- File Size: 672 KB
- Print Length: 252 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Corpus Press (March 13, 2015)
- Publication Date: March 13, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00UPKCKAI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,479 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love Kindle Edition
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It is rare that an anthology contains all killer, no filler but Dead Roses has broken that barrier. If you are a fan of bizarro, horror, or great writing, make sure you click that buy button. You won't regret it.
Jason Parent starts off the Dead Roses shock fest with “Eleanor.” Father Stuart McKenzie is a lonely man, having been ostracized by his family when he converts to Catholicism and ends up in a small “West Sussex church in a largely Protestant district” where he lives in” a dreary space.” Finding an abandoned, malformed, and nearly dead child on his doorstep, he decides to keep her and raise her in secret. For fifteen years she is his surreptitious and sole companion, staying only in her room, the deformity of her face hidden behind masks she selects to reflect her mood and thoughts.
For some adolescents, puberty can cause a variety of fears, but none of the horrors in “Eleanor” are anything like what a normal girl and her adoptive father might face. “Eleanor” is told in clear, straight-forward prose as Parent pulls readers into an increasingly macabre and terrifying scenario with a shocking, stomach-turning, blood red conclusion.
Evans Light gives readers an acerbic, horror-infused look at ever-lasting love in “Love Lies in Eyes” as a man, Nathan (who is falling hard for the third woman in his life despite his own wishes), finds himself reflecting upon his first love. Earlier in his life, as a college student, Nathan falls in love “at first sight” with a girl, Eve, in his statistics class who disappears at the end of the class before he even has a chance to talk to her. She never returns to the class and it is only after searching for her for days they have a serendipitous meeting on campus and Nathan eventually pledges his unending love to her. As Evans narrates Nathan’s story, events unfold as they usually do with such first loves. But this love story is different. Eve takes Nathan’s oath very seriously and is determined he maintains his oath “forever.”
“Love Lies in Eyes” has about it the feel of an old Tales from the Crypt story with Nathan taking desperate measures once he understands his frustrating fate. Evans provides readers with a knowing, sardonic wink of the eye at the story’s conclusion.
The word “forever” rears its ugly ahead again, albeit in a different fashion, in Adam Light’s “Panacea.” After forty years together, Molly and Rob Arnold look forward to quiet, relaxing, “golden years” and retirement together. Instead, Molly is stricken with a painful and terminal case of cancer. Rob, devastated and frustrated, does his best to help Molly and succumbs to a one-time offer on TV for a “revolutionary cure-all, PANACEA, to the general public. The elixir that beats the pants off cancer…” Although he dials the number and purchases the concoction, Ron is skeptical about giving it to his beloved wife until her pain begins to approach unbearable levels. The consequences of giving Molly “Panacea,” is amazing and beyond belief. It also comes with a terrifying price—one beyond anything Ron expects or can imagine.
In “Panacea” Adam Light gives readers a reason to revel in a dream come true filled with hope and sensuality that slowly becomes a fiendish, disturbing, pernicious nightmare. The paradox between these emotions is horror writing at its best.
Edward Lorn turns in the shortest piece in the anthology with “Cinder Block.” Returning home early from a fishing trip, Toby Waldrip and his dad walk in on Toby’s mom having sex with a stranger. Toby’s dad, with an “uncannily calm,” tells the man to leave the house, sends Toby to his room, and is gone the next day, never bothering to even tell his son good-bye. Toby is left wondering why his dad didn’t take him with him and why his dad didn’t kill his mom for her infidelity. Undoubtedly, such a series of events is bound to traumatize any teen and Lorn skillfully discloses just how much Toby is devastated once the youth starts dating.
Lorn’s story, cleverly sprinkled with film references throughout, has Toby narrate the story and he is the opposite of Poe’s narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” who always tries his best to convince his audience that he is not insane. Toby’s admissions about his feelings and motivations as well as the story’s brutal climax makes the story a real shocker.
Gregor Xane’s “Loving the Goat” is the final and longest work in Dead Roses, approaching novella length. After the shocks and horrors of the earlier stories, Xane does what he does best: blending the surreal and absurd with over-the-top horror.
It isn’t easy for a “big and broad, six feet six inches tall” man weighing over three hundred pounds who has a dreadful fear of flying to travel to a comic book convention where he is to appear on a panel with other artists. Drowning his fears with lots of alcohol on the flight is not a good remedy, either, and leads to some rather foul consequences. Worse, however, is growing up with a sexual fetish eschewed by society which has led Bill Capra to a unique form of fame as a creator of comic books focusing upon his fetish while also leading to three divorces and imprisonments. Nothing in his life, however, comes close to the painful and extreme trials he faces when he is abducted and made to pay for what his comic books have inspired in one grotesque scene after another in Xane’s utterly bizarre tale.
Much like all the Bad Apples anthologies, Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love contains five original, entertaining, and in many ways unforgettable tales. With a general focus on “twisted love,” each story is representative of writers who are highly skilled at writing short stories that contain a punch with each author’s unique slant on what constitutes horror. The stories in Dead Roses are bound to delight readers and have them looking at the horrors of that most overly commercialized holiday, Valentine’s Day, in a totally different, fun, and ghoulish fashion.
DEAD ROSES is a collection of dark tales from the authors that brought us BAD APPLES. As with its predecessor, we have five distinct tales--this time dealing with the theme of "twisted love" in various guises.
The first story, "Eleanor", by Jason Parent, was my personal favorite in this collection. It's an emotionally charged story about a love that should never be--and yet, profoundly "understandable" at the same time. How desperate are we all to be loved and accepted? To what lengths would a misguided individual go to achieve this?
Next up we have "Love Lies in the Eyes", by Evans Light. I loved the concept behind this story! Do you think the idea of "eternal love" is a myth? You may reconsider after reading this tale of obsession and the consequences of promising oneself to another....forever.
"Panacea", by Adam Light, was another five-star story, in my personal opinion. A man deeply in love with his wife finds a "miracle" cure for her that works so much better than anticipated.....
"Cinder Block" by Edward Lorn is the tale of a teenager whose warped view of love isn't exactly compatible with that of the society around him.
Completing the collection is Gregor Xane's "Loving the Goat". I am honestly at a loss to adequately summarize this tale! An incredibly "unique" storyline that will have your jaw dropping throughout the entire reading. You'll never look at a goat the same way again!
An overall very strong collection with some incredibly memorable stories. I'm hoping for more themed anthologies from these authors in the near future!
Most recent customer reviews
Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love is from the same awesome guys who brought us Bad Apples: Five Slices of Halloween Horror; an awesome anthology if...Read more