Buttonholed Book Reviews


companionably invites you to these Tours & Spotlight readings:

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The Iron Line


L. M. Merrington

December 2017

“There’s a ghost train that runs along here at night. They say it carries the souls of those bound for hell.”

Jane Adams is only twenty-three, but she’s already a widow.  A daughter of the railway, after her husband’s death she takes a job as a level-crossing gatekeeper in the little town of Tungold, out at the end of the line.  But all is not right in Tungold.  The townspeople are frosty and unwelcoming, and Jane’s only ally is the new young police constable, Alec Ward, an outsider just like her. 

When a railway superintendent is murdered, Jane and Alec become determined to get to the bottom of the town’s secrets.  Who killed Brian Mathieson?  And what is behind the mysterious ghost train? 

But Jane is also hiding a secret of her own — one that will put her life and everything she cares about on the line.

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Also by L. M. Merrington


How did Lucy Greythorne die?

From the moment Nell Featherstone arrives at Greythorne Manor as a governess to eight-year-old Sophie, she finds herself haunted by the fate of the mistress of the house, and entranced by the child’s father, the enigmatic Professor Nathaniel Greythorne.

When a violent storm reveals Lucy’s body is not in her grave, Nell becomes suspicious about the Professor’s research.  But what she discovers in his laboratory will turn all her ideas about life and death, morality and creation on their head.
Enthralled by a man walking a fine line between passion and madness, Nell must make an impossible choice between life, death, and life after death, where any mistake could be her last.

Greythorne is available in ebook and paperback from all major online retailers, and signed paperback copies can be purchased from the web store.

Please, read my review of this fantastic tale.

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Leonard Love Matlick

NYPD Officer Charles Griffin, a known drunk, a notorious bully, and dirty cop is involved in stealing drugs and money from drug dealers. When an accident with an 18 wheeler kills him, one other cop, and leaves 2 other cops in critical condition, Detective Tony Philadelphia, a homicide detective from the 9th precinct, is tasked with finding out what happened.
What happens next is a trail that goes thru dirty cops, using their badge to rob drug dealers, force sex, and use the Columbo Mafia family. Descriptions of cop abuse, killings, and assorted cop dishonor that is fresh out of today’s news stories.

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Pigeon-Blood Red


Ed Duncan

For underworld enforcer Richard "Rico" Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss's priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime.
As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

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The Witches of Ravencrest


Tamara Thorne


Alistair Cross

The Witches of Ravencrest
Book #2 in The Ravencrest Saga

Dark and Unnatural Powers

In a remote part of California just above the coastal town of Devilswood, Ravencrest Manor, imported stone-by-stone from England more than two centuries ago, looms tall and terrifying, gathering its dark and unnatural powers, and drawing those it wants as its own.

Murder Lurks in the Shadows

Governess Belinda Moorland has settled into life at Ravencrest and, as summer gives way to autumn, romance is in the air.  She and multi-millionaire Eric Manning are falling in love … but powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep them apart.  And as the annual Harvest Ball is set to begin, evil abounds at Ravencrest.  Murder lurks in the shadows, evil spirits freely roam the halls, a phantom baby cries, signaling a death in the mansion, and in the notoriously haunted east wing, three blood-soaked nuns, Sisters Faith, Hope, and Charity, tend to the demented needs of a maid gone mad.

Vengeful Spirits

Ravencrest has come to life.  In the gardens below, granite statues dance by moonlight, and a scarecrow goes on a killing rampage, collecting a gruesome assortment of body parts from unwilling donors … But Belinda’s greatest danger is the vengeful spirit of Rebecca Dane.  Once the mistress of Ravencrest, Rebecca Dane has a centuries-old ax to grind with the powerful witch, Cordelia Heller - and Belinda becomes her weapon of choice.

Praise for The Ravencrest Saga

"The Ghosts of Ravencrest delivers on every level.  Delicate, creepy, detailed, and beautifully crafted, this reinvention of the gothic ghost story into a sexy, sleek modern chiller is a marvel of suspense and atmosphere.  A knockout of a horror yarn!"
-Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, Lucid, and Self Storage.

"Ghostly secrets abound.  Tortured spirits wander the hallways.  Star-crossed lovers walk the paths of time.  Servants connive, and the heroine faces an uncertain future … Run, do not walk, to get The Ghosts of Ravencrest.  Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross take the reader on a delicious journey of twisted family secrets, troubled dreams, and barely-concealed passions. Wrap yourself in the silken robe of this story and escape to Ravencrest."
- Sylvia Shults, author of Hunting Demons: A True Story of the Dark Side of the Supernatural

Glass Apple Press
Berlin Malcom, publicist

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Horror Guide to Northern New Egland
Maine, New Hampshire, & Vermont


David Goudsward


Scott T. Goudsward

Horror Guide to Northern New England is a map to geographical locations, real and fictional, utilized in horror tales and films set in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.  And just for good measure, they’ve included some true stories and events that should be horror stories or at least the inspiration for future ones.  Sea serpents, ancient sacrificial tables, Barnabas Collins, Stephen King, Rick Hautala, and Shirley Jackson all call the area home – small wonder that the weird and horrific find sanctuary in the shadow-choked forests, decrepit doomed villages, and fog-shrouded mountains of Northern New England. 

Join the brothers Goudsward as they offer the latest volume of their Horror Guides.


“David and Scott Goudsward’s book is a gem. … crammed full of stuff you never knew and probably seldom thought about. It is a book about the places fictional horror happened. It is also a book about the places real horror happened. Real places. Places you can get to in the car. And along with the geography, there is a history about these stories. Yes, this is a book for fans of the horror genre. But it is also a book for writers and researchers and students and people who just love this place. What fun.”
– Fritz Wetherbee, historian, writer, iconic television host

“… shines a spotlight on the darkest, creepiest corners of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire --- states that harbor mysteries, curses, and locations for some of the spookiest, weirdest tales in the U.S. This encyclopedic guide is endlessly entertaining and bursting with surprising macabre tidbits from some of the oldest parts of our country.”
– Izzy Lee, writer, director, producer of Rites of Vengeance, Innsmouth, and Postpartum

“… a perfect horrorscape of New England's North Country, guiding you to a delightful assortment of shunned places, dark destinations, and frightening facts. Every page is brimming with a who’s who or a what’s what of Yankee marvels and menace -- history, literary and movie trivia, and things that man was never meant for to know. I am certain this would have been in Lovecraft’s library. It’s an essential addition to my own.”
– Joseph A. Citro, author of Shadow Child and Passing Strange, True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors

"What I like most about Dave and Scott Goudsward’s Horror Guide series is that while they are informative and involved, they are - unlike many reference works - a lot of fun to read and easy to navigate. The newest installment, Horror Guide to Northern New England: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (HGNNE) is, like its Massachusetts and Florida companion editions, an extensive and intensive display of research from the Goudsward brothers. It is especially sweet for me because I was born and raised in New Hampshire and had lived there for forty years, until 2002. I had spent my formative years traipsing between the three states that are the focus of this book and recognized many of the towns, sites, and sights covered within these pages. But you don’t have to be native to these states to enjoy this book…or its predecessors.
For horror fans, non-horror fans, writers, researchers, or joy readers, HGNNE (and its companions) are a valuable and enjoyable guide and reference of all things fact and fictional related to horror (or “spooky” for the more sensitive reader), from the renowned to the obscure. It takes you on an alphabetical tour through each state, geographically correlating each town and site (both real and fictional) to works of popular fiction. As one would guess, the “Maine” section is loaded with Stephen King and Rick Hautala mentions, but for me - having read most of their works - it was a nostalgic trip that made me yearn to read these stories again. Thank you, Dave and Scott, for another fine Guide…now how about New York…or D.C.?"
– John McIlveen – award-winning author of Hannahwhere (link is my review)

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Fireflies of the Dead


Eric Kapitan

Hello my fellow Goodreaders,

I've been busy working on my next book, Fireflies of the Dead. It's a collection of short horror stories and poetry.

April 27th, at 8 pm EDT. I'll be holding an online Cover reveal and trailer  ~

To attend just follow the Facebook link below

Free copies of my previous books will be given away as prizes during the event.

 Fireflies of the Dead

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 The American Plan


David H Weisberg

The American Plan

Philip Narby is convinced he has been sent from war-ravaged Korea to a remote part of Florida to serve a clandestine role in the Cold War struggles rising to a boil in Cuba and Latin America. Yet nothing about Narby’s life is as it seems. His isolation and paranoia, and the dangerous secrets he carries with him, lead him into a maze of betrayal — political, sexual, racial and financial. Even as his journey crosses paths with the wealthy and renowned, from Willa Branton, the beautiful abstract-expressionist painter he falls in love with, to Sid Black, the hotel magnate who tracks him down in his jungle hideout, he remains an abject outsider, yearning to be let in, desperate to find a way out. In his quest to untangle the chaos of his blighted past, Narby resembles nothing so much as a Robinson Crusoe of the atomic age, sifting through the wreckage of his life for signs of salvation.

A daring and disturbing tale of survival set in Cuba and South Florida during the 1950s and early 60’s, embracing both the breadth of historical fiction and the intimate intensity of a psychological suspense novel, The American Plan is a vertiginous ride through the mid-century American psyche.

The American Plan is the first in a projected three-novel series exploring the rise and fall of sun-belt America, from the Korean War through the financial debacle of 2008.

Read my guest blog about how to craft an “antihero” on the Writer’s Digest website:

Praise for The American Plan:

“A grand, sweeping, postwar novel and a hard-boiled thriller…The American Plan never loses the pounding sense of uncertainty and risk that makes it a page-turner.”
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews
To read the entire review, click here:

“The American Plan is an exceptional pleasure, a sweeping tale of a soldier wounded in the Korean War who lands in pre-revolutionary Cuba, crosses the Florida Straits, and settles amid the scrub palmetto in the languor and humidity of southwest Florida. Philip Narby, clutching his fifth of Jim Beam and torn by internal demons, is an unlikely bit player in the runaway development that marked the mid-century Florida dream. The novel unfolds with rich detail of the Sunshine State, from the mangrove-choked estuaries to the hotels and dive bars of Miami Beach. As Narby awaits his cut of war-generated corruption, falling for a lithesome New York abstract artist and dwelling with her on a remote barrier island, the reader soon realizes that Narby’s story is the American Dream itself, shorn of its myths, rocked by racism, fueled by insatiable desires and reconfigured by powerful forces of nature.”
-- Tim Johnson, international correspondent for McClatchy News, author of Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China.

“It’s Faulkner meets Hiaasen in David Weisberg’s debut novel of lust, intrigue, greed, and environmental destruction set against the backdrop of Jim Crow race relations in Cold War Florida. Through the character of Philip Narby, a Korean War deserter with a hazy past and shady associates, Weisberg makes vivid Florida’s former tropical sensuality as it was being buried by the juggernaut of suburban sprawl. The novel’s great achievement is to contemplate the political sleaze and petty dreams behind Florida’s development while telling a compelling story that kept me turning pages late into the night. Readers will never think of Florida the same.”
-- Gail Hollander, Associate Professor of Geography, Florida International University, author of Raising Cane in the ‘Glades: The Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida.

“Engrossing…. An intriguing antihero’s perspective on his life and times.”
— Kirkus Reviews
To read the entire review, click here:
“The American Plan has history in its DNA.”
-- Benjamin Hale, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore and The Fat Artist and Other Stories.
“The American Plan is a page-turner -- beautifully written, with a cast of unforgettable and edgy characters and containing disturbing insights into an earlier era in U.S. history.”
-- Jack Litewka, author, editor, consultant.

& you can

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Feel Me Fall


James Morris

Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon.  Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other.  With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies.

Emily must explain why she's the last left alive.  But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we'll go in order to survive.

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Award-winning SF Bay Area author Thomas Burchfield explores the treacherous world of the roaring '20s in California.
A wild and woolly adventure of a soft-boiled guy in a hard-boiled world

Oakland, CA, 3/21/2017 -- Paul Bacon, ex-Navy boxer, Jazz-Age playboy and junior city attorney, has moved to California expecting sunshine and sandy beaches, only to find loneliness and misery in the fog-choked canyons of 1920s San Francisco.
Then, one foggy night, he meets Molly Carver.  Alluring, irresistible, mysterious, she lures Paul across San Francisco Bay to her hometown of Evansville, to what she claims is the California promised in the travel brochures.
But Molly’s promise is only camouflage for a dangerous game.  Evansville is no paradise but a whirling sewer of sin and perdition; a wilderness of slaughterhouses, factories, oil refineries, gambling dens, brothels, and speakeasies even more decadent than San Francisco.
And within its grimy, gritty heart, a gang war smolders, ready for someone to throw a match.
They don’t call it “Butchertown” for nothing.

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