Book Review: Quinlan’s Secret (The Elders Book 2) by Cailyn Lloyd

quinlans secret

Title: Quinlan’s Secret (The Elders Book 2)

Author: Cailyn Lloyd

Release date: May 20th, 2020


I connected with Cailyn recently when I had tweeted out about always being open to review pretty much anything. When we emailed, I had misread her email and snagged ‘Shepherd’s Warning (The Elders Book 1)’ when she was actually emailing about ‘Quinlan’s Secret (The Elders Book 2).’ I dove into Book 1, which was a fun time and immediately started Book 2 once finished. Having read them back to back, I must say, watching Lloyd develop this world that’s been created is truly amazing.

What I liked: Book 2 follows Josh and Kiera as they renovate a building and open up a tavern. Really quickly, we discover that a lot of accidents and deaths have occurred related to the building. Soon, Josh discovers a hidden door that leads to an underground space.

It is from here that Lloyd really excels, creating a claustrophobic read that really had me wondering just what was going on and when people start going missing and things really begin to get worse, Lloyd never once let’s up.

This is the second book in the planned trilogy so it will be interesting to see just what is in store for the finale.

What I didn’t like: I found this one was rock solid compared to Book 1. Saying that, there were a few characters introduced that I really didn’t care for or connect with, so when something would happen with them, I didn’t have that much of an emotional reaction. That will happen a lot with secondary characters in most books, so I can’t really quantify that as a negative, just something I found! That’ll change from reader to reader!

Why you should buy this: I mean, really – secret door and an underground passage. If you read those six words and are intrigued, then you’ll need to see what happens! Cailyn is a fantastic writer and this world of The Elders Books she’s crafted have been really enjoyable to discover!


Book Review: Every House is Haunted by Ian Rogers

every house

Title: Every House is Haunted

Author: Ian Rogers

Release date: January 1st, 2012


A few years back, I snagged a ChiZine story bundle ebook package, specifically for three books: ‘Experimental Film,’ ‘The Bone Mother’ and this one, ‘Every House is Haunted.’ Since that time, as most will know in the horror community, ChiZine imploded. When this happened I reached out to each author, wanting to make sure they were compensated by myself for each of these ebooks. Ian was very gracious in his replies (as were Gemma and David for the other two books), so while I do not support any of what ChiZine did, I still wanted to support the authors.

Frankly – if I would’ve known Andrew Pyper gave this a blurb, I would’ve read it right when I got it!

I recently read Ian’s novella ‘Go Fish’ that came out through Tor and was blown away by this world. When I posted my review, my friend Lauren mentioned that ‘Go Fish’ was in fact a world related to some of the stories in this collection!

What I liked: Ian has written some absolutely stunning stories in this collection. Many of these will be ingrained into my brain for some time. It opens with the fantastic ‘Aces’ a story about a sister who has odd, special powers. Soelle continues to develop them and at one point I was stunned when Ian described a scene featuring Soelle wanting to “test” something. ‘Cabin D’ was a great piece of mystery writing. Henry enters the restaurant and just starts eating, all to prepare for a feast. Loved it. ‘A Night in the Library With the Gods’ was a very cool story. I really enjoyed the open ended-ness of the world this seemed to be alluding to. ‘The Nanny’ (at least I thought so!) was another story intertwined in the world from ‘Go Fish.’ This was a heart breaking piece about a haunted house and it’s inhabitants. ‘The Currents.’ Wow. As I mentioned on Twitter, every story that involved Cape Breton or the east coast of Canada, I knew I was in for some darkness and some ghostly happenings, but ‘The Currents’ took it to another level. A body is found. He is alive. They bring him home, give him warmth and food, but the family knows he isn’t from ‘around here.’ Loved it. ‘Wood’ was an amazing take on fairy tale story telling and ‘Vogo’ was of course a really fun lake monster story.

The gem for me of course, was ‘The House on Ashley Ave.’ I had heard great things about this story before and with knowing it’s relation to ‘Go Fish’ was really excited to read it and find out a little bit more about ‘the eight.’ Rogers can write dark and creepy so well, that I was completely engrossed.

What I didn’t like: Broken record as always with collections, but a few stories I just didn’t click with. It’s never that they are bad or horribly written or anything, it’s really just the nature of short story collections.

Why you should buy this: Well, now, this is a bit of a issue! I’m not sure if Ian has sorted out the book being rereleased. Currently the ebook is unavailable, but the paperbacks can still be ordered through after market dealers. I hope we get rerelease news soon, and if I some how missed that, my sincere apologies.

As for the collection itself – this was such a great grouping of stories. Ian delivers scares and chills time and time again and he really has crafted a wonderful world with a mysterious corporation and the dreaded ‘eight.’ I can’t recommend this one enough!

I’m included the Amazon link, you can find options for buying the paperback through there!


Book Review: The Snuggle Zombies by Morgan K. Tanner


Title: The Snuggle Zombies

Author: Morgan K. Tanner

Release date: June 12, 2020


Many of us horror writers are parents, which means our kids won’t be reading what we release for many years. Because of this, we are starting to see a slow, but steady stream of writers releasing younger reader based books that not only let their kids experience their writing, but also act as gateway books to introduce a younger crowd to ‘darker fiction.’

When my buddy Morgan announced his book ‘The Snuggle Zombies’ had been unleashed on an unsuspecting world, I knew I needed to check it out!

What I liked: The book is about two pals, Max and Tommy – fans of all things football (soccer for the North American crowd). One day, things just are not what they seem. An older brother was nice to a younger brother, which never happens. To the point of offering to clean their room! From that moment on, Tanner delivers a smile infused story where the two friends need to find a way to combat and cure the infliction that is spreading quickly – insane amounts of snuggles!

Morgan clearly wrote this with his heart as many of the scenes were hilarious and adorable. The sibling banter and interactions were great, especially when the sister Lizzie needs to become more involved. It was great reading this knowing that the ‘team work’ was being stressed and that the theme of ‘over coming the odds’ was well at hand.

What I didn’t like: Come on? Really? I don’t know why I have this section for these books! Haha. Nothing. I loved it all. I mean sure… a few heads could’ve been caved in or maybe a neck or two ripped out with blood spraying everywhere, but… no, no! This is a kids book!

Why you should buy it: If you are a horror writer and have a young kid, definitely snag this! This book will work for any kid that you read to, even from an early age, maybe 3+ up until 11 or 12. This was a lot of fun, and while Morgan says it may be the only kid book he writes, I think it would be a lot of fun to see what other adventures Max and Tommy could get up to.


Book Review: Shepherd’s Warning (The Elders Book 1) by Cailyn Lloyd


Title: Shepherd’s Warning (The Elders Book 1)

Author: Cailyn Lloyd

Release date: July 10, 2019


Through my recent Twitter post, I had a few folks reach out and ask if I’d review their work. Cailyn was one such person. When she messaged, I mis-read her email and snagged ‘Shepherd’s Warning’ from Amazon, when she was in-fact emailing me about ‘Quinlan’s Secret’ the second book in the series! So, I dove in to read Book One and have already started Book Two!

What I liked: We pick up with a group of people renovating a house in the hopes of getting an HGTV show. The house has sat unoccupied for a long time, due to it’s history and the perception that it is haunted. The synopsis was very intriguing and Lloyd added some fantastic layers as the house begins to share its secrets.

One thing I always love in haunted house stories is the discovery of hidden rooms and early on in this one, we get this, along with a hand written book. That discovery will then lead to numerous other moments of terror for the rest of the story.

I really loved the back story that Lloyd introduced and with a professor who isn’t exactly who he says he is, we get a lot of great history in here.

What I didn’t like: I don’t know why, but for the life of me I struggled to keep track of who was who. The characters felt interchangeable for a solid stretch at the beginning and I had trouble remembering the relationship each one had with the others. This came across a lot of the time with a lot of throw away dialogue. There were portions where the conversations just felt included without any real purpose at times.

The biggest thing I struggled with the blatant disregard the characters had to the haunted house aspect for a good portion of the book. Something would happen, it would be significant, and then it would be completely forgotten or pushed aside. I can’t say too much about this, as I don’t want to fall into spoiler territory, but it happened a number of times and it was frustrating each time.

Why you should buy this: If haunted houses are you’re jam, then definitely do give this a go. Cailyn crafted some truly dark moments in here and the creep factor was high for almost the entire book. I’ll be interested to see just where this goes with book two, but for now, I’d suggest grabbing this one and and see why the tag line is “sometimes you shouldn’t go home…”


Book Review: Once You Get To Know Me by Bo Chappell


Title: Once You Get To Know Me

Author: Bo Chappell

Release date: October 2, 2017


Bo Chappell is one of the good guys. I’m proud to call Bo my friend.

I’ve known this for some time now, but I hope more people really start to discover his amazing work, both writing and illustrations.

I first experienced Bo’s work with the ‘By Year’s End’ Anthology. A gathering of stories by some amazing authors, all based on Bo’s release ‘Year 47.’ It took me far too long to read ‘Year 47’ but when I did, wow. A stunning post-apocalyptic horror/western that really ticked all of the boxes.

I also know Bo is a great artist from his work with Aphotic Realm and illustrations I’ve seen him share on his social media pages as well as on the Master of the Thundernerds pages.

But this. I didn’t know about this.

‘Once You Get to Know Me’ is a forty page book written for kids, that teaches them about how people are all individuals and how we need to be nice to each other and treat each other with kindness and compassion. This book is incredibly topical, but also completely timeless. It is a perfect book for parents to help introduce to their kids inclusiveness and how appearances are not always what a person is.

What I liked: This book is a work of perfection. From each character and illustration to each of the characters descriptions and what they say to the reader.


Bo captures the essence of each creature and did such an amazing job of making their “differences” normal and relatable.

I really loved how Bo utilized so many of the classic movie-monsters, which made reading this to my son that much more of a personal journey. This was the first time my son has seen some of these monsters and it was a real joy to share with him what they were, and what movie’s they’ve appeared in.

What I didn’t like: A book like this, there really isn’t anything to not like. I will say, the font chosen for the alien speaking was very hard to read, but it was also perfect for giving the character so much personality!

Why you should buy this: I already said this, but I love supporting the goods guys. Bo is a class act and we should all support him just for that. Saying that, this book truly is a perfect introduction to any parents with kids, to not only monsters, but also to individual differences. I sent two copies to my sister for my nephews and they love the book so much. They’ve even purchased another copy so that it can be donated to their elementary school! Currently, all proceeds from the sale will be going to support Black Lives Matter groups, which makes this a no-brainer to buy!


Book Review: Night of the Pumpkin God by Chris Kosarich


Title: Night of the Pumpkin God

Author: Chris Kosarich

Release date: June 11, 2020


Having just read the prequel novella, ‘Mister Jack,’

(review here:

I was excited to dive into ‘Night of the Pumpkin God.’ Kosarich had set up an excellent back story/folklore world to draw the reader in. It was suggested that the reader read ‘Mister Jack’ first before the follow up and in this case I would 100% agree with that sentiment. Bits and pieces are alluded to throughout the story, but Kosarich dove in and wrote this with the mentality that any one reading this would’ve read ‘Mister Jack’ first.

So, fair warning, if you haven’t read ‘Mister Jack’ yet, some of this will be spoiler territory for that novella!

What I liked: The novel picks up not too long after the events in ‘Mister Jack.’ We find out that Tully survived the carnage from that Halloween night, but was badly burned. He now harbors pure hatred for Misty, even though she wasn’t involved or was more than a passing mentioned character in ‘Mister Jack.’ His hatred stems from the fact that Misty was like a grand daughter to ‘the witch.’

The book takes a bit to really get going. We see how the events of that night have played a role in the various students lives, as Mike and Maddie have gone off to College but Tully has remained behind, not wanting to go out into public due to his scars. He is now immersed in wanting to make a horror movie, and you guessed it, obsessed with the pumpkin god aka ‘Mister Jack.’

Kosarich did a great job of showing how different things around Tully work to annoy him, anger him and eventually churn him into an uncontrollable ball of hate.

I enjoyed how much of the story focused on Misty, particularly how she didn’t comprehend or understand why she was the focus of Tully’s rage, when she had no involvement in his injuries.

What I didn’t like: One thing I’m never a big fan of is the stunted or rushed ending and I found that ‘Night of the Pumpkin God’ suffered just that. While the action/climactic moments are satisfying, I wished less emphasis was placed on other random occurrences and more was dedicated to a bloody carnage closing scene.

Why you should buy it: As with ‘Mister Jack’ if you love Halloween folklore, this one will be right up your alley. Kosarich has some really gruesome death scenes throughout and the transformation we see from Tully’s character was great. This was a fun, quick read and Kosarich left the ending open just a smidge for another possible entry into this series.


Book Review: Mister Jack by Chris Kosarich

mister jack

Title: Mister Jack

Author: Chris Kosarich

Release date: October 12, 2018

I read ‘Roseblood’ from Chris last year and enjoyed it. Recently, I saw he was looking for reviewers for his upcoming release ‘Night of the Pumpkin God.’ I’ve always been a big fan of Halloween based folklore stories, see: ‘Dead Leaves’ by Kealan Patrick Burke, so I reached out.

At the start of ‘Night of the Pumpkin God’ there is a note that recommends you read ‘Mister Jack’ first, so I dove in and read it last night.

What I liked: This novella is a fast read. The story picks up on Halloween night. The local high school has a tradition – head to the old house on the outskirts of town, said to be the home of a witch, and egg it and toilet paper it. Snap a few pictures and you are adored by the students. It’s a straight forward premise and the beauty of Halloween horror is that the idea to get people into situations doesn’t change all that much. But, like most great Halloween stories, it’s what the author does from there that will set the story apart from the others.

I really loved the flow of this book and Kosarich crafts an excellent story. The three students end up meeting ‘the witch,’ an old woman who relishes her branding. She then tells the story of ‘Mister Jack,’ and this is where the narrative really takes off. It had me riveted and while you know at some point the hellish pumpkin headed fiend that is pictured on the cover will arrive, you really have no idea when.

What I didn’t like: This one is a short read, so some folks may long for a bit more lead in or action time. I found the pacing was spot on, but for the reader out there who really longs for the 400 pager, this may feel a bit rushed.

Why you should buy it: I mean, come on! Look at that cover. If you love Halloween folklore this thing is fantastic and you have two options here. You can purchase it on it’s own, which would allow you to have immediate access, or you can pre-order ‘Night of the Pumpkin God’ which includes this novella. I’ve included both links below, so decide which way you want to proceed, but either way, this is one I think you should definitely buy!

Now to dive into ‘Night of the Pumpkin God.’



Book Review: Night Train by David Quantick


Title: Night Train

Author: David Quantick

Release date: July 7th, 2020


‘Night Train’ by David Quantick was not on my radar at all, until I saw Tony Jones comment on a Twitter thread or Facebook post that he was reading it and was really enjoying it.

I jumped onto Netgalley to take a look and was intrigued by the cover, the synopsis but also the endorsement by Neil Gaiman. I was a bit worried about requesting it through Netgalley, as I’d been turned down more times than approved, so I kept my hopes low. When I got the notification that I had been approved, I was so excited! I dove into this one right away.

What I liked: ‘Night Train’ is just that – a locomotive out of control, barrelling down the tracks. This book was equal parts ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘1984.’ We are introduced to a woman, who awakens on a train. She has no idea how or why she is there and is even unsure of who she is. From there Quantick creates a truly engrossing and engaging claustrophobic story. I couldn’t stop reading this one. Usually I have five or six books on the go, but once I started this one, I had to read it before anything else. I wanted to know just what the heck was going on, who these characters were and as we begin to learn more and more about the back story, the world outside of the train and speed towards the finale, I was pulled in harder and harder.

Quantick has an Emmy win for his work on ‘Veep’ which means a lot of this is dialogue driven, which worked really well. The banter between the three characters that are ultimately introduced was fantastic and made them that much more relatable, especially as their individual back stories are shared.

The train itself, while not fully a character as the setting, also brings an added element. Truthfully, I sometimes get turned off by stories purely centered on action on trains, simply because that’s it, there is nowhere else to go, but Quantick quickly dispelled any reservations I had.

Lastly, the things that are encountered on the various train cars are fantastic and with the way this book ended, I sure hope we get a follow up.

What I didn’t like: One thing this book is lacking is ‘definitive answers.’ Ultimately, I think this will be the thing that will sway a reader whether they loved this book or it wasn’t for them. I ate it up, but that was the biggest thing I kept repeating to myself – I wanted just a bit more information, a bit more definition or details.

Why you should buy this: Titan Books continue to put out some truly stunning works and ‘Night Train’ is another fantastic addition. This book was thoroughly engrossing and as mentioned before, I simply couldn’t put it down. The characters were great and the dystopian/apocalyptic world outside of the train was mesmerizing. This was a winner from page one all the way until the end.


Book Review: Bleak Precision by Greg Chapman


Title: Bleak Precision

Author: Greg Chapman

Release date: June 12, 2020


Greg Chapman is a fantastic author, artist and illustrator. Many people know Greg as much for his cover work as they do with his writing, which makes it just as exciting when he decides to release a project like this.

‘Bleak Precision’ is a self released chapbook that Greg has created. Featuring eight stories, an essay and artwork, this is a stunning showcase of all of Greg’s talents.

What I liked: I’m a massive fan of Greg’s work and his novel ‘Netherkind’ is one of my all-time favorite releases. This showcases the variety of ways Greg is able to deliver his stories and it is a prime way for people to check out his work. The stand outs for me were ‘Kakophony’ and ‘Mongrels.’ The illustrations in this are amazing and with the knowledge that a comic book is on it’s way, is very exciting.

I also really enjoyed the included essay that had originally appeared over at Ink Heist. Always great to see a writer’s thoughts on ‘dark’ and ‘bleak.’

What I didn’t like: Well, frankly, something like this is a labor of love and I wouldn’t feel right critiquing it. Saying that, as with any short story collection, I wished for more with many of them, especially ‘Mongrels’ being a fan of that specific genre big time!

Why you should buy it: Usually at the end of my reviews, whether here or over on Kendall Reviews, you’ll find a buy link. This one is different. This can only be purchased by emailing Greg directly. You send him the funds, he emails you the digital book and it’s a win win – author gets paid, reader gets book. In this case, that is the very reason you should buy it. Greg is one of the truly stand-out nice guys in the Horror community and this is a very simple way of connecting direct with the author/artist and receiving a very cool chapbook.

To get your copy, email Greg! He can be reached at or you can DM him through any of his social media channels!




Book Review: Clownflesh by Tim Curran


Title: Clownflesh

Author: Tim Curran

Release date: May 31, 2019


At the end of 2019, Pete from Bloodshot Books sent me a list of 6 or 7 books he was wondering if I was interested in reviewing. Truthfully, I didn’t even read their synopsis’. Pete releases such high quality stuff and Bloodshot Books has always been super kind to me and thinking of me for possible reviews, so I took them all. After reading ‘Clownflesh’ I have one left from that batch!

I’d not read Tim Curran before, but he was always an author that people would recommend I check out. I do remember seeing the cover for this when it was announced and even back then it really didn’t strike me as one I thought was ‘yah’ or ‘meh.’

Having now read the book, the cover fits the story perfectly.

What I liked: This is a book that will either absolutely work for you or you’ll hate it from the get go. You’ll know within the first few chapters. How will you know? Well, the synopsis is this: Craw Falls, South Dakota gets slammed by a snow storm. As night descends murderous clowns sprout from the shadows and darkness to kill everyone as viciously as possible. That really is it. So, just how will you know if this will work for you? When you start reading this and you get to the first moment where a person realizes the thing stalking them and is about to murder them is a clown, you’ll either be scared out of your shell or you’ll start laughing. If you are scared, the rest of the book is such an amazing full-throttle, rock ’em sock’em thrill ride that you’re in for a treat. If you laugh… the rest of the book is going to come off lame and you just won’t enjoy it like you would if Curran was creeping you the hell out.

I loved how this book unfolded. I was extremely unnerved from page one. Something about a jingling sound in the distance, the wind carrying a stench, something moving and coming closer to a lone person in the snow – exhilarating. And Tim does it over and over and over again.

What I didn’t like: As much as I loved this story, it isn’t without some minor faults. Firstly, we get introduced to a man specifically in town to kill the clowns. Clegg is then locked up and for the majority of the book he remains in his cell, until finally released near the end. I felt a bit let down at the carnage he could’ve unleashed had he been re-introduced a bit earlier. Secondly, there really is no back story or ‘reason’ behind why the clowns have arrived. I was expecting a glorious mythology about them, but nothing.

Why you should buy it: Well, did you read the synopsis? I mean, killer clowns? If that at all interests you then this is a must buy! Otherwise, this features some truly cringe-worthy moments, some amazingly graphic deaths and Curran never lets up, not even at the explosive finale. I’m glad I didn’t pass on this one now. What a fun ride.