Editor: Carl Hose
Publisher: MARLvision Publishing
Length: 518 Pages
Publication Date: June 15, 2012
Reviewed Format: ARC Edition: Kindle Edition, PDF
Source: Supplied by the editor through IO Book Tours
My Rating: ★★★★★
Get it @: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
This book is an amazing anthology, 44 short stories by 42 extremely talented authors. Some of the stories are scary; others are downright creepy, while some leave a note of sadness at the end. Have you ever been reading a scene in a book and felt a chill go down your spine? I did while reading this book. It’s as gruesome as the genre gets, with a strange, albeit twisted, undertone of hope. It highlights human nature in the good, the bad and the extreme throughout many different scenarios. If you are a horror fan, this will be a great addition to your collection. If you want to taste the genre, this book will give you the perfect opportunity to test it out while also getting some serious quality reading. Best part is, if you buy this book you will be giving back to charity.
You read that right. I received this book for review as part of its Blog Tour thanks to Innovative Online Book Tours. Proceeds from the sales will go to The Ronald McDonald House Foundation.
The Roaster: (Title / Author)
- Introduction by Carl Hose
- John Sadness by Jeffrey Thomas
- Crasher by Debbie Kuhn
- Harbinger by Carl Hose
- A Sight for Sore Eyes by Deborah LeBlanc
- Confidence Man by David Tocher
- Hunters by William Todd Rose
- The Vampire Shortstop by Scott Nicholson
- Protector by Rycke Foreman
- After the Fall by Paul Fry
- Beijing Craps by Graham Masterton
- Shattered Mirrors and Smokeless Flames by Angeline Hawkes
- 3:33 by Randy Chandler
- Death Comes Calling by Randy Chandler
- Live Better by Steve Voelker
- I Was Yet Another Teenage Vampire by C. Hugh
- Resurrecting Mindy by Joe McKinney
- The Bride of Frankenstein Dances with Celebrity by C. Hugh
- Dead Run by Frank Larnard
- Coda by Walt Hicks
- In a Fit of Jealous Rage by Ray Garton
- Charles by Steve Rasnic Tem
- Cut by Alex Bledsoe
- Harlots of New Chapel Row by Terry Horns Erwin
- Animals by Kody Boye
- Beach House by William Cook
- It Sounds a Bit Like . . . by Gary Fry
- Conversations Kill by Tim Waggoner
- Raphael by Stephen Graham Jones
- Taken by Felicia Merkler
- Blood Bath by Wrath James White
- Big Fat Pig by Timothy Maxon
- Cognitive by Joseph Mulak
- Three Fingers, One Thumb by Steve Volk
- When Shadows Come Back by Nancy KilPatrick
- The Sum of a Man by David B. Silva
- Remembrance by Christopher Fulbright
- Hannah’s Babysitting Blues by John Grover
- Haunted House by Lisa Morton
- Triggering by John Shirley
- The Evolutionary by Tim Lebbon
- That Last Day, Those Final Moments by Gary McMahon
- Trapdoor by Tim Curran
- The Long Wait by Christopher Shearer
- Family Tradition by Sebaston Milam
All of this is beside the point. Ireland decided she wanted to show up on January 27th at 10:35 P.M. She was six weeks premature, 18 inches long, and weighed just 4 lbs. 13 oz.
I was in the operating room when Ireland was delivered. She came out fine, although she would have her own struggles ahead of her in the coming weeks. Shortly after the nurses began cleaning Ireland up, one of the doctors said to another doctor that Marcee had accreta and would need a hysterectomy. I was caught between the joy of my daughter’s birth and my wife’s fragile situation.
I was ushered from the OR with Ireland in my arms. What followed was a two-and-a-half-hour wait while the doctors performed surgery on Marcee. There was a lot of blood loss, but in the end she came through the surgery alive and eager to see Ireland. Barely able to sit up, she insisted I wheel her to the nursery, where she held Ireland for the first time, a full four hours after Ireland was born.
I arrived at the hospital where my daughter was taken late that night. The blur begins here, so I don’t have the exact time. The NICU staff suggested I get a room at the Ronald McDonald House. I insisted I didn’t need one, that I would be staying at my daughter’s side day and night. They worked hard to convince me a room at the Ronald McDonald House made more sense—that it would be more comfortable than a chair in the NICU. If it had just been me, they probably wouldn’t have changed my mind, but since I knew Marcee was planning to join me as soon as she could strong arm the doctor’s into discharging her (which she did in record time), I relented and allowed one of the nurses to contact the Ronald McDonald House nearby to reserve us a spot.
And a little creepy.
The house sat in a beautiful residential area with red brick streets and lots of gorgeous trees, but at night, alone as I was, still a little in shock over the premature birth of my daughter and the bloody mess that was Marcee’s surgery, my mind began working overtime. I imagined all sorts of creaking floors and shadows moving through the house—hell, maybe it wasn’t my imagination. In any case, sleep did not come easy that night. I’d seen far too many horror movies, written far too many horror stories myself, not to know what usually becomes of lone visitors in quaint country homes in the middle of the night. I called Marcee to let her know I was settled in and that I thought I had the company of ghosts, or maybe something much worse.
With no key, I used my overnight bag to prop the door open so I could step outside and have a cigarette.
It was a foggy night—isn’t it always?
One cigarette became two, two became three. I stood outside in the fog, looking through the chilly darkness, grateful to have a new daughter, but afraid for how fragile she seemed to be; happy Marcee came through the surgery alive, but sad she was alone at another hospital; missing our boys, who would end up seeing us very little over the next three weeks (although they were well taken care of, thanks to Marcee’s mom and dad).
It was 3:00 A.M when I finally went back inside and stretched out on the bed, fully clothed, lying on top of the covers.
The Ronald McDonald House played a big part in making this happen. They provided food, shelter, homemade gifts from volunteers, and even cards for Valentine’s Day. We didn’t need to do anything except be there for Ireland. If not for the Ronald McDonald House, Marcee and I would have had to travel every day to see Ireland, or we would have had to sleep in the NICU to be with her. We would have gladly done either, but the Ronald McDonald House made it so we didn’t need to.
I came up with the idea for this anthology one night while Marcee and I were in our room at RMH. We wanted to give back to the organization not only for what it was doing for us, but what it has done for families since the first Ronald McDonald House opened its doors in 1974. The organization operates strictly on donations, and the best way I could think to give back was to use my talent with words.
I knew I couldn’t do it alone, however, so I called upon some of the best names in horror fiction to help out. The response was overwhelming. With very few exceptions, every author I contacted was willing to participate. I also received stories from writers who saw the call for submissions on Dark Markets. It wasn’t long before I had more stories than I could possibly use—enough to fill two volumes of Dark Light.
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