Monday, October 15, 2018

Book Review | The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of flash fiction from Calvin Demmer.



The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.

The Sea Was a Fair Master was such a fun read. I want more!

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 flash fiction stories. I have been toting these stories around for a few weeks now reading them when I had just enough time for bite size chunks. I'm going to have withdrawals now that I have finished the last story.

I always feel like the shorter the story is, the harder it must have been to write. I'm really impressed that Calvin Demmer was able to intrigue me and entertain me with such short selections.

If you are in the market for some wicked little stories, The Sea Was a Fair Master is a great collection to pick up.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by author

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | October 14

It's been a few weeks since I did a proper update post so hopefully this won't be too long!

If you are on Instagram, the Ladies of Horror Fiction team is hosting a 1K followers giveaway of The Haunting of Hill House and Rebecca. Thank you to everyone who follows our IG account! (Are you going to read Rebecca with us in November?)




Finished Reading




The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie ⭐⭐ - I'm not sure if I'll post a full review for this one. My biggest problem was the main character - I hated her. I just wasn't very into this one.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King ⭐⭐ - I was hoping 20 years of being an adult since the first time I read this would change how I felt about it. Unfortunately, I may have liked this book even less this time around. I'm going to keep my original rating, but I'm feeling ⭐ about it. Bag of Bones is one of my least favorite King novels.

The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I loved this one! I hope Calvin Demmer is still writing flash fiction because I need MOAR. I will have a review out for this one this week.

Baal by Robert McCammon ⭐⭐⭐ - I know. This is definitely the first time I've given McCammon only three stars. I'll try to review this one soon.

HWA Poetry Showcase Volume V edited by Stephanie M. Wytovich ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was a great collection of poetry. I will have a review out for this one later this week, as well.

Currently Reading



Exploring Dark Short Fiction #1: A Primer to Steve Rasnic Tem by Eric J. Guignard - I am loving this collection of Steve Rasnic Tem stories.

Recent Aquisitions



The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by Brandon Sanderson - It's October and everyone is finally reading horror, and I'm over here craving Fantasy! 😂

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell - A little bit of trivia: almost 9 years ago Swamplandia was the very first book I blogged about here on Book Den. It was a wishlist post. Nine years later I finally own a copy. I think that was pretty much a great representation of my blog to come.

Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross by Alex Ross - Thank you so much to Pantheon Books for sending me this amazing review copy! Stay tuned for a look inside!

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Book Review | Creature by Hunter Shea

Creature is a new horror novel from Hunter Shea.


The monsters live inside of Kate Woodson. Chronic pain and a host of autoimmune diseases have robbed her of a normal, happy life. Her husband Andrew’s surprise of their dream Maine lake cottage for the summer is the gift of a lifetime. It’s beautiful, remote, idyllic, a place to heal. But they are not alone. Something is in the woods, screeching in the darkness, banging on the house, leaving animals for dead. Just like her body, Kate’s cottage becomes her prison. She and Andrew must fight to survive the creature that lurks in the dead of night.

Creature was not at all what I was expecting. I assumed there would be non-stop action since people were getting pulled in from the start. I was wrong. What takes place right from the beginning is amazing character development. Creature is actually a very slow burn of a novel, but I absolutely loved it.

Creature is a personal novel for Hunter Shea, and it shows from beginning to end. The main character Kate suffers from numerous autoimmune diseases. Shea does not shy away from showing you what it is like to live with a battered and failing body nor what it is like to be the spouse and caretaker of a loved one going through medical hell.

In Creature, Kate's husband takes a leave of absense from work for the summer so he and Kate can spend the season on a secluded lake in Maine. Unfortunately, Kate and Andrew are not alone. There's a creature that lurks in the woods, and it's been watching Kate and Andrew.

Creature is an amazing read, and it may end up as my favorite book published in 2018.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Recent Updates and Currently Reading | September 23

This has been a pretty wonderful weekend of rainy, somewhat cooler weather. I'm ready for Fall!

I want to invite everyone to participate in the upcoming Rebecca readalong hosted by the Ladies of Horror Fiction team. We will all be reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier during the month of November and posting discussions for the community each Sunday. I've never read Rebecca! Have you? If you want to join in on your blog or on the LOHF site, you can find all of the details on the Community Wide Readalong: Rebecca post.



Finished Reading



Husk by Rachel Autumn Deering ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I'm excited about this debut.

Creature by Hunter Shea ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I promise to have a review of this one out soon because I loved it.

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson ⭐⭐ - This was a buddy read with Bark, Emily, Lilyn, Toni, and Tracy. They enjoyed this one a bit more than I did.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I'm torn on my rating for this one. Until I write out my full thoughts, I'm going with 4 stars.

Currently Reading



The Toy Thief by D.W. Gillespie - I'm almost done reading The Toy Thief.

Words Under the Words by Naomi Shihab Nye - This poetry collection pulls together poems from three of Nye's collections and it is amazing.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King - Tomorrow I start my reread of Stephen King's Bag of Bones. It's been about 20 years since I read it, and I have a feeling adult me will find a different story in the pages.

So what about you? Let me know what you're reading this week or leave me some links!


This post is being shared as part of Book Date's It's Monday! What Are You Reading? and Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Review | We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls is a new horror novel from Grady Hendrix.


In the 1990s, heavy metal band Dürt Würk was poised for breakout success -- but then lead singer Terry Hunt embarked on a solo career and rocketed to stardom as Koffin, leaving his fellow bandmates to rot in rural Pennsylvania.

Two decades later, former guitarist Kris Pulaski works as the night manager of a Best Western - she's tired, broke, and unhappy. Everything changes when she discovers a shocking secret from her heavy metal past: Turns out that Terry's meteoric rise to success may have come at the price of Kris's very soul.

This revelation prompts Kris to hit the road, reunite with the rest of her bandmates, and confront the man who ruined her life. It's a journey that will take her from the Pennsylvania rust belt to a Satanic rehab center and finally to a Las Vegas music festival that's darker than any Mordor Tolkien could imagine. A furious power ballad about never giving up, even in the face of overwhelming odds, We Sold Our Souls is an epic journey into the heart of a conspiracy-crazed, paranoid country that seems to have lost its very soul...where only a girl with a guitar can save us all.

First of all, I love horror books centered around music. Books like Robert McCammon's The Five and Todd Keisling's The Final Reconciliation are among my favorite books. I could not have been more excited when I heard Grady Hendrix had written a metal horror book. I'm such a fan of Grady Hendrix. Paperbacks from Hell was a stunning book, but My Best Friend's Exorcism is what placed him on my must read author list. It was a very unexpected read (in a great way).

We Sold Our Souls was an unexpected read as well, but for more traditional reasons. A lot of scenes in We Sold Our Souls took me by surprise. Some were unpredictable and some were just downright brutal. (Barb, I'm pretty sure no dogs were harmed in the making of this one!)

Grady Hendrix's writing is so much fun. It immediately puts me in a great place as a reader. The music references and Hendrix's personal interjections in We Sold Our Souls were a big bonus, too. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Review copy provided by publisher

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