*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*
Want something a bit different for the holidays? Horror has never looked this enticing! New release, All in Fear, is a gorgeous collection of horror tales from some of the hottest names in queer fiction. Be prepared to be titillated…and terrified.
All in Fear
By KJ Charles, Roan Parrish, J.A. Rock,
Steve Berman, Avon Gale, and Kris Ripper
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.
Sometimes disturbing, sickening but always thrilling. Containing 6 marvelous stories with different themes and kind of styles. All worth a read.
Some stories were more mind-play and the fear they created captured you, then other were disturbing in the description and you were horrified.
The first story
Company by Roan Parrish was a “classical” vampire story but in its shortness not boring. Quite the contrary, it capured from the first page to the last and it was so hard to read how Nick is influenced by Michael… The simple horror is great developed, the character where good displayed… the story ends… I won’t say anything, read it by yourself. 😉
Love Me True by Kris Ripper is one of the more realistic stories, maybe the most realistic story. The disturbing fact was the assumption you had as a reader and you aren’t wrong… It is also a bit… disturbing you are faszinated by the described things or at least you are captured by the way it is described in the book. With the first person narration it is also really “near”.
The best story in the whole book, because it had all I needed was The Price of Meat by KJ Charles. I don’t know how but KJ Charles is able to create a whole world in a short story and it was from the first to the last page intimidating, faszinating and thrilling. Also really, really disgusting, though I really loved the fierce heroine. It is the only story with contains a F/F couple, but if I not mistake also a M/M one. 😉 This should get a sequel, even if it would be a novella… So awesome in its completeness. I never had this vivid imagination of one story than of this.
I admit His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman was the story which I found was the weakest. It had great parts but a few things were – and still are – unclear, the whole setting isn’t also my total cup of tea, also I wasn’t touched by the character like in the other stories. This is though a good story and I would say this is kind of one-voice because the author bio is saying that Steve Berman was also a student at Zeta Psi… Also the titles wasn’t making sence until the middle of the book… it was okay but not my favorite one.
Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale was really disturbing but also interesting. You are totally capured by the way it is presented, the way of narration. The whole story is written in transcripts, email conversations though these are one sided and personal notes, written and recoreded (of course the recorded ones are written down ;)). The one sided narration leads you to accept the issues, the happenings. The ending was also very scary but I really loved it. It is a pity the story was only this short. My second favorite story after KJ Charles’ one. 🙂
Beauties by J.A. Rock was the story with a sci-fi content, with having AIs (artificial intelligence) which art used as “sex toys”, so for the psysical needs and pleasures… It went from a kind of normal sci-fi story to something disturbing but I was really faszinated by it. It had a great twist in the storyline, nothing I expected… I can’t decide wether I like this or the first story most so they share the 4rd place. 🙂
After all the stories were totally different yet all sum one up: they are disturbing. Some of them can be called “classical”, some of them are really unique. For the hardcore gore/splatter lover this isn’t really an anthology I would recommend, because in parts it’s “too soft”, for horror beginners I would say: grab it, and of course for those who want to read about the authors and want to see a somekind “new site”. A few of the authors were new for me, so I have a good insight, other were known and I will continue reading further books.
The whole antholgy though it contains a few weaker stories get 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Have a look at the thrilling cover
Title: All in Fear
Authors: KJ Charles, Roan Parrish, J.A. Rock,
Steve Berman, Avon Gale, and Kris Ripper
Genre: M/M, F/F
Release date: December 1st, 2016
Add to you bookshelf:
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.
KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, and a cat with murder management issues. KJ writes mostly historical romance, mostly queer, often with fantasy or horror in there.
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.
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
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.
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 that.
J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.