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Wait and Bleed
by: Rocky Rochford
-"Don't Turn Around"
Wait and Bleed is a collection of 3 related stories. They managed to seek out some pretty dark aspects of my own personality. Great writing will do that to you.
“Don’t Say a Word” and “Don’t Even Blink” are good, but I didn’t enjoy how the last story ended (I liked Jack, with all his insanity). Still, I think it was a great demonstration of the author’s skills to have convincing, varying points of view.
To put it simply however,“Don’t Turn Around” is by far the best work in the collection. While the other stories are also great and adds some layers to the character and overall plot, the writing style from “Don’t Turn Around” is the most pure example of the author’s voice. He snatches you from your comfortable reading-chair and forces you in the middle of his deranged world, and trust me, you won’t soon forget it. He shows his very distinct style in how he portrayed Jack, who in my opinion is a deep romantic surrounded by millions of psychotic tendencies. It is a most peculiar combination, but it is pulled off beautifully in a sort of modernized ‘gothic novel meets unstable serial killer’ sort of way.
There is a lot of honesty and openness in his writing, underneath the gore, underneath the insanity. I fully enjoyed it and recommend it for anybody.
by: A.E. Santana, Angelique Fawns, Brandon Mead, Charlotte Platt, Chrissy Moon, Erika Lance, FD Gross, George Alan Bradley, Jeremy Rodden, Jessica Chaleff, K. Walker, Kerilyn Blake, Kerry Evelyn, Kim Plasket, Larry Griffin, M.B. Meraki, Ross Ellison, Stephen Herczeg, Teresa Edmond-Sargeant, Valerie Puri.
So, wow! This ended up being a great collection. With the exception of FD Gross, every author here was new to me.The Devil’s Due by Kerilyn Blake and Tilt-A-Whirl by M.B. Meraki were my favorite scary stories – I was blown away by those. G & Z’s Haunted House by Jeremy Rodden was by far the most charming. Really though there was something I loved about each story. Brief details below (as spoiler-free as possible).
Welcome by Kim Plasket:
Very lovely intro. I love how the author seems to speak for all stories. It kind of pulls all the stories together even before you’ve read them. Sets the tone. The perspective is especially appreciated; it really pulls you in.
Cotton Candy Caper by Kerry Evelyn:
Creative. I love that the author puts in a message of hope. For some reason I can see this happening on an episode of Supernatural. Which is obviously a good thing! lol
G & Z’s Haunted House by Jeremy Rodden:
This one made me LOL consistently throughout. It has lots of charm that doesn’t let up once. I would definitely recommend this author to anyone who wants to be entertained. 5/5
Sometimes Ignorance Is Not Bliss by K. Walker:
Pretty good character development. Overall a funny story about demon culture that I appreciated.
A Tasty Festival by Angelique Fawns:
Great storytelling and yes, a bit creepy to boot. Nothing overly complicated, just a nice fright, short and sweet.
Here’s to the Future by Jessica Chaleff:
Enjoyable. This had a “Tales from the Crypt” vibe, especially regarding karma being dealt to a snooty person. I think it had just the right amount of pacing to keep you from getting bored.
Beauty Forever More by Ross Ellison:
I enjoyed this story from the beginning and didn’t expect the ending. It left me with a foreboding feeling which is always a great thing.
Dead Man’s Carnival by Valerie Puri:
I was pleasantly surprised by this story, which I loved. Great tale and one you may think about long after you’ve read it.
The Seventh Time is Worth a Try by Teresa Edmond-Sargeant:
A supernatural tale that could have taken place on the show Charmed. Accurately depicts the cycle of some couples being stuck in bad relationships.
It Isn’t Bobby by Erika Lance:
I liked it from the beginning as it has a smooth flow, making it enjoyable and easy to read. Also a really good character setup. In such a small amount of time, the author was able to give you a good rundown on both of these girls’ personalities. As far as the story itself, it made me think and read the story again. Memorable; great job.
Cervantes the Puppet Master by FD Gross:
It’s little surprise that I enjoyed this story, as FD Gross is one of my favorite authors and I am familiar with his style. In spite of this, however, while reading this story I had forgotten he was the author, which is a nod to his versatility. Really impressive. This story is different than his novels, but just as engaging. He has the uncanny ability to pull you into his world.
Don’t Make Waves by Charlotte Platt:
Immediately I was struck by the author’s constant and lovely descriptions. This story truly creeped me out in a fresh new way; I wasn’t expecting to find what I did here. It’s a story that made me uncomfortable down to the core, in a way that I strangely appreciate. I wish this would be made into a novel.
Deep Fried by George Alan Bradley:
A lot of fun to read, very immersive, just the right amount of descriptions given. The story leaves you feeling satisfied, amused, and horrified all at once.
Be Nice by AE Santana:
This story was pretty interesting. After I read it, I felt like I had to read it again. Quite a clever story.
Tilt-A-Whirl by M.B. Meraki:
I was really impressed with this one. One could say it was a perfect story: short and sweet, doesn’t go too deep into the paranormal aspect of it, doesn’t try to cover too much, but gives you just a taste so while the ending is quite satisfying, it leaves you craving more. I loved the turns the story took and everything was unexpected. It made me flip back and re-read some things to get a better understanding.
The Mirror Maze by Stephen Herczeg:
Devilishly delightful. Written very cinematically so it’s quite easy to imagine in your head. Enjoyable.
The Devil’s Due by Kerilyn Blake:
Wow! This one was really good. I love it when an author writes something that puts a new spin on everything you’ve just read. Perfectly done and very well executed. And what an imagination. I love it.
The Architect Scorned by Larry Griffin:
Quite an engaging story and probably the best character-building in this anthology. The main character is fascinating. I wouldn’t mind a prequel to gain some more insight on the MC.
Tourist by Brandon Mead:
Ha! This one was great and so indulgent. I loved this unique style and exceedingly clever narration. The author is quite skilled.
by: Michael J. Elliott
Okay...I have to be completely honest. I LOVED this story.
The author's descriptions allow you to completely see the story in your head, and they are well done. The pacing is perfect. What I loved was that I could not predict much of what happened, which meant I was surprised, which I enjoyed. The characters are very distinct from one another.
When I got to the end and read everything, I realized that this is not a novel - if that were the case everything about it would have been pretty different. It's shorter than a novel and my first thought after finishing reading was that this totally could have been an episode of "Tales from the Crypt," which I loved a lot when I was younger. It's wickedly dark with retribution playing a big role, and it leaves you with a haunted kind of feeling. Call me weird, but I like having this feeling. It is the sign of a good storyteller.