Lurking In The Shadows

Honest reviews for whatever I want to review.

Book Review: Not Your Average Monster! II

Not Your Average Monster 2 Cover - SMALL



Slithering, wriggling, lurking, and creeping. Leaving slick trails of pustulent slime behind them.

These aren’t your run-of-the-mill monsters populating the pages of this tome. No, these critters feed on the fear that bubbles up inside you when all appears lost and the scent of blood is on the wind. Now is the time to face these demons and read on.


19 more creatures gestated in the sick minds of:

Jared Oliver Adams
Richard Farren Barber
Shawn Francis
Marlena Frank
Wednesday Lee Friday
Leigh Harlen
Erin Michelle Jendras
B.T. Joy
Patrick Lacey
Sallie McDaniel
Logan Noble
Jenny Orosel
Michael Picco
Betty Rocksteady
Nisi Shawl
Meryl Stenhouse
John F.D. Taff
Johann Thorssen
Aaron Worth



When I read most collections, my standard review usually includes something like ‘I liked some, but not all…’ however, this is not most collections.  I can honestly say I liked every story in this collection of horror shorts.  Bloodshot Books did another excellent job in compiling some of the best short stories I’ve read.

From the beginning to the end, and everywhere in between, this collection is packed with great horror writing.  Each writer has a little different spin on horror, and their distinctive writing styles just add to the enjoyment.  These, along with the first installment of Not Your Average Monster, are both essential reads if you enjoy supporting your Indie Horror Authors.  You won’t regret it.

5 of 5 stars

Book Review: The Selection by Jason Nugent



Humans colonized the planet Kepler 186f after Earth’s near total global collapse. Soon after, supply missions ended leaving the colonists to themselves, renaming the planet Anastasia and building a new society far different than Earth’s.

As population imbalance threatened stability in the settlements, a horrific and brutal institution known as The Selection was created.

Centuries later, haunted by the screams of his dead older brother, eighteen year-old Eron fears the unknown terror waiting for him and all boys his age in The Selection. He has thirty days to survive to Victory Point and reunite with his crush Mina. He will have to endure brutal circumstances and forge unlikely alliances if he’s to survive The Selection.

Time is short. Threats are constant. Survival means life. Failure means death—or worse.


The Selection by Jason Nugent was an entertaining, quick read.  This is a book similar to the Hunger Games genre, but with a nice twist.  Eron, the main character, isn’t prepared for the Selection; a necessary event all boys of a certain age must go through.  So when it finally happens, he is in for a shock.

Excellent writing style, great character development, and an entertaining story; I read it quickly.  I’ve already enjoyed the authors other stories, and this one did not let me down.  On a personal note, I am not a huge fan of this genre (or sub-genre…whatever you want to call it). But, similar to the Hunger Games, I couldn’t put it down.

There is some violence in this book, so a more mature audience is recommended; upper teens would be okay, I think.

4 of 5 Stars

Author Interview: Jessica Williams

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Today on the blog, I am going to interview a great author, very talented artist and a good friend of mine…though we’ve never met in person!  Jessica Williams and I met through the Dragon’s Rocketship a couple years ago, and we’ve stayed in touch through my leaving social media and my blog hack and destruction.  Well, she has a new book out, so it’s time for an interview!

Welcome Jessica!

So, can you please tell the audience about yourself?

Sure! I’m a stay-at-home mom with three crazy kids and seven completely insane cats…all indoors. Before that (once upon a time), I was a graphic designer and illustrator that actually got paid for my work. I gave that up to be a full-time mom and haven’t looked back. Luckily, that led me into spending more time doing something that I never thought I’d love so much – writing!

When did you start writing? What motivates you to do so? What inspires your writing?

Technically, I suppose I started writing back in high school, which I won’t tell you how long ago that was. But it was pretty terrible stuff, all hand written and beyond cliche. I got more serious about it in college. I’m not sure what motivates me other than really enjoying giving a character a life and purpose. But inspiration would definitely come from all the fantasy movies and books I’ve experienced. I also get a lot of inspiration from my artwork and include many of them in my writing.

Imagia…this is the world you have created.  Please tell us a little bit about this magical place?

Well, let’s see. It’s a world that was born of the imagination from children in the real world (Earth). As the world grew, so did the lore and wild ways of the land. It is a place meant to give a child a true adventure while their parents are none the wiser. As they grow, their adventure becomes nothing more than a memory of a dream. At least, this is what it was meant to be…until darkness tainted its purpose.

The Gathering is the second book in the Gateway to Imagia series.  Without giving too much away, can you give the reader a idea what they have in store with this great book?

Hmm…well that’s tough. In the first book, the main character, Sam, was only ten years old. This book takes place several years after the first with Sam as a teenager with powers that he struggles dealing with. It’s a bit darker than the first one, in my opinion, with the first one being lighter fantasy. I’d say it’s more mature than book one, but that’s what growing up is like. Only, most teenagers can’t destroy large buildings with their minds.

Sam Little is the main character, I’d like to ask Sam a few questions.  Sam, what is your favorite aspect of Imagia and why?

That’s easy. My friends. I don’t have to pretend to be something that I’m not when I’m there. They all know me really well…more than anyone back home. And my Guardian, Yetews? Yeah…he’s pretty awesome. You should meet him sometime.

Another question for Sam; when you imagine something, where does that come from?  Is it simply something you create, or do you take bits and pieces from other things you’ve seen, experienced? Quite simply, how do you imagine?

Um…well…I don’t think I can really explain it very well. But I guess…well…as things are happening, I just have to picture what I want to create in my mind and really believe that it’s there and then suddenly…it is. But I have limits. I can’t imagine food for some reason. It’s annoying.  Because I really miss pizza.

Okay, Jessica…fun question.  If you could imagine one thing and add it to the world we live in, what would it be? A new animal? A new invention? A new location?

Oh goodness! Definitely a new animal. Now the question is, how would I choose? I’d love to imagine a creature that can translate everything that animals say so that I could speak to them. That would either be really fun, or end terribly. And I’d probably never eat meat again!

You are also an illustrator.  Can you tell us about your illustrations? Were you an illustrator before you were a writer?

I actually started drawing very early and loved it. I never ever thought “Hey, I’m totally going to be a writer one day.” But I did think I’d go somewhere with my art…which is probably why I went to school and got my B.F.A in graphic design and illustration. My illustration is mostly fantasy and photo-realism. I love drawing animals (horses are one of my favorites). But leave me alone with my imagination and I can come up with tons of crazy creatures!

The internet is an amazing thing.  It can bring people that live on opposite sides of the world, or just a few states over, together.  We became friends through a great FB group.  Tell me, how have you used social media in your writing?

Unsuccessfully. Ha! Is that an appropriate answer? Truthfully, I’m terrible with the social media gig. Partly it’s because I’m still stuck in the 1980’s when social media didn’t exist. I can barely operate my phone on a good day. I try, but don’t have much success with it. Maybe when I’m a famous millionaire writer that will change.

A second part to the above question involves promotion.  Are they any things you have tried that worked for promoting your books?  Anything that didn’t work?

The only promoting I’ve really done that worked wasn’t online. I did a program with elementary aged students at a school. I gave a presentation and sent postcards to anyone who read my books. As word spread in the school, I actually sold more books than I ever did through an online promotion or anything like that. Being friendly with librarians helps them promote for you. Postcards were fun to do, but unfortunately I have giant stacks of them left over and nothing to do with them. Something that didn’t work? My facebook page. I don’t think I’ve gotten one new sale from that at all. But I keep trying!

What are your plans for the future?  Anything you can tell us about?

I’m working on the third book to the Imagia series and also a series of short stories that would be a companion piece to the trilogy. I also write and illustrate childrens books. I have two published and am working on a new one about fire safety with a dragon called Oliver. I’m hopeful to get in contact with our local firestation and use the book as a way to raise money for firefighters.

And finally, the big question I ask to end every interview.  It’s very cliché, but I have to ask it.  What advice would you give a young (or old) author/artist out there just starting out?

Don’t get stuck on the big picture or a big paycheck. If you’ve touched one mind with whatever you’ve created – art or writing – then you’re successful. If you consistently ask yourself, “What if people don’t like it?”, then you’re going to start hating what you do and give up. Create because you enjoy it, not to please everyone. Because you can never ever please everyone. Also, have another writer or illustrator friend that you can count on to read your stuff and visa versa. I’ve noticed that it helps keep you from hating your stuff and giving up altogether. Maybe like a creative accountability partner, for lack of a better term. (Thanks for all your help by the way, Mike!)

Jessica, thank you for taking the time to talk with us.  We wish you great success on your new book, and in the future.

Thanks for having me! It’s always a pleasure!

If you want to follow Jessica, please click on the links below.


Author Page





New Release: The Selection by Jason Nugent


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Jason Nugent is one of my favorite authors, and this is his very first full-length novel.  By all means, go check it out.  Got my copy on pre-order. You should get yours today!



21st Century Wonder Stories: Call For Submissions

Sounds cool.


We are looking for 21st Century Pulp Revival stories. 

Who’s we?  Well, there’s me, Rawle Nyanzi,  Kevyn Winkless, and Sky Hernstrom. There is also a good chance that, once complete, the anthology will be published by Superversive Press.

Right now payment details haven’t been worked out, but I’ll be honest, this collection is not likely to be a money maker.  The goal of the anthology is to promote the Pulp ideals and the authors involved.  I’ll post more details when I have them.

What is meant by 21st Century Pulp Revival? Rawle came up with this list, which I have expanded on somewhat:

1) The setting must be contemporary Earth. No “Twenty minutes into the future,” no 1950s/60s period pieces, and no alternate history. Stories should be set in the world that you see outside your window.  No time travel, space travel, or dimension hopping. 


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Promotion: The Selection by Jason Nugent

In today’s post, I introduce you to a few characters you’ll meet in my new novel The Selection. The Selection follows the trials of a boy named Eron (pronounced Aaron). He starts as a seventeen year old boy facing his turn in the Selection once he turns eighteen. Eron is smart, though his grades often […]

via “The Selection” – Characters — (Almost) Average

Flash Fiction: Clarabelle

This is a very short story I wrote yesterday.  This one woke me up in the middle of the night.  I had to email myself so I’d remember it. Not really scary, so to speak, but interesting. Hope you like it.


The sound of cracking wood and shattering window panes woke Clarabelle from her slumber.  These were not the normal sounds heard when visitors came to call.  Smoothing out her dress, she moved herself into just the right position to be seen when whoever it was entered the room.  She was desperately lonely, and was surprised at how excited she was at the prospect of a visitor.

As the rumbling in the other rooms continued, Clarabelle thought on her life and how she had gotten into this state.  You see, Clarabelle was a doll, but not just any doll.  She was a possessed doll.  Yes, just like Annabelle, the other possessed doll.  Just the thought of her hated cousin made her mad.  Annabelle got all the press; she was the famous possessed doll.  No one had ever heard of Clarabelle the possessed doll.  When people thought of Clarabelle, they thought of that damn cow from Disney©.

Clarabelle thought back on her memories of all the years she’d waited in this abandoned home, hoping for another family to come live there.  Her last owner hadn’t stayed long.  Clarabelle was, in her opinion, a very good creepy doll.  She’d move her head just so, and blink eyes at just the right time, to scare the living daylights out of her owner.  But something had gone wrong with her last owner.  For some reason, it appeared that the children were growing bolder, more wise to the world around them.  They just didn’t scare as much as they used to.  She had even been forced to sit through a movie about her cousin; that had been one of the low points of Clarabelle’s career as a possessed doll.  So, when the family had left, they simply abandoned her with the home.

A shaft of light broke through the closed bedroom door, but it was not at all what Clarabelle had expected.  A huge metallic tooth crushed the doorway, frame and all, allowing Clarabelle her first view of the outside world in a long time.  Though possessed, she wasn’t tall enough to reach the door knob; possession had it’s limits.  The huge yellow and silver machine stopped it’s forward progress through the wall of the room.  A door opened, and a grown man hopped out of the cab.  No, not at all what Clarabelle had expected.

Usually, her visitors had been teenagers entering the house on a dare.  It had been great fun scaring them over the years, but she had always hoped for a new owner; someone to call her own.  And as the man approached, she felt her hopes being dashed once again.

“What do we have here?” said the man to himself.

“Why’d you stop Max?” yelled another man from outside, barely audible over the roar of the heavy machinery.

“I found something in here Frank.  I wanted to check it out.”

“Get back to work Max. We’re behind schedule as it is.”

“Alright, alright, but I’m not leaving this beauty behind.”

Clarabelle was shocked.  He was talking about her.  He had actually said she was a beauty.  Her spirits soared as a new hope arose within.  Maybe he had a daughter at home.  Maybe she would finally get what she wanted; a new home.

The man tossed her in the back of the cab and continued to demolish the last home Clarabelle had known.  That was okay.  He had called her a beauty.  She’d have a place of honor in his home for sure.  But when the man was done, he loaded the large back hoe on the back of a semi-trailer and grabbed Clarabelle.  But instead of putting her in the cab of the truck, he walked to the front and, using heavy duty tie wires, strapped her to the front of the truck grill.

“Why do you do that to those poor dolls Max?” asked Frank.

“Because I like them.  Heck, they get to see the world this way,” responded Max with an evil laugh.

As Max climbed up into the cab, Clarabelle turned her head, just slightly, and saw that she was not the only doll on the truck grill.  There were at least three others tied up, covered in bug guts.  At first, Clarabelle was very disappointed, but as the truck rolled down the road, a smile came to her lips.  Her new owner Max was right.  It was definitely a way to see the world, and the world had changed a lot in the last few decades.  And it wasn’t really so bad, except for the bugs.  Those weren’t that fun.





Guest Blog: Jen Ponce

Jen Ponce, one of my favorite Indie Authors, has stopped by to talk about her new book, Burning the Devil.

Welcome to the blog Jen!

Hello! My name is Jen Ponce and I write about the things that go bump in the night and the women who kick the asses of those things. My female characters aren’t always physically tough, but they’re emotionally or mentally tough enough to kill bad guys with their minds. Check out my Kickass Woman’s Manifesto for more on what I think about strong women!


Is that weird?

I’m here to talk a little about my newest story, a psychological horror story called Burning the Devil.

This book started as a dream, as my books often do. This was a bit unusual as I dreamt what I thought was the whole story from beginning to end. It was compelling and I couldn’t stop thinking about it … but when I tried to write it, I realized I didn’t have an ending.

Fast forward six years later when I worked on it for almost all of 2016. The toil was worth it–I found my ending. It wasn’t anything I’d imagined, but it fit and I hope it takes you to dark and chilling places as it does my main character.

What’s the story about?

To get the good, you’ve got to pay.

Mechanic Gwen Colburn knows this better than most, so when charismatic megastar Neo Tucker walks into her life, she doesn’t trust the glitter of admiration in his eyes or the sweet words on his lips. It’s only when a demonic killer from her past begins to stalk her and the bodies pile up that she realizes he’s the only sane thing left for her to hold onto.

Rumors of supernatural murders have dogged Neo ever since he became famous but it wasn’t until he met Gwen that it mattered. She’s the one he’s been waiting for all his life and all he has to do is help her learn to trust him. Too bad someone close to him wants to make sure he never gets the chance to find out just how perfect she is.
Gwen and Neo must fight to get what they desire most. The only question is whether either of them will live long enough to enjoy it.

Don’t forget–I’m a tricksy devil.

Things in the story aren’t always what they seem.

About the Author

Jen lives in the Panhandle of Nebraska, with her boys, her cats, her goldfish Reggie and a large supply of books that help insulate the house in the winter and expand her mind.

She loves connecting on Twitter and Facebook. Visit to figure out how to do all of the above.

Jen. Writer of kick ass women and oogy monsters.


Kindle Scout 2 Yr Anniversary – $0.99 Sale!

The Behrg is an excellent author. Can’t wait to give his first book a read. I’ve read some others and know this one has to be good.

The Behrg Writes ...

Hard to believe it’s been two years since my debut novel, HOUSEBROKEN, was published through Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. I still remember the anxiety of going through that 30 day campaign … the hopes, the frustration, and the eventual bliss and validation in having my novel selected for publication.

HousebrokenSince then, HOUSEBROKEN has gone on to be a #1 Amazon best-selling novel, both in the US and UK, for horror-suspense. The Kindle Scout program has, within this same time period, launched over 250 books, some to incredible success and others to lack-luster results, but publishing has never been a perfect science. It continues to be a great way for readers to discover new books and authors (and be rewarded for your efforts), while helping to launch careers and offer alternative options for authors these days.

To celebrate 2 years of the program’s success, Kindle Press is offering a sale…

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