The Boyfriend: Every Parents Worst Nightmare by D.E. McCluskey

Lisa is a young teenager experiencing love for the first time with Sean. He does everything right while wooing Lisa and getting in her parents graces.

What they don’t know is it’s all a rouse. Sean has other sinister plans in his mind that he and a partner have devised.

Sean’s “game” is absolutely brutal. It was hard to get through some scenes as my imagination took over and I felt every impact given as I read. McCluskey describes the scenes in such vivid detail that you feel like you are there as the reader watching as the abuse unfolds.

This is not for the light hearted. This book is full of triggers and some very hard core scenes. The opening chapter starts with a bang and sucks you into the story immediately. The story felt very real to me although I’ve never personally experienced anything like this. The sadistic nature of Sean and the fear and shame of Lisa are realistic of abusive relationships reminding us that unfortunately some people actually live this. Some are lucky enough to get out and get help, while others are not and stay in the cycle of abuse.

This story is a wild ride. I really enjoyed how the story played out in the end. If you are ready for the hard core, jump right in!


Congratulations on Your Hatred by Charles R. Bernard

Many people have tried to rule the world over centuries. This is the story of a scientist who has created a being that can do just that. The being receives a set of instructions, a sort of what to do and not do, to guide them in this take over.

Although given an explicit set of instructions, will this being follow them? Read this and find out!

I found this story odd at first but as the instructions were laid out, I began to understand the meaning of why this was being done. I felt like it had some sci-fi vibes with a little Lovecraft thrown in. It was very familiar and also rebellious! The horror is to imagine what life would be like if these instructions were really followed!


Graven Image by Maxwell Bauman

Stewart is a high schooler with a passion for art. His teacher has been overly supportive of his love for art and has left him a special project at the back of the room.

Stewart begins this special project and notices a change in himself. He loses track of time, yet feels an overwhelming need to work on the project again. He loves the feel of this clay. It’s different than anything he’s ever worked with so he shapes it as the instructions direct him to. Little does he know the danger that awaits him!

Graven image is a fun story. Bauman really captured the teenage cliques very well. Kids are mean and Bauman shows that in Stewart’s interactions with other students. The author brings old world Jewish mythology to life without really explaining the full meaning of what the implications are. But the story still works and for those of us that know the Jewish mythology, we know. I liked it. It was a good change of pace from what I have been reading.


Babble by Douglas Ford

Babble is a story about a divorced Mom trying to do what she thinks is best for her toddler. Frustrated from trying to understand his gibberish, she gets him a speech therapist that has her own ideas about what this speech is. Could a two year old really be talking in Latin?

As she struggles to make sense of it all, she’s fighting a custody battle with her ex who thinks the kid is the way he is because of her upbringing. But what they don’t know is that the child is special. He’s been chosen.

This story did not go the way I thought it would! Ford does a glorious job of twisting and turning this story in such a short length of time. I’m finding his stories tend to surprise me on a regular basis! This is a fast read and very enjoyable! Go check out this chapbook published by Madness Heart Press!


Bestial by Lucas Mangum

Bestial is a story about four high school buddies getting together for a guys week to escape from reality for a bit. Each of them has followed their own paths in life and been successful, while others have struggled to find their path.

All seems to be going well until they hear what sounds like a pack of wolves in the distance. Then again a lot closer. Then someone unexpected shows themselves to the group and tells a wild tale of wolves, rituals and werewolves.

Bestial is one of those stories that grabs you and will not let go. Mangum does a fantastic job with giving just enough background on each character to make the reader invested in the story. Once it gets rolling, it continues to the end. I love how his characters are relatable and it’s easy to understand what they’re battling with internally because it could happen to anyone. This is a short read, but definitely worth the time! Go pick this one up!


The Hanging Man by Derek Muk

The Hanging Man is a story that takes us back to our college days and Fraternity/Sorority atmosphere. Professor Taylor is a teacher at the school who also dabbles in paranormal research.

There was a murder several years ago related to a hazing incident that has never been solved. Strange events are happening and the professor can only think it’s the ghost of the murdered student causing the disturbances.

The professor and his graduate student initiate their own investigation into the murder of the hazed student. Will they learn the truth or will the Fraternity code keep the truth locked up forever?

I really enjoyed this story. It was a fast read that built the suspense that made me want to keep turning pages. I am looking forward to reading more by Derek Muk in the future!

This is a great thriller/horror without the extreme element that brings attention to the fact that hazing is still going on today. It may be illegal, but many campus organizations are continuing to promote the practices and elitist attitudes behind closed doors. Published by Gloom House Publishing, it’s out now! Go check it out!


Gush by Gina Ranalli

Vaginal horror is not one of those subjects I’ve ever read before until this book. Gush is seven very creative stories that will make you squirm whether you are a man or a woman! All of the stories are great, but her are a few recaps of my favorites.

“Gush Run” is a story about friends. One friend gets into trouble and the others have to brave the “deluge” of liquid falling from the sky to go to his aid. What an adventure they experience!

“Grotesque” is a story about a young girl named Amy who suffers verbal abuse by her family. She’s often ill and her family shows no concern for her. She soon learns why she’s not been feeling well.

“The Nethermouth” is a gripping tale that incorporates folk lore and and old world monster. Ronna has a need, a hunger that she must fulfill while hiding her secret from her live in girlfriend. The hunger makes life with a girlfriend complicated. I really enjoyed this story a lot!

“Thrush” is a horrifying tale of a woman who suffers from an infection. This story takes us step by step as Caroline deals with her ailment as it runs its course. This one made me squirm as I read it!

Rinalli’s use of descriptors really takes these stories to another level. You feel the pain, see the injuries and sympathize with the suffering these characters go through. Published by Madness Heart Press, go get this one now!


The End of Daze by Andrew Fox

A whirlwind of science fiction, religion, politics, and the unimaginable bombing of one of the holiest places on earth are intertwined in this story.

Jacob was raised in the Jewish faith in New Orleans and has been working to finish his graduate studies at Tulane. Little does he know that the world is about to change and he has a bigger role to play that will make him question everything he’s ever known about religion and life.

He manages to help a friend who is working on a secret project of artificial intelligence that can evolve! Evolution is happening faster than what is expected. Are you ready for the End of Daze?

This book is full of raw emotion and pits religions against each other. Fighting in the holy land has been happening for centuries, but this goes to a whole new terrifying level. Some people will be very upset, others will look at it as what it is, a story. It’s up to the reader to decide how they let the emotions affect them and how vested in the characters they allow themselves to be. This is a different type of storytelling than what I am used to. Some parts were hard to read, but still overall enjoyable. Give it a shot and see if you can handle what transpires in End of Daze!


Whispers of the Dead Saint by John Baltisberger

Whispers of the Dead Saint is a dark fantasy tale that takes place in a medieval setting. This is a time when superstition and fear run rampant and every new face that arrives is automatically held in suspicion.

A hunter finds himself in a precarious situation where he has to make a choice to complete a mission or choose to be taken out of this world. He’s assigned a group of mercenaries to accompany him if he decides to take on the mission.

Rumors, ghosts, people disappearing, paranoia, and undead wastelands are all parts of this mission should they choose to accept it. What whispers will they hear that go bump in the night?

Baltisberger draws us in, gets us invested and then draws us in again by allowing other characters to share about their past experiences. This is a really well done dark fantasy and I enjoyed the graphic drawings of the setting and characters at the end of each chapter.

Go get this quick read coming soon from Madness Heart Press! I think I enjoyed it so much because it’s different than what I usually read.


Damned Lazy by Christine Morgan

Damned Lazy is a story that comes from the case files of Morgan’s Matt Brimstone P.I. Series. Brimstone is hired to find a missing “kid” whose parents swear did not run away.

Brimstone and his trusty side kick take on the case and quickly discover not all the answers are in our realm. Morgan does a great job giving us background on the Brimstone series to help give those of us that have not read them some context. It’s just enough to get us through the story, but makes the reader interested in checking out the series too!

Can Brimstone maintain his reputation and solve the case or is this a little more than he can handle? Check out this pocketbook published by Madness Heart Press!