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Blood From The Quill Paperback – 31 Mar 2016
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Next to Crime Fiction, Horror is my second favourite genre to read. Throw a bit of Gothic into the mix and I am easily persuaded to read! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the genre, let me share a few thoughts and you may find you are more familiar with it than you first thought!
Gothic horror combines fiction and horror in such a way that it can almost be described as a pleasing type of terror. The type of fear that thrills you to the core. The likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker….sound familiar? There is a beauty within the writings of these authors that gives you goosebumps but leaves you with a feeling of…well…an absolutely, heart-racing, blood-surging tremor of emotion rushing through your veins.
Blood From the Quill does not disappoint in its aim to give the reader the feelings of sheer terror and pleasure as you read each of the short stories within this anthology. The settings are eery, gloomy and can almost be described as a character itself. The plots vary from story to story but each have the underlying themes of loss, fear, sadness and in some cases a longing for something which cannot be found. The settings are perfect: in the dark of night, cold and dreary atmosphere –all the right boxes are ticked.
A few of the stories stood out more for me than others and I think they deserve a mention! The first being The Rotting Orchids by James Wilson. Really enjoyed this story. In fact, I wished it had been longer as it verged more on the horror side but still had the description which draws the reader in. This story tells the tale of murder. But when the brother and a group of locals go to confront the murderer after barricading him into the house…well…they are in for a shock. You will have to read it for yourself to get the full picture as I don’t want to give any spoilers away…but I could definitely see this being fleshed out into a novella on its own.
Another fave in this little gem of a book was Her Voice In the Rain by Patrick Welsh. I really enjoyed this one. I immediately thought of a banshee when the story began and loved how the voice was revealed through letters from the protagonist’s Uncle who had recently passed.. It was eery, haunting but also mesmerising. I did not want it to end.
A Dubious Honour by Victoria Watson was also a story that gripped me. Parts of the story reminded me of the Stone Angels in an old Dr Who episode. That episode scared the bejesus out of me so when I visualised that while reading this story at midnight last night….let’s just say my insomnia is not what kept me awake!
And finally, Where Evil Lies by Kay Stewart and The Follower by James A.Tucker were also pretty bloody awesome! I felt these had more of the horror element with a hint of the Gothic theme throughout. Both evoked feelings of fear, tingles and chills for very different reasons. The descriptions alone placed you right in the pages of these stories.
So there you have it #bookjunkies! For those of you who like to dabble in the horror genre, this book is definitely well worth a read. I am off to download the previous anthology Thrills ‘N’ Chills for another fear fix! Head over to Amazon to grab yourself a copy…but prepare yourself for some goosebumps and spine-tingling moments!
Jon Wigglesworth - Blood from the quill. Feels as though I am reading Edgar allen poe in the here and now. Fantastic imagery and concept. A great mood setter for the stories to follow.
Gail lawler - the midnight terror - the first two paragraphs felt as though she knows me as she described EXACTLY how i feel about the darkness and walking around at night. Although it quickly became apparent that she wasn't describing me at all...
James Wilson - The Rotting Orchids - absolutely torn morally by this one as I really like the excerpt from John Spindleford's travel journal and wonder if that proposed 1840 method would work well today. However, still not sure if it's just desserts or just a horrifying and evil punishment. Very intriguing.
Emma Whitehall - after reading last sentence got goosebumps on the arm. I read this on the hottest day of the year so giving someone chills in 30 degree heat is impressive. Really creepy *shudders*
Andrew Atkinson - the night stalker - another shudder and chills in this blistering heat whilst reading this story. I used to enjoy night time walks but it may be time to change hobbies. Creepy stuff.
Patrick Welsh - Her voice in the rain - A tale that reminds me of that awful sense of foreboding lingering in stories such as 'The Woman in black'. One of those situations where you simultaneously want and don't want to know to know the horrible truth. I really hope it doesn't rain tonight..
Victoria Watson - A dubious honour - We've all been here before. Late night binge of netflix horror films or a scary book and you can't turn the lights out... always imagining something going bump in the night. This story has had the same effect. What happens if all those horror stories written weren't works of fiction. What happens if they were diaries or warnings... could reading them unlock some kind of other worldly presence? Horror isn't just from a bygone era. Victoria Watson brings it up to date and into your bedroom!
Harry Gallagher - the curse of the great eastern - A wondeful, gruesome poem about The SS Great Eastern. Reminds me of James Herbert's 'The Fog' and a gruesome legacy regarded as legend to some but fact to the forgotten few.
Karen Naylor - The mirror - Every morning I use my 'vanity mirror' when I'm getting ready for work and I walk up a gravel path. Every morning from now on, I'll wish I didn't have to. Great creepy story.
John Pearson - Dead Man's corner - The authors read these stories aloud on Halloween infront of an audience. After the reading of this tale I would have been torn by going to see the cellar, going to the bar or just getting the hell out of there. Very apt that I'm reading this in July after the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. I half expect to hear Blind Eddie coming into my local. Tap tap.. tap tap..
Kay Stewart - where evil lies - Agghhh. Just Agghh. Think this lady and myself share a similar fear. I found myself reading this one whilst holding my breath. I'll say no more.
James A Tucker - The follower -Wrapping up the creepy collection is a fantastic story of love, fear and spooky goings on. A pefect story to complete this collection.
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