What Kind of Mother by Clay McLeod Chapman ~ 2023

Sometimes, all the time,
all you need is a mother's love.

Author: Clay McLeod Chapman
Publisher: Quirk Books (September 12, 2023)
Publication: September 12, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-68369-380-2
Designed by: Elissa Flanigan
Production management by: John J. McGurk
Cover photography credits: Shutterstock/studiovin; Shutterstock/Simon Annabelle;
Shutterstock/neitbrucewillis; Shutterstock/Karelian; Shutterstock/Christin Lola
Interior photography credit: Shutterstock/Bokeh Blur Background


5 Stars

Clay McLeod Chapman
Sat down yesterday and read this little gem of a read and thought, you know Jeff, I think I'll stop writing book reviews. Instead, start a blog for book recommendations.

Folks, Clay McLeod Chapman's latest novel is a horror story disturbing enough to cringe any seasoned horror reader. A missing child is at the heart of this tale, and you can feel the power of love radiating off these pages in the quest to find an end to what happened.

A short synopsis for you:

After Madi Price is thrown out of the house by her father because of an unplanned pregnancy and a slammed door in her face from Donny, the baby's future father, she embarks as a single mother. Later, she is forced to return to her hometown of Brandywine, VA with her seventeen-year-old daughter Kendra, to start a life she really wasn't expecting.

Madi becomes a palm reader at the local farmer's market, where you meet my favorite book characters. Auntie Millie, Charlene, and Mama May are the town's most resourceful wellhead of gossip. I pictured them so well, talking the talk so well cemented as truth according to them, their dialog made me smile every time their names popped up. She is also reintroduced to an old high-school flame, by the name of Henry McCabe.

Henry, a reclusive fisherman nowadays has a son, Skyler, who went missing 5 years ago, and is bound and determined to find him. He has been handing out and pinning up posters of his child believing Skyler is not dead, but everyone in town thinks differently. His belief solidifies when Madi reads his palm.

That particular reading changes Madi's life and everyone she loves—permanently. The visions are powerful, and she starts to wonder, does she really have psychic abilities? Is Skyler really out there needing to be found? This whole tale is filled with dynamics of broken families and the need to reassure themselves that, in the end, all will be okay. Keeping hope alive, trying to put substance in that word - okay.

Folks, this is a supernatural horror tale done with vivid depictions you can taste right off the pages. The tale starts off in a light air and turns dark. Very dark. This is a five-part read, with the point-of-views done alternating between the main characters of Madi and Henry. As the story moved to the end, the body horror writing was exceptionally well done by the way. The epilogue caged up the one missing loose thread I had in the back of my mind with a dedication and a beautiful poem. Let's just say it was touching, okay? Okay.

The tone of this tale was one of suspense and horror that would burrow itself into one of your orifices and feed. In fact, the prose and the nursery rhymes that peppered the tale were exceptionally well done. From beginning to end, the writing will keep you turning pages. That is not meant as a cliche.

During the whole read, I kept asking myself, what kind of mother? What really happened to Skyler's biological mother, Grace? Where is Madi's mother? Is Madi a proud mother to Kendra? Is Kendra happy and content with her mother? Then, there is the father's role. Both mother and father could take their turns bathing the child, changing the child, putting the child to bed, holding the child when he's teething/crying, and let's not forget the child's feeding times. You know, parenting can be very exhausting.

And do things happen in threes? Is three a magical number? Why is the number three throughout this tale? All these questions were answered and, I was satisfied. In threes.

There is so much more between the lines of this tale, that you the Reader will be having your own inter-monologue with yourself. You might feel some distance from some of the choices these characters make, compared to what you might have done. There are instances that I would have done differently. You might have your opinion on psychics or even believe what my favorite characters say is true and indeed fact. All in all, there is so much more in this tale than what is written. You'll see. Or, feel it.

Folks, read this tale. Get scared. Get spooked. It is one of the best of 2023 IMHO

I recommend it folks. Highly recommended.

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Here's where you can get your fingers on What Kind of Mother:
  • Amazon ~ Hardback $18.60 ~ Paperback $16.99 ~ Kindle $12.99 ~ USD
  • Barnes & Noble ~ Hardback $21.99 ~ Paperback $16.99 ~ eBook $12.99 ~ Audiobook $19.95 ~ Audio CD $36.95 ~ USD
  • IndieBound ~ Support your local bookstores

About the author:

Connect with Clay

“Like a demonic angel on a skateboard, like a resurrected Artaud on methadrine, like a tattletale psychiatrist turned rodeo clown, Clay McLeod Chapman races back and forth along the serrated edges of everyday American madness, objectively recording each whimper of anguish, each whisper of skewed desire. This is strong stuff, intense stuff, sometimes disturbing stuff, but I think the many who admire Chuck Palahniuk will admire Chapman as well.”—Tom Robbins, author, of Still Life with Woodpecker

Clay McLeod Chapman is the author of the novels Ghost Eaters, Whisper Down the Lane, The Remaking, and Miss Corpus, story collections Nothing Untoward, commencement, and Rest Area, as well as The Tribe middle-grade series: Homeroom Headhunters, Camp Cannibal, and Academic Assassins.

Upcoming projects include Quiet Part Loud, a 12-part horror podcast series from Jordan Peele and Monkeypaw Productions, written by Chapman and Mac Rogers, exclusively on Spotify beginning on November 15, 2022.

Chapman’s story Late Bloomer was adapted into a short film, directed by Craig William Macneill. An official selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, the short won Best Short at the Lake Placid Film Festival and the Brown Jenkins Award at the 12th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.

Their second short, Henley, based on the chapter “The Henley Road Motel” from Chapman’s novel Miss Corpus, was an official selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. It won Best Short at the 2011 Gen Art Film Festival and the 2011 Carmel Arts and Film Festival. The Boy (SXSW 2015), a feature-length adaptation of Henley, co-written with director Macneill, was produced by SpectreVision (Elijah Wood, Daniel Noah, and Josh C. Waller) in 2015.

In comics, Chapman is the writer of the Marvel series Scream: Curse of Carnage. He has written Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety, Iron Fist: Phantom Limb, and Typhoid Fever, as well as for Edge of Spider-Verse and Venomverse, The Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, American Vampire, Scream: King In Black, and ORIGINS among others.

He is the creator of Self Storage (451 Media) and Lazaretto (BOOM! Studios).

Chapman is the creator of the rigorous storytelling session The Pumpkin Pie Show. In the twenty years of its existence, it has performed internationally at the Romanian Theatre Festival of Sibiu, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Edmonton Fringe Festival, Minnesota Fringe Festival, Dublin-based thisisnotashop art space, IGNITE Festival, Women Center Stage Festival, and Impact Theatre Festival.

Chapman wrote the book for Hostage Song (music & lyrics by Kyle Jarrow). He is the author of such plays as Commencement, The Cardiac Shadow, and Volume of Smoke. His story monologues Birdfeeder, Undertow, and The Wet Echo have been featured in The Best American Short Plays anthologies.

Chapman was educated at the North Carolina School of the Arts for Drama, the Burren College of Art, and Sarah Lawrence College. He currently teaches writing at The Actors Studio MFA Program at Pace University.

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101 HORROR Books To Read Before You're Murdered by Sadie "Mother Horror" Hartmann ~ 2023

For horror fans of all ages
new to, and, old to
modern horror writers of our time

Author: Sadie "Mother Horror" Hartmann
Publisher: Page Street Publishing (August 8, 2023)
Publication:  (August 8, 2023)
Pages: 168
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-64567-780-2
ISBN-10: 1-64567-780-X
Forward by Josh Malerman
Illustrations by Marco Fontanili
Cover and book design by Rosie Stewart for Page Street Publishing Co.

101 Stars

Sadie Hartmann
Mother Horror
An absolutely phenomenal must-have for all horror fans of the supernatural and paranormal reading genre. Including monsters of the unbound imaginations of these authors, you are in for a treat, once your fingers start to turn these pages.

You might have read many of these authors. Might be, you have read all of them. Might be, you have read a handful. Hell, might be, that you have only heard of a few and never gotten around to tasting their work. No matter the case, these are the books Mother has for you if you are willing to do the reading before you're murdered. Just sayin'.

Thank her when you see her.

Opening the cover, Josh Malerman welcomes all horror readers to Sadie "Mother Horror" Hartmann and her spectacular bibliography condensing thousands of reads of modern horror writers, down to 101 (before you're murdered) with such an air of subtle finesse, just as Sadie welcomes you on how she came about on how she wrote this book—This book was written with you in mind, dear Reader.

Thank her when you see her.

Sadie explains with clarity this 5 part book is filled with honest recommendations, along with a handy-at-a-glance reference guide. She mentions a few reads that are well-known in the horror genre, but, there not in here. She doesn't like them. Period. This book is filled with honest recommendations of books she likes. She also throws caution to you readers that not all horror is suitable for all readers as she mentions you can research content warnings before you begin a new book. Mother Horror keeps you in mind, dear Reader.

Thank her when you see her.

Her Table of Contents covers 5 parts:
  • Paranormal - Haunted Houses, Ghosts, Creatures and Cryptids.
  • Supernatural - Demons & Possession, The Occult & Witchcraft, Cosmic Horror.
  • Human Monsters - Coming-of-Age, Grief, Loss & Death, Cults, Slashers & Serial Killers, Body Horror, Creepy Kids, Crime & Investigation.
  • Natural Order Horror - Apocalyptic, Dystopian & Sci-Fi, Eco-Horror
  • Short Story Collections
Including ten Author Spotlights, you can't go wrong. This is a hell of a book. I've been there and got that ripped T-shirt, and with my head slowly nodding back and forth, had a shit-eatin' grin on my face page after page. This is a hell of a book, and so glad I have a copy. Authors I have heard of and yet have not tasted their work have made it on this list. Hunger has set in.

My palette needs to be sated.

I'm going to thank her when I see her.

I highly recommend it folks. Highly.

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Here's where you can get your fingers on 101 HORROR Books To Read Before You're Murdered:

About the author:

Check out Mother Horror



Sadie Hartmann is the co-owner of the horror fiction subscription company Night Worms, and the editor-in-chief of her own horror fiction imprint, Dark Hart.

Born and raised in the small town of Grass Valley, CA, she now makes her home with her husband of 20+ years in the Pacific Northwest where they celebrate cloudy days, stare at Mount Rainier, eat street tacos, and hang out with their three kids.

They have a Frenchie named Owen.

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Becoming the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar ~ 2023


Spectacularly phenomenal 

Publisher: Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Publication: Gallery Books (October 10, 2023)
Pages: 448
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1668009161
Jacket design by Anna Dorfman
Jacket illustrations by Adobe Stock
Author photographer: Carly Albright

5 Stars

Richard Chizmar
After reading this sequel to Chasing the Boogeyman I sat this book down and smiled. I've been telling folks, that the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Richard Chizmar has a dynamite gig going on with his Boogeyman. Or, the fear of his Boogeyman he had in his youth;

or still has.

I enjoyed how he took his family, his pups, and close friends on a dangerous ride with his Boogeyman and his followers. And the price he paid for it. All unintentional, of course.

Folks, this highly anticipated horrifying novel from Gallery Books could be a stand-alone read if you have not read Chasing the Boogeyman, but, I do highly suggest that you read them in order to maximize the effect you'll receive when reading the last pages of each.

The 'gig' Chizmar has going on is the epitome of how you can create fictional characters and real-life characters and envelope those characters into real-life events surrounding the narrator's nostalgic childhood memories, his love for true crime stories, his current life as a best-selling author, and fiction.

In Chasing the Boogeyman, Joshua Gallagher was convicted, through DNA, of committing four horrific murders and imprisoned for life. After writing his sensational best-selling novel, Richard Chizmar is getting a taste of what life is like as a celebrity.  And all the while, thinking he is helping law enforcement and the public as a whole by conducting interviews with a serial killer that only wants to talk with him. Trying to get Gallagher to open up and quite possibly admit to other victims will be a road Chizmar might not have wanted to travel.

The tale opens up 30-some years after, Joshua Gallagher, a.k.a. The Boogeyman, has been imprisoned for the grisly murders he committed back in the eighties with a copycat killer picking up right where Joshua had left off. Out walking his dog one morning, Richard finds a black garbage bag closed with duct tape.

You guessed it, the bag has a body in it, or parts thereof, now, the front of his house is a crime scene.

And as it begins . . . The crime and the subsequent murders throughout the story are all connected to the first murders, but, then they start pointing to Chizmar. Why is the copycat killer targeting Richard? Or, is he?
Did Chizmar go off the deep end and into the abyss of being a madman? Is he doing the deeds of murder?

As in the first installment of The Boogeyman, this too, is complete with excerpts of media posts from social platforms, message boards, interviews he had with Gallagher, and black-and-white photos of the crime scenes, buildings, and victims all to deepen the enigma of what is actually real from what is fictional. 

With sublime writing, Richard takes you on a journey where you cannot decipher real from unreal. Period. You'll be asking yourself throughout the book many questions, and you'll be Googling many addresses and places. Yep, I did.
Loved this format he created: metafiction with a twist. What an enjoyable read.

The conclusion in this second installment is wrapped up satisfyingly with a definite promise of a third book.

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Not only do I recommend, but I also highly suggest ~

I also highly suggest joining our Zoom meeting with Richard on

October 26th at 6:00pm EST

In part of the Henderson Memorial Public Library in Jefferson, Ohio
and myself

Click the link and join!

Join the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 897 0733 7922

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Here's where you can get your fingers on Becoming the Boogeyman:
  • Amazon ~ Hardback $26.09 ~ Kindle $14.99 ~ Audio CD $39.99 ~ USD
  • Barnes & Noble ~ Hardback $28.99 ~ eBook $14.99 ~ Audio CD $39.99 ~ USD
  • IndieBound ~ Support your local bookstores

About the author:

RICHARD CHIZMAR is a New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author.

He is the co-author (with Stephen King) of the bestselling novella, Gwendy’s Button Box, and the founder/publisher of Cemetery Dance magazine and the Cemetery Dance Publications book imprint. He has edited more than 35 anthologies, and his short fiction has appeared in dozens of publications, including multiple editions of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA’s Board of Trustees award.

Chizmar (in collaboration with Johnathon Schaech) has also written screenplays and teleplays for United Artists, Sony Screen Gems, Lions Gate, Showtime, NBC, and many other companies. He has adapted the works of many bestselling authors including Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Bentley Little.

Chizmar is also the creator/writer of the online website, Stephen King Revisited. His fourth short story collection, The Long Way Home, was published in 2019. With Brian Freeman, Chizmar is co-editor of the acclaimed Dark Screams horror anthology series published by Random House imprint, Hydra.

His latest book, The Girl on the Porch, was released in hardcover by Subterranean Press, and Widow’s Point, a chilling novella about a haunted lighthouse written with his son, Billy Chizmar, was recently adapted into a feature film.

Chizmar’s work has been translated into more than fifteen languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor.

Before you run off:

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The Dismembered by Jonathan Janz ~ 2022


With unbelievable penmanship,
Janz delivers gothic horror romance,
expertly done, to my doorstep.

Publisher: Cemetery Dance Publications (November 18, 2022)
Publication: November 18, 2022
Pages: 174
ISBN-13: 978-1-58767-843-1
Front Cover Artwork © 2019 by Matthew Revert
Digital Design by Dan Hocker 

A digital copy was sent to me from Kevin Lucia, ebook and trade paperback editor for Cemetery Dance Publications ~

5 Stars

Jonathan Janz
Man, I enjoyed the hell out of this one. Right from the get, I was hooked and I love that in a new read!

Folks, you're looking for a great intense Gothic Horror read. Yes, yes you are. Period.

Quick synopsis ~

This twenty-four-hour tale in 1912 starts off with mild and meek Arthur Pierce, an American writer,  on a train saving the day from a brute who is trying to bully his way onto a young woman.

After a quick side step, the brute is on the ground and he is introduced to this young woman by the name of Sarah Coyle.

After Sarah and Arthur had been acquainted during the train ride he agrees to accompany Sarah to her family's estate, Altrabrook. After all, he could head that way, estranged Arthur is running from a highly public affair his wife displayed/pronounced on him. And, besides, Sarah was eye candy I believe he said to himself. Not in those exact words, I'm just sayin'.

Here's what's going on, folks:

Older than dirt but kept his looks through the years, Count Richard Dunning who is rumored to dabble in bizarre religious rites and experimental medicine is to wed Sarah's younger sister, Violet, who had just turned of age. Sarah's plight is to stop this before the month's end. Yet, her father, Hubert, is eager to marry off his daughter to the wealthiest landowner because of his own financial strain.

Arriving at Altrabrook, we the readers are introduced to pretty much the slew of main characters and Arthur, being transfixed on Sarah's older sister Lizzie, let's say, charisma, this tale continues at a pace where you're fingers are turning pages. A must-be-there gathering at Count Dunning's estate, Castle Magnus, is established, and right off the rip folks, Janz keeps this pace alive and flowing onto the next set of events.  Getting some understanding of history and back-story while at the gathering, The story moves. 

And during this time, you get to read some of the best gothic horror telling you could read. Depicted on paper and ink, visually the events are graphically displayed in your mind's eye as colorful as you could smell the atmosphere the characters are going through. The characters' dialect with one another was from an era I am personally not familiar with, but I'm telling you, the enjoyment I had, as I listened to them and watch them go through their horror was worth my time. 

After the must-be-gathering, we eventually are on the top floors of Castle Magnus where all the wrinkles get ironed out and all the pretty ends get sewn together, so we as readers, get the jest behind everything. People falling in love, out of love, bug-eyed from gasp of reality setting in, smiles, frowns, hanging on to last words, tears, and even laughter were abundant on the upper floors. This story of a young couple enveloped in a nightmare and their perseverance so they could put an end to this horror they were living through, you are hooked. Rooting for them and wishing for God's speed would come naturally if you have an ounce of humanity in ya.

In the end, the whole reason for Count Dunning's panache in wanting Violet's hand in marriage, the reasoning behind dad's (& mom's[they're married]) financial strain, Sarah's beliefs, the town folk's thinking of the local lore and gossip of Count Richard Dunning's age and his shenanigans? and all about Lizzie and Arthur are answered satisfyingly. You will definitely love this read folks.

The ending almost comes to a fairy-tale ending for some, almost.

Really a quick read folks, so, I highly suggest reading this and bypassing your tbr.

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Here's where you can get your fingers on The Dismembered:
  • Amazon ~ Audiobook $14.95 ~ Paperback $16.99 ~ Audio CD $21.95 ~ USD
  • IndieBound ~ Support your local bookstores

About the author:

Connect with Jonathan

Jonathan Janz is the author of more than a dozen novels. He is represented for Film & TV by Ryan Lewis (executive producer of Bird Box). His work has been championed by authors like Josh Malerman, Caroline Kepnes, Stephen Graham Jones, Joe R. Lansdale, and Brian Keene. 

His ghost story The Siren and the Specter was selected as a Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Horror. Additionally, his novels Children of the Dark and The Dark Game were chosen by Booklist and Library Journal as Top Ten Horror Books of the Year.

He also teaches high school Film Literature, Creative Writing, and English. Jonathan’s main interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children.

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