year in the variety of his writing as well. The last one I read was sci-fi, this one is branded as “22 Bizarre Tales of Despair and dread” I seem to have quite a lot of both in my life at the minute but still thought I would give it a go.

I have to confess to having an ultra-rare paper copy of this book that I don’t even think got into print many moons ago but I never got around to reading it.

For that, I apologise, Mr Chant.

This is what I thought of the new version.


Lindsay and Susan are at the gym. Lindsay has new trainers and Susan wants them. She sets Lindsay a series of challenges and makes some promises along the road in trying to get her hands on them.

All this while the zombie apocalypse is going on outside.

Thursday 29 September 2016

REVIEW: Kristal Stittle - Merciless

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 1st June 2016
Pages: 129


A copy of Merciless by Kristal Stittle was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publisher, Sinister Grin Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

There is a common and, in my opinion, misguided idea when it comes to writing that there are certain plots that one should steer clear from, that ground which has been treaded on one too many times can never be fertile and should be left to go barren. The thing is, as much as we all likely fancy ourselves as shining lights of ingenuity and creativity, there really are only so many stories that can be told. Sure, we can put some individual touches and color tones to the picture but in the end, it isn’t often that I read something or watch something and get at least a little touch of déjà vu or a feeling of “haven’t we been here before”?

Case in point would be the book Merciless, by Kristal Stittle. I found the book to be highly entertaining and delivered in a way that felt fresh and seemed clear that the author was invested in it. The story itself is simple enough. The protagonist, Mercy, is home alone while her boyfriend is off having a weekend with his friends. Mercy begins to receive phone calls that start as merely curious and quickly progress to creepy and disturbing. When she decides to try and get out of the house and spend some time at her parent’s house, the calls mysteriously follow her and soon she finds herself in the middle of an all-out home invasion.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #39 - Scream Horror Mag - My First Review

#39 in the Show-Off and Tell feature is a purely self-indulgent showing off of something that I achieved this year which makes me immensely proud and emotional.

My first review in a print version of Scream Horror Mag!

When I first started reviewing for Scream it was a huge honour for a magazine such as this to put their faith in a fledgling reviewer like me. It gave me a well needed confidence boost that what I was writing about books actually meant something to people who read my reviews. I am eternally grateful to Scream for giving me the opportunity to share with their subscribers my thoughts on what I read.

This is the edition I made it into:

Tuesday 27 September 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 over a year. 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 26 September 2016

REVIEW: The Behrg - The Creation: Axis Mundi (Creation Series #1)

Genre: A bit of everything
Publisher: Pricks Like Thorn Media
Publication Date: 1st Sept 2015
Pages: 266


A copy of The Creation: Axis Mundi (Creation Series #1) was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, The Behrg, in return for an honest review. This is said review.

The Behrg. A name I have seen a lot of on social media. A name that has intrigued me. Why use the name The Behrg? What does it mean? If he signs a book, does he sign it “Thanks for your support……The”?

Anyway. I read a short story of a while ago and loved it then saw some sterling recommendations for his work. Fate brought us together and I managed to bag a copy of The Creation for review. I wasn’t totally aware of what this book was about but I definitely wanted to read it after a short sample of his writing style. I have to admit to it sitting on my pile for a long time due to other commitments. When I started to read it, I couldn’t help but wonder if I should have picked it up earlier.

This is what I thought.

Faye is leading a merry band of eco-revolutionaries deep into the Venezuelan Rainforest, to try and put an end to illegal deforestation in the area.

Accompanying her is her current boyfriend, a highly respected actor who is eager to get his face on the television supporting this noble cause.

Duggan is a phytopharmacologist, searching the rainforest for remedies useful to pharmaceutical companies aiming to make a lot of money. He has a hidden agenda though. He is also searching for someone. Someone ancient and thought to hold powers beyond anything that man can imagine.

Faye also has a hidden agenda, and it concerns Duggan. He doesn’t know just yet but, their paths are sure to cross.

They both have no idea of the power that is coming for them both. Is this going to be the end, or a new Creation?

Sunday 25 September 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #47 - Dominic Stabile

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


Dominic Stabile

The Past

As a kid, I read everything from biographies to random instalments of Hank the Cowdog. I didn’t go looking for any particular genre. If the cover was enticing, I’d read it. In middle school I discovered the Goosebumps books and that was my first literary foray into the world of horror. I specify “literary” because I had watched tons of horror movies.

My mom has always been a fan of the old horror flicks, especially Creature from the Black Lagoon. I was pretty much allowed to watch anything, as long as it was the edited for cable version: Night of the Living Dead, Fright Night, The Lost Boys, Silver Bullet. I was watching these movies while reading anything and everything. Inevitably, these parallel interests intersected, and I began to select books with covers that depicted monsters, haunted houses, and graveyards.

I remember standing in line at some bookstore, begging my mom for roughly ten minutes to buy me Knee Deep in the Dead by Dafydd ab Hugh, the first of four novelizations based on the Doom games. The edition I waved frantically in her face that day depicted the iconic image of a man in badass combat/space armor, firing a futuristic weapon into a parade of slavering demons, as they closed in on him. I still love those books shamelessly. And their combination of action and horror still influences my work today.

Friday 23 September 2016

REVIEW: Chad Lutzke - Of Foster Homes and Flies

Genre: Horror / Coming of Age
Publisher: Scary Carpet
Publication Date: 22 July 2016
Pages: 162


A copy of Of Foster Homes and Flies was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Chad Lutzke, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Scary Carpet.

This is a book that, to be honest wouldn’t have been on my radar if it hadn’t been sent to me by Mr Lutzke for review. A mutual friend of ours, and fantastic author in his own rite, James Newman, mentioned to Chad that he should send me a copy. After a recommendation like that, it was hard for me not to give it a whirl.

I knew nothing of Mr Lutzke before this book and had no idea what he even wrote. Sometimes those are the best positions to be in when picking up someone new.

This is what I thought.

Denny Newman lives alone with his mom. She loves her television and the bottle more than she loves him. He gets by though. He knows how to look after himself.

One morning he finds his mom dead, on her favourite seat, in front of her favourite television, with an empty bottle of her favourite kind by her side.

Denny is now in a panic. He has the spelling bee in a few days’ time. He knows if he reports her death he will end up in a home and miss the bee. What should he do? Only he can decide.

So first of all, coming as a recommendation from Mr Newman, I was expecting an out and out horror. This is certainly not an out and out horror. This is a coming of age story that…….well let me go back to my normal format…

Thursday 22 September 2016

REVIEW: Brett McBean - The Invasion

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 15th May 2016
Pages: 368


A copy of The Invasion by Brett McBean was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Grin Press via Hook of a Book Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

For only the second time ever, Confessions is posting a second review for the same book. We in the Confessional have decided that rather than only letting one reviewer pick up a book at a time, we would let anyone take whatever they wanted and if more than one person read the same book, then so be it, we would still post the review on the site.

The main reason for this is so that we can offer readers varying reviews of the same book so it doesn't always look to be biased. We are hoping that it will give you lot that read these reviews, a little bit of extra help in deciding what you want to buy. So on with Chad's review.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #38 - Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love

#38 in my showing off section is a book that I got last year and to this day it remains one of my all-time favourite books. This goes both for the content between the covers and the actual cover itself.

Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.

This little beauty is from the crowd I call the Bad Apples Crew. Evans Light, Adam Light, Edward Lorn, Jason Parent and Gregor Xane.

When this one came out I was just launching Confessions. I came up with this crazy idea of doing a week long stint of interviews and along with the review, managed to pull it off. I have to honestly say that it was probably a bit rough round the edges but it worked and was the fore bearer of all that has come since.

The cover on this one was done by Mike Tenebrae and is still one of my all-time favourite covers.

This is my copy:

Tuesday 20 September 2016

REVIEW: Rich Hawkins - King Carrion

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Horror Company
Publication Date: 17th Sept 2016
Pages: 132


A copy of King Carrion was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Sinister Horror Company in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

As a child of the eighties, I was born and raised on what I consider to be one of the golden ages of horror fiction. Franchises were born here, franchises that, to this day we find ourselves unable to escape from. And while there are any number of instances where we, as a culture have lost our way, there is one specific area which I particularly lament where we seem to have gone wrong.

I speak specifically of vampires.

A lot of this is likely going to seem directed at Twilight and to be sure, much of it for me came from that particular franchise. If that’s your thing, all the power to you but for me, it was way too far of a stone’s throw from the classic films I grew up with. Vampires used to be cool, they were dangerous and gritty. Vampires were a force to be reckoned with in the fictional landscape.

Then things began to change and it was almost like vampires started to become too precious. The intensity of the genre seemed to lessen and with the exception of a few standout films, vampire fiction seemed to become very bland and for a long time now, I have been waiting for a beam of light to show us the way through this long vampiric nightmare we seem to exist within.

Enter King Carrion, by Rich Hawkins, stage left.

Monday 19 September 2016

REVIEW: Glenn Rolfe - Chasing Ghosts

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: 1st August 2016
Pages: 102


A copy of Chasing Ghosts was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, Glenn Rolfe, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Sinister Grin Press.

Glenn Rolfe hooking up with Sinister Grin Press. Who would have thought it! Well, me, actually. Well again, it’s a combination I could see working very well. A young, up and coming author with a passion for the genre joining forces with a young, up and coming press, also with a passion for the genre. This could only mean great things right?

My last read in the Glenn Rolfe world was Things We Fear. I wasn’t taken as much with it as I was with, say, his novel Blood and Rain. This made me a little apprehensive about Chasing Ghosts. I am always nervous picking up someone’s new work when the last one didn’t shake me.

You can read my thoughts of the books Confessions has reviewed of Glenn’s at the bottom of this review. This is what I thought of Chasing Ghosts.

Jesse and his pal, Davey, and the new boy, Luke, are going chasing ghosts. A term they use when they want to get away from things and go exploring and daring each other in the woods. They don’t realise that the ghosts are real.

When they go missing, Jesse’s dad, Derek, goes out of his mind so much that he goes searching for them. He didn’t expect to find the ghosts either. But he did.

Mixed up with a crowd of punk, dope heads, Derek finds things he couldn’t have imagined in his worst nightmares. Now everyone seems to be running from the ghosts.

Sunday 18 September 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #46 - John McNee

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


John McNee

The Past

“October Country . . . that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-night’s stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .”

The above passage is from The October Country by Ray Bradbury. Odds are you may well have heard it before. But if you heard it any other way than read aloud by lamplight on a hill, somewhere in the wilds of Scotland, with the night wind howling just beyond the thin walls of your tent... you heard it wrong.

As a child, when my father took me camping, The October Country was the book he brought to read from. It's an interesting choice for children's bedtime reading. It's not Clive Barker or Richard Laymon, but nor is it Goosebumps. I can't imagine his intention was to lull me into a sound, peaceful sleep with its unnerving tales of skeleton-sucking surgeons, murderous infants and things in jars. I'm sure he was hoping to creep me out. What he may not have expected was that this would be the foundation of my ongoing obsession with horror stories.

The October Country is a beautiful book. Setting aside the actual content, the book itself – our edition, at least – was a hardback marvel, filled with extraordinary illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini (who also painted the cover) that I studied at least as much as the words. The stories themselves are expertly crafted and wildly varied, but a world away from standard monster fare.

Friday 16 September 2016

REVIEW: Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror

Genre: Horror / Collection
Publisher: Corpus Press
Publication Date: Sept 2016
Pages: 242


A copy of Bad Apples 3: Seven Slices of Halloween Horror was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the publishers, Corpus Press, in exchange for an honest review. This is said review.

This is the final line from my review of Bad Apples 2: Six Slices of Halloween Horror:

If there is a Bad Apples 3 next year, do we get seven slices?

Turns out I was right! Only thing I can say to that is whoo hoo!

So if you have never read Bad Apples 1 or 2, you have missed a treat, and what are you waiting for? Reviews are at the bottom of the page so go read them and then go buy them.

This is the time of year that if you are lucky enough to get an email in your inbox from Evans Light, the chances are it is with an ARC for Bad Apples. This has become somewhat of a tradition for this book to be released at this time of year so you can go pick it up and add it to your reading list for Halloween. It gets bigger and better every year. It has the same five faces that these collections always have in Evans Light, Adam Light, Edward Lorn, Jason Parent and Gregor Xane. This year though we are given an extra treat with the addition of Mark Matthews, John McNee and Craig Saunders. The only one I have never read before from this lot is Mr McNee so I am super excited to see what he has in store.

I could give much more of an introduction but I can’t wait to get reading, so this is what I thought:

Thursday 15 September 2016

SHOW-OFF AND TELL #37 - J.G. Clay - Tales of Blood and Sulphur

#37 in the Show-Off and Tell is the latest one to fall through my letterbox. At the time of typing this, it has arrived just in time for the end of J.G. Clay week.

It is the wonderful short story collection, Tales of Blood and Sulphur.

I have mentioned before that I came across this one completely by accident and it is one of those accidents that I will be eternally grateful for. This, my friends is one of the greatest collections of short stories I have ever read. I will be surprised if any collections I read in the future will come close. Now there is a challenge if ever I wrote one!

Getting to know Mr Clay over this past couple of weeks while doing the interview and other stuff, it has hit me what an absolute genuine gentleman he is. Unassuming, modest and always happy yet with a writing style that is an absolute killer. It is a great, great pleasure of mine to add this one to the shelf.

This is my copy:

Wednesday 14 September 2016

REVIEW: J.G. Clay - Tales of Blood and Sulphur

Genre: Horror
Publisher: Shadow Work Publishing
Publication Date: 29th July 2015
Pages: 214


A copy of Tales of Blood and Sulphur: Apocalypse Minor was sent to Confessions of a Reviewer by the author, J.G Clay in exchange for an honest review. This is said review. This book is published by Shadow Work Publishing.

Sometimes things take a strange twist and you end up reading something unexpected.

This is the case with this one. I have been friends with J.G Clay’s alter ego, Pardip Basra, on Facebook for a while now. I thought he was another book lover. I didn’t realise he was J.G Clay. Then through some weird circumstances, we got thrown into conversation and it was suggested I needed to give Tales of Blood and Sulphur a go. I was actually very glad when I was asked if I wanted a copy to review. I have seen some really good things about this man’s writing and this book in particular on social media. After picking it up, I then discovered that this edition is published by Shadow Work Publishing. Those guys don’t put out rubbish so it must be a match made in heaven right?

This is what I thought.

Tuesday 13 September 2016


Welcome back to Part Two of Confessions of a Reviewers’ interview with the one and only, J.G. Clay.

In tonight’s segment, J.G. talks specifically about his book Tales of Blood and Sulphur and of course confesses all in The Ten Confessions.

It’s only Tuesday but go grab some pizza and a beer, sit back, and mostly……enjoy!

Monday 12 September 2016


Welcome to Part One of Confessions of a Reviewer’s interview with an author who will probably be new to a lot of you out there, J.G. Clay.

Mr Clay came to my attention in a strange sort of a way. My wife, Jo, noticed he had a new book out and suggested to him that he send it to me for review. He very kindly did, and it snowballed from there into this week long feature on him. When you read the interview, review and indeed, his latest book, Tales of Blood and Sulphur, you will realise exactly why it snowballed and why I think this gentleman’s writing should be on everyone’s shelf!

In Part One, tonight, J.G. talks about himself and his writing in general. Candid, honest, funny and modest are words I would use to describe how this man talks about himself and when you read this, entertaining is another word that you will be thinking of.

Part Two, tomorrow night, features chat all about the new book, some more general stuff and of course The Ten Confessions where it turns out Mr Clay is a bit of a cad.

Wednesday sees the Confessions review of Tales of Blood and Sulphur followed by showing it off on Thursday.

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

Sunday 11 September 2016

GUEST POST: Confessions of my Past, Present and Future #45 - J.G. Clay

Confessions of my Past, Present and Future


J.G. Clay

The Testimony of Clay

Confession is a heavy word, isn’t it? It invokes police interviews, courtroom dramas and, for the religious amongst you, unburdening weekly sins to a virtual stranger through a wooden lattice. Well, you won’t be getting any of those shenanigans here, my friends. As per Mr Murray’s invite, we’re talking books; shiny new books, books battered by age and constant reading, books that haven’t even seen the light of day. So, enough preamble. Grab yourself a cup of tea, a glass of beer or a bottle of methylated spirits (if that’s your poison). We’re off on a little tour.

First stop, the Eighties, a decade replete with bright fashion, not so bright wallpaper and grim politics. It’s not one of my favourite decades. I remember it as a dismal foggy time, punctuated by football hooligans going absolutely mental on the terraces and streets, the skinheads of the British Movement and the National Front terrorising the UK immigrant population and the ‘yuppies’ being the proto-corporatists dickwads that they’d always been. Aside from a few bands doing the business, there were few saving graces to that decade, at least the first half of it anyway. Then I discovered a love that would stay with me for the rest of my days. Horror came gambolling into my life and the little bastard hasn’t left since. Here’s what happened:

Thursday 8 September 2016


Well, after a well-earned (I think) rest, Confessions is going to be coming back at you next week. Instead of working you in gently, we are coming at you with a week full of interviews, reviews and guest posts. In other words, a normal week for Confessions!

We will be kicking off our Autumn collection with J.G. Clay week next week.