All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

allinfear-finalAll In Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales: by Steve Berman, K.J. Charles, Avon Gale, Roan Parrish, Kris Ripper, J.A. Rock
Release Date: December 1st, 2016
Pages: 245 • Format: eARC
Published By: Open Ink Press
Purchase Links:
Open Ink PressAReKoboAmazon

All in Fear: A Collection of Six Horror Tales

Horror wears many faces, and its masks can be tantalizing. Some of the top names in queer fiction come together to spin their own versions of horror. Worlds rife with dark beauty and mystery, the familiar becoming terrible, creatures ethereal and alluring—and all bearing the gleam of love. Does hope lie along these grim passages or only doom? It will become clear. All in time—and all in fear.

Company by Roan Parrish
Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper
Palmer’s life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he’s found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.

When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the world—to other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.

How could he have possibly been so stupid?

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles
Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman
Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale
STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]

ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.

Beauties by J.A. Rock
When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.

Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.

Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.

three-half-stars

I’m not going to lie, this was a bit of a let-down for me. With all these brilliant writers I expected to be scared shitless afterwards. The 2nd, 4th, & 5th was the best of the bunch. That’s pushing it for me, because the first wasn’t scary but I enjoyed the theme and what it involved. Story 2 & 3 weren’t bad, but I was really waiting for them to be over. They weren’t something that I would pick up at tall. I’ve never read anything by Steve Berman & Kris Ripper before. I truly liked Kris Ripper story once everything came together! It was obvious but I definitely like the characters realistic reaction during the story. I guess my reaction is that I wasn’t scared at all. Yeah, certain areas were a tad frightening, but with the cover and blurb I expected it to be WOW’d, and I’m left bereft wanting the fear that I was promised. I guess, I’ll try to sum up each story without giving away the plots.

Company by Roan Parrish

Hmm, this was weird, and I kinda liked it. I loved the idea about being a loner like Nick and having a dream come true for it to diminish in the way that it did. Michael is someone Nick was absolutely in love with. I remember feeling like Nick could be delusional. I’m not sure if he was ever there, but being petty, jealous and mean towards the new guy was crazy. I’m stumbling here because it took me a total of 14 days to read this entire book. I’m trying to write this review without going back to re-read certain things. Love Roan’s writing, I’m not surprised there. She’s a really dope writer, and I’d always appreciate that from her. I didn’t really care for the story overall. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was entertaining. I wasn’t scared though.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper

Now this I was confused about the most, but liked the outcome. It wasn’t scary or horror for me, but I think being in Palmer’s shoes is probably the worst thing that I would want to go through. It was certain catchy things that his partner was doing that had me suspicious, but pretty obvious towards the ending. I mean these two lived pretty normal lives in my opinion. I’ve never read anything by this author, and I’m slapping myself internally on why haven’t I? I mean this is a story that people can relate to. The normalcy of everyday lives and then your world getting turned upside down. The one thing I really like is Palmer didn’t second guess himself. He wasn’t those clueless blondes on t.v. or movies who see the signs once evidence is stacked against a loved one, and constantly denies it could be them. I ended up enjoying it once I got more involved with the plot! I enjoyed the story enough to want to read more from this author!

The Price of Meat by K.J. Charles

Loved the setting of this story, but I wasn’t really intrigued with the plot. I guess being more disgusted is what the author was going for. It definitely had Charles niche all over it. You can definitely tell its one of her works. I like Jo’s gumption. She was a fighter, and never game up. True Story, I’ve never watched Sweeney Todd or read the book, but I did know the overall basis of the story. I would have preferred the Asylum as the background to the story personally, but I did enjoy the mini world she built surrounding the town. So much happened that we didn’t necessarily get to see Jo & Arabella’s relationship blossom. It wasn’t present and didn’t give me the romantic notion I wanted from it.

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman

My first read by this author. Oh my goodness, I loved the mystery behind the flask. I’m not sold on any of the characters. Steve to me, was a super flake. I liked him at times, and at other times he disappointed me. I don’t know what I would have done if I was in Steve’s shoes. That flask is definitely dangerous, but the story didn’t move me at all. It wasn’t an ounce of horror in it. I kinda wanted to group it in with the buddy fraternity movies.

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale

Leave it to Avon Gale to write my favorite story out of all of them. This was super scary. I had to put it down in the evening because I was scared something weird was going to happen. Jason is staffed at this unknown facility to watch and not engage with this entity. It seems easy, all he has to do is make daily recordings of what he sees. Well that all goes to shit when he decides to engage. From here on out, it’s bananas. The entity known as “Cain” is an I don’t know what he really is. He’s scary I can tell you that. Jason is slowing losing his mind. He reaches out to different forums and people on helping him figure it out. He thinks he’s taking part of a psychological research with the U.S. Government. I wouldn’t put it pass them to do something like this. From the very beginning I was intrigued with this story. It was good and that ending had me holding my breath. Really good horror story.

Beauties by J.A. Rock

I expect nothing less from J.A. Rock. This was my second favorite. I was not disappointed. #TeamIra for the win!!!! This amazing writer wrote a world where Artificial Beings existed. If I can sum it up in 4 words it’ll be My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Shout out to Kanye, love this album). That is literally what I kept thinking over and over. It was one of those stories that on the outside it seems perfect, but underneath it was brimming with treachery, and chaos. Lester!!! Poor Lester, tried to do something nice. This story confirms on why in the future SHE won’t be participating in ROBOTS of any kind. No ma’am, I’m not going to let something MAN created get the one up on me. I really enjoyed this story alot. I could definitely read more of this.

 

 

About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

About J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

About K.J. Charles

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or email her at kjcharleswriter {at] gmail {dot} com. She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.

About Kris Ripper

Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a little kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before tha

About Roan Parrish

ROAN PARRISH is currently wandering between Philadelphia and New Orleans. When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

About Steve Berman

Steve Berman loves to tell stories that are both queer and weird. He was a Zeta Psi back in his college days at and remembers being hazed. He survived and graduated and even earned a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. He has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. His YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.

Poison Tongue by Nash Summers

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

poison-tonguePoison Tongue by Nash Summers
Series: Afflicted Souls, Book One
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.

When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he’s seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.

As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.

In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.

four-stars

Wow. That’s the first thing out of my mouth when I finished reading it. This book was super confusing at first, and then wildly descriptive when I paid attention to it. Gothic Romance isn’t my thing, and I only wanted to read it based off the cover of the book. I love the cover. Then once I started reading it, was super hard to put down. Summers has a way with the words and characters of this story that left me awe in a way. Small cast of characters that were so well written and developed. I’m dying to know what book two can be about. I don’t want Monroe & Levi to have to suffer. And can I say, Ward hands down is my favorite character!!! I loved him.

Whatever darkness Monroe brought with him into the sunflower field, Ward brushed it all away. He was sunshine and glee, an ease in my bones, lightness in my mind. He would always be able to take away my darkness, turn my nightmares into daydreams.

It’s a slow burn featuring supernatural aspects dealing with good vs evil. Light and darkness and the ability to withstand any hardship. It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone and of course everyone knows Monroe Poirier. He’s the cursed devil who killed his father. I love that Levi is warned almost instantly to stay away from Monroe, not because he can see his tar stained soul, but because Monroe lives in the Poirier house who is backed against the swamp. The same swamp that calls to Levi nightly. It wants to take Levi and give him all the badness it can. In this story, the swamp is definitely a character. The way Levi describes it; it’s painstakingly beautiful at times. I love all the imagery that the authors, super vivid descriptions, colors, and feelings.

I hoped my soul would forgive me for giving my heart to the devil.

The romance between Levi & Monroe is a slowly building. They are pushing and pulling against wanting each other and staying away. I love the protection that both guys feel toward one another. I like how determined Levi is to protect Monroe, he wants to show Monroe that just because his life has been horrible, up until this point that Levi will do everything in his power to help him. Including hurting himself indeed. I’m shocked at how much I enjoyed it. I don’t want to give much of the plot away but I think people will love it. I’m so looking forward to book two.

“Levi,” he said softly.
I stared up into his eyes.
His smile was beautiful. “Tell me
what it looks like. Tell me you can see my soul.”

About Nash Summers

Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.

Guest Post: Nash Summers

Poison tongue banner

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Nash Summers to the blog with the release of her latest book, Poison Tongue – Available from Dreamspinner Press, August 10, 2016 – and shares with us her love of Gothic novels, how it bled into writing Levi and Monroe’s story as well as sharing bits of info on just how her latest work came to life.   She is also doing a giveaway, so be sure to check that out at the end of the post! 

* * * * * *

The first Gothic book I read was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I think I first read it about four years ago without really knowing anything about the book. Luckily enough, I also hadn’t heard or read any spoilers. While the book wasn’t scary, it definitely did unsettle me. It was the type of book that continuously left me wanting more, wanting to understand the characters, their motives, and their secrets.

While Poison Tongue isn’t exactly a thriller like Rebecca, I’d like to think that I was influenced by it. Since reading Rebecca, I’ve had a lot for Gothic romance. It’s such a unique mixture of elements and themes that I can’t help but be drawn in by it.PoisonTongue-Promo-1

In some ways, of all the characters I’ve written, I think I can relate to Levi the most, and maybe that’s one of the reasons why this story is special to me. I wanted Levi’s character to be quiet–not shy–but solemn, perhaps. The fly on the wall. The reserved one. I don’t think anyone in my life could accuse me of being a shy person, but I can be reserved and tend to keep to myself.

Levi’s character is emotionally reserved, which I think plays a huge role in his internal battle with his feelings towards Monroe. To Levi, letting someone get close to him, or getting to know him, is one of his most terrifying experiences. And while things otherworldly are commonplace for a person like Levi, it’s the barest of human emotions which he fears the most.

There is a quote by Dorothy Dix I’ve always liked, and while writing Levi’s character, it was constantly in mind.

 

“Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.”

~Dorothy Dix

 

PoisonTongue-Promo-2A few fun tidbits about Poison Tongue:

  • Levi’s last name, Bell, was chosen as a small nod to the Bell Witch from Southern folklore.
  • I chose the title Poison Tongue to represent one of the major themes throughout the story, which is the horrendous stigma that Monroe has carried his entire life. Rumors, naysay, and gossip spread through word of mouth, becoming poisonous. They affect everyone around him, even the main character, Levi. The serpentine reference in the title was a pleasant afterthought.
  • When first outlining the story, Monroe’s curse was actually a maze of serpent tattoos that covered his body. When Levi would look at the tattoos, they would move under Monroe’s skin. It wasn’t until later I decided to make the serpents more tangible in the story, and to eliminate the tattoos.
  • My first outline for Poison Tongue dates back about 2 ½ years, and it was vastly different than it is now.
  • I hadn’t actually given the town of Malcome its name until I was almost finished writing the manuscript.
  • If I could only pick one word for describe Monroe’s character, it would be lonely.
  • Not exactly a tidbit about Poison Tongue specifically, but the Afflicted Souls series in general. Before finishing Poison Tongue, I’d already picked the titles for three books in the series, and outlined each story as well. While each novel will feature a different couple, I plan to have a few guest appearances.

 


Poison Tpoison-tongueongue by Nash Summers
Series: Afflicted Souls, Book One
Release Date: August 10, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.

When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he’s seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.

As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.

In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.


 ~GIVEAWAY~

Giveaway for $15 Amazon Giftcard. 

Starts August 2nd and ends August 9th.

Click on the picture to enter!

PoisonTongue-Promo-3

 

About Nash Summers

Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.