Horror Fiction Review Blogs & Websites

For indie publishers and authors, finding media outlets to review new book releases is like aiming at a constantly moving target. Speaking from personal experience, it seems that between every new title, some websites shut down while new ones sprout up. Keeping track of who’s living and who’s dead can be frustrating. For my own personal benefit, I try to keep a running list of active book review sites. Because I’m such a swell guy, I’ve decided to share it here for total strangers.

I’d like to keep this list as up-to-date as possible, so if you’re aware of a new site that should be added, please send me the info and I’ll include them on the list. Alternatively, if you’re a book blogger who has been included and for some reason you’d like your name removed, then please send me a request and I will oblige. Thanks.

– M. Weber

The list in no particular order (*thanks to you readers for the recent additions):

  1. Horror After Dark
  2. The Haunted Reading Room
  3. The Books of Blood: Horror Book Reviews
  4. Char’s Horror Corner
  5. Shivers of Horror
  6. Nyx Book Reviews
  7. Damaged Skull Writer
  8. AnythingHorror
  9. Books, Bones, & Buffy
  10. The Midnight Society
  11. This Is Horror
  12. The Horror Fiction Review
  13. Ginger Nuts of Horror
  14. Hellnotes
  15. Horror Palace
  16. Grim Reader Reviews
  17. Kendall Reviews
  18. Fang-Freakin-Tastic Reviews
  19. Slap Happy Fun Time Blog
  20. HorrorNews.net
  21. Monster Librarian
  22. Horror Novel Reviews
  23. Cemetery Dance
  24. Cedar Hollow Horror Reviews
  25. Roadie Notes
  26. Horror Talk
  27. Horror Society
  28. Horror Drive-In
  29. The Horror Bookshelf
  30. The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Book Blog
  31. Shotgun Logic
  32. The Horror Review
  33. Horror Fix
  34. B.L.U.R.B.
  35. The Horror Club
  36. Horror World
  37. The Scary Reviews
  38. The Ghastly Grimoire
  39. Ink Heist
  40. Frank Michaels Errington’s Horrible Book Reviews
  41. Signal Horizon
  42. Weird Fiction Review
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‘The Sirens Call’ April 2018 issue

“Straight Up Horror!” … That’s the theme of the latest issue of ‘The Sirens Call’ eZine, which I’m proud to say features a (very) short but twisted story by yours truly, titled “Prey for the Cat.”

From the publishers: The 38th issue of ‘The Sirens Call’ eZine comes in at 186 pages of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry all devoted to the Horror genre – and for some reason, this one is chock-full of killin’! It also features artist Toni Orcutt and his Horror Film Artwork, as well as an interview with Elaine Pascale, and a sneak peek at her upcoming novella, The Blood Lights.

Have I mentioned that it’s FREE to download? The price is right, so click HERE to get your scared on.

— M. Weber

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WHITE DEATH by Christine Morgan – Review

I recently finished Cormac McCarty’s Blood Meridian and was in the mood for something a little more accessible. (As much as I marvel at McCarthy’s style, it takes effort for me to digest). A novel about monsters sounded like it’d hit the spot, and my interest had recently been piqued by word of the new title White Death, which boasted a cool looking cover that featured a gnarly sabre-tooth creature roaring from the darkness. I’d never read anything by Christine Morgan, but I’d seen the author’s name pop up in indie writing circles. I heard she was mailing out signed paperbacks for a very reasonable sum, so I bought one on impulse.

I’m glad I did.

Here’s the plot synopsis from Amazon:

white death cover

January 12, 1888

When a day dawns warm and mild in the middle of a long cold winter, it’s greeted as a blessing, a reprieve. A chance for those who’ve been cooped up indoors to get out, do chores, run errands, send the children to school … little knowing that they’re only seeing the calm before the storm.

The blizzard hits out of nowhere, screaming across the Great Plains like a runaway train. It brings slicing winds, blinding snow, plummeting temperatures. Livestock will be found frozen in the fields, their heads encased in blocks of ice formed from their own steaming breath. Frostbite and hypothermia wait for anyone caught without shelter.

For the hardy settlers of Far Enough, in the Montana Territory, it’s about to get worse. Something else has arrived with the blizzard. Something sleek and savage and hungry. Wild animal or vengeful spirit from native legend, it blends into the snow and bites with sharper teeth than the wind.

 

With this book, I got three monsters for the price of one: First, there’s the wanageeska, which is the creature depicted on the cover and could best be described as a snow god of Native American legend. Angering this god is what leads to the second monster: A historic blizzard of such scope that it eats small towns and spits them out in frozen pieces. In the grip of this apocalyptic ice-storm heroes are made, and villains are unmasked, giving rise to our third monster—humans—and the monstrous acts they’re capable of committing

White Death is essentially a tale of the tragedy and perseverance endured by the townsfolk of Far Enough, Montana, who are blindsided by the storm and by the beasts within it. The tale unfolds over the course of only a couple days, but a large ensemble of characters is used to explore the event in episodic nature from multiple perspectives. It took some mental organization to keep track of the big cast, but this is a minor gripe and necessary to convey the scope and toll of the tragedy. And Morgan really shines with her characterization. Although high in number, we aren’t dealing with cardboard cutouts here. She has imbued the people of Far Enough with dreams and regrets, secrets and longings, skillfully crafted so we care for these individuals, pulling for some and rooting against others. The grueling circumstances the townsfolk undergo feel more real as a result. The stakes are high, the suspense is palpable, and some of the personal journeys depicted are downright heart-wrenching. Without such strong characterization the story structure would be tough to follow, but Morgan pulls it off like a champ.

It’s a quick read, too. The chapters are short, the pacing is brisk, and the story sucks you right inside the descending blizzard. The actions scenes have muscle, and the descriptions of the tortuous weather conditions will have you cranking up the thermostat and counting your blessings.

In addition to the topnotch writing, one noteworthy aspect of this book that I rarely find in indie publications is evidence of strong research, shown with attention to details of the rural setting and the sparse lifestyle of the era. Morgan threads these elements seamlessly and economically into the plot, providing just enough color to bring the time and place to life without bogging down the rhythm of the story. Other writers, take note!

For a blind buy, this book was a total surprise and a real winner. And now I have a signed copy. Rad!

White Death is published by Bloodshot Books. Get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/White-Death-Christine-Morgan-ebook/dp/B079K7HTWC/

HORNET’S NEST by Skeptic?

Sorry I’ve been absent from this blog, but I’ve been hella busy. This first third of the year is always crunch time at my day job, but things are finally starting to loosen up.

In addition to my day job and my publishing habit with Pint Bottle Press, I also play bass, write songs, and holler backup vocals for long-running punk band SKEPTIC?

And on April 1 we FINALLY released a new album — HORNET’S NEST!!!!!!!

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Featuring me on bass, Barron on lead vox, Tim Boykin and Jeff Barret on guitar, and Ritchie Hamilton on drums, this record kills people with its rock. Yes, I’m patting myself on the back because we deserve it. If you’re into breakneck punk rock by the likes of Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Bad Brains, et al, then this album will peel the skin right off your face.

Here’s some video from our record release show with Agent Orange, where we’re covering “I Got a Right” by The Stooges. That’s me in the baseball hat.

Anyway, it’s been a whirlwind month, and I’m dang proud of our new LP record, which has initially been given a limited release on beautiful 12″ red vinyl, hand numbered! Of course, you can also download the album or listen on the streaming service of your choice. So give it a listen, and hold onto your butt!

Check out the album at CDBaby HERE!

May the Best Writer Win

I’m going to state something here that would likely get me in lots of arguments if I were to state it on social media.

As a publisher, I’m unconcerned with diversity. I’m also uninterested in uniformity. Insofar as identity politics (yawn), I don’t give a rip. All I’m concerned about when I choose a writer to work with at Pine Bottle Press is:

(a) Do they have the chops to write awesome stories?

(b) Will they be pleasant to work with?

I’ve never considered the race, religion or sex of the author, and I never will. Ideologically, I guess you could say I’m an individualist living uncomfortably in the modern world of stratified collectivists. Which collective do you claim? Are you LGBQT? Are you member of a minority race? Are you a woman or a man? What is your religious affiliation? What is your economic status?

Don’t answer, because I don’t care. What I want are killer stories, not author bios that meet the quota for a political agenda.

This doesn’t mean I have a problem with diversity, but the fact that my anthologies have reflected a diverse array of authors is completely incidental to the fact that I liked their work, and not how they described themselves as a person. This is something I attribute to the simple notion that individuals of all walks of life are capable of writing quality material, so I’ll never exclude or include any submission call based on superficial concepts of categorical identity.

If this hurts anyone’s feelings, then I’m sorry, but toughen the hell up. I’ve said nothing negative about anyone in this post. It so happens that in my pursuit of talented writers who are enjoyable to work with, I’ve managed to recruit four women (out of twelve writers), two of which are Hispanic (I think but have never asked, because it’s impertinent to my anthology), a Muslim from Australia, as well as writers from all over the world, including the U.K., South Africa and Serbia.

I have no idea what those writers’ sexual preferences are, nor do I care one iota.

Not bad for a hick from Alabama, eh?

I’m proud to have worked with these folks, not because of who they claim to be (or what identity someone else might assign to them), but because their writing gripped me first and foremost, with zero regard to who wrote it.

I’m sure someone else will disagree with my personal trend-bucking philosophy on indie publishing, but that’s what their own blog is for.

Feel free to comment, but I’m not one to waste time arguing with people on the internet, so don’t expect a response if you drop by simply to throw tomatoes.

Peace!

Weber

 

‘Horror Novel Reviews’ loves TEETH MARKS!

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Sorry about my recent lack of updates, but a perfect storm of the flu virus, mountains of work, travel for my day job, and a contractual fallout from the house I’m trying to sell has had me on the ropes.

Enough boring talk… I’m here to boast about another killer review for my recent story collection TEETH MARKS, in the vain hope that anyone who might see this post will order a copy and read it.

This review comes from Paula Limbaugh, who has been a longtime reviewer at the ‘Horror Novel Reviews’ site. She writes:

“Yikes! What do get when you mix some biting humor in with a dash of horror? Teeth Marks!! Matthew Weber’s latest release is a dark collection of 12 stories that are sure to make an impression, a deep indented impression! There’s a mix of previously and first-time published stories included in this collection giving us 12 stories in all.”

Read the entire review right HERE!

-Weber

 

 

Rawk and Roll!

One of the things I do outside of writing/publishing is I’m the bass player for a long-running punk band in Birmingham, Alabama called SKEPTIC?

skeptic w tim
That’s me in the middle.

Last summer we recorded a new full-length album titled “Hornet’s Nest” which is finally at the record press to be produced on beautiful 12″ vinyl. Our previous full-length was released on CD in 2011 titled “Now Look What You’ve Done.”

Back then, we made a music video for our song “What You Were Told” that featured footage of several old horror movies–which is half the reason I’m mentioning it on this blog. You can watch our (very DIY) video on YouTube RIGHT HERE.

The other reason I’m linking it is that if you like what you hear, then you’ll LOVE our upcoming record, which is totally face-melting, hypersonic, blitzkrieg badass. So keep your eye out for it in the months to come.

NOTLD1

 

HEAVEN’S CROOKED FINGER Review

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Hank Early wrote a winner with Heaven’s Crooked Finger, a tense mystery novel steeped in the Southern Gothic tradition. After receiving a mysterious letter, private investigator Earl Marcus travels back home to the Georgia town that banished him years ago. Word around Coulee County is that Earl’s father, the fundamentalist preacher R.J. Marcus, has returned from the grave just as he’d prophesized. And if there’s anyone who could pull off such a feat, it’s the indomitable elder Marcus, who for decades had wielded an uncanny power over his followers as well as everyone in the surrounding countryside. As Earl investigates, the plot thickens, body parts turn up, and everyone in town—old faces and new—seems to have something to hide. To find the truth, Earl must confront his tortured past, make amends for old transgressions, and face the familial ghosts that have haunted him for years. Heaven’s Crooked Finger is a gritty noir with a richly layered main character weaving his way through a two-fisted tale full of external threats and internal reconciliation. The story is told with a brisk pace and short chapters that invariably end with a teaser, demanding you go ahead and start the next one, making the book hard to put down. I understand this is the first of what will be a series of “Earl Marcus mysteries,” and I look forward to the next one.

Pick up the book in paperback, hardcover or e-book HERE.

— Weber

…..

P.S. — Some extra musings on my recent reading (and writing)…

I didn’t know much about Hank Early, but I knew he was from Alabama (like me), so I wanted to give him a shot. I’m glad I did; he’s the real deal.

Coincidentally, I read this book back-to-back after finishing a novel from another Alabama writer, Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. Maybe that’s more interesting to me than it is to you, but what struck me as I waded through Heaven’s Crooked Finger was the way the two books complemented each other in terms of theme.

Although both books could be categorized as mysteries, Boy’s Life is a “coming-of-age” tale concerned with the wonders of the youthful imagination. Almost as a counterpoint, I’d describe Hank Early’s book as a “coming-to-terms” tale concerned with the disillusionment that comes with adulthood, particularly in regard to P.I. Earl Marcus’ storied relationship with his family.

Both writers handle those themes with great skill, and that keen insight into the human condition is what makes a work of fiction stick with you long after reading it… It’s what arguably elevates fiction to the level of “literature,” at least in my estimation. (And ultimately my opinion matters a great deal more to me than any stuffy academic’s or literary critic’s — I don’t give a rip.)

Traditionally, in my own writing, I haven’t had lofty goals. Just getting someone to read it makes me giddy, regardless of whether they liked it or not. But my outlook is changing with my age. I turn 42 this year. I had a third child this year. I hate to use the word “maturing,” but maybe that’s what’s ailing me. I still play in a punk rock band, for crying out loud, but that lifestyle is also taking its toll on me, and I’m afraid my days with those guys are numbered since I now have so many babies to juggle.

And maybe punk rock sounds better coming from angry youth rather than middle-aged dudes. I’m still debating that with myself, but it circles back to my point. Punk rock must be fueled by a place of angst, if it’s going to sound any good. A good punk musician has to feel it to be convincing. That’s how I’ve viewed my last three collections of short horror stories — I felt I HAD to write them. They’ve been building up inside this horror fan since my youth spent watching midnight movies and poring over EC Comics. But now I’ve purged them from within me, and I no longer feel I HAVE TO write them. And I fully admit they were no sort of “literature,” nor did I aspire for them to be. I was very concerned about craft, characterization, mood, suspense, etc., but ultimately my primary aim with the horror shorts has been to go: “Booga-booga-booga!” or “Muahahahaha!”

And I’ve loved doing it. It’s been so much fun. And I think that I’ve succeeded in what I aimed to do. I am particularly pleased with my latest Teeth Marks as an achievement in quality pulp horror fiction. Maybe it’s not getting a lot of readers, but it’s gotten some wonderful reviews.

Since I feel like I’ve succeeded (at least at an artistic level) with that sort of fiction, I’ve been thinking of stories that might have grander, more universal themes in mind. Themes that will “stick with you” long after you’ve read them, the way Boy’s Life and Heaven’s Crooked Finger did with me.

Oh, I’ll always have my feet grounded in the swamp waters of dark fiction, because — hey, I gotta be me. But I’m also ready to set my sights on higher targets, because at this age that’s what I’m starting to feel

— Weber

 

 

 

HellNotes Reviews TEETH MARKS!

Hellnotes

Man… if book reviews were like footballs, I’d spike this bad boy and do one of those obnoxious end-zone dances and get penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. But I always feel like celebrating when PBP gets a good review for one of its books. And this latest one is a review of a book I wrote, so I’m naturally pretty stoked.

Brian James Lewis penned an excellent write-up of Teeth Marks, my latest horror short story collection. “I seriously love Teeth Marks!” writes Lewis. “Each story is better than the first and gives the reader a shock at the endings.” Read the entire review HERE!

Teeth Marks

Oh, and you can purchase Teeth Marks in paperback or for Kindle download HERE!

 

The HORROR REVIEW Loves ‘Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2’!

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Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 delivers the goods and then some!” — Brian James Lewis

We got a wonderful new in-depth review of the DBHV2 anthology over at THE HORROR REVIEW! This one give story synopses and reader opinions, everything a good review ought to offer, and Pint Bottle Press is always appreciate of the exposure we get. If you haven’t read this title yet (and you’re not easily offended), then give it a shot…

Just listen to Lewis: “Double Barrel Horror Vol. 2 is an awesome collection featuring a wide variety of flavors for mature readers … Do yourself a favor and grab a copy today!”

Read the entire review HERE.

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