Archive for October 19, 2017


by Laura Bickle

Genre: YA Horror

Date of Publication: September 19, 2017

ISBN: 9781537857992 / ASIN: B074XBJ697

Number of pages: 307 / Word Count: 76,573

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

My Review

Charlie isn’t afraid of the dead. It’s her tenth grade classmates that can send her screaming. Halloween is rolling around again and she isn’t expecting much excitement. Especially after the fiasco from last year. Her parents didn’t appreciate her throwing a party at their funeral home.

This year Charlie is keeping a low profile. She’s not looking for trouble but trouble finds her when a deceased classmate, Amanda, who’s body should be resting in a morgue drawer, gets up and starts munching on corpses. That’s just the beginning of many bizarre events that start happening. Faster than you can say Ghoul Girl, she’s scrambling to hide Amanda and find out why the dead aren’t staying dead.

This book is tagged as YA Horror and there were some gruesome scenes. Like the one where Amanda starts chowing down on live worms like they’re gummies. And when she chews on a corpses arm like it’s a drum stick. Those scenes made me squirm. But Laura also made them funny. The family dog, Lothar, loves Amanda because she shares her kibble. Yep he’s a man eater, kind of.  He even liked the worms.

Flesh doesn’t have tons of action, but there’s enough to keep the story moving fast. The character’s act genuine. And there’s a legend about Bob the Catfish that adds an interesting twist.

I was torn over how to rate this book. Keeping in mind this was aimed at the younger audience, I went with 4 stars. It didn’t wow me but I had fun and I think it hit the mark for the young adult readers.

4 Stars



The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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Enjoy this glimpse inside.

“Amanda, I…Oh.”

            I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.

            She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.


            She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.

            “So hungry…” she murmurs.

            I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…

            Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”

            Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.

            Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. The dog scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”

            I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”

            I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.

            Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.

            “Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.

            Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.

            I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.

            She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”

            “It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.

            “Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.

            “The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”

            She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”

            I swallow hard. “Yeah.”


Glittery Ghoul Donuts

Laura Bickle

When I saw vampire donuts come
across a friend’s Facebook feed, I knew that I had to give them a try. I’ve had
my own share of Pinterest disasters, to be certain, but I think this is
something I can handle. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be
that I’d have a dozen mangled donuts, right? I could eat all the evidence
before anyone was the wiser.


I  gathered my materials. I picked up a dozen glazed donuts,
a bag of plastic vampire fangs, and a package of candy eyes. For fun, I got
some edible glitter. I originally thought I might make sparkly vampire donuts
with silver glitter, but decided to get green so that the completed creatures
would remind me more of ghouls.


 I squished some vampire fangs into the donut holes to make

Then I added the candy eyes. They stick very well into the
donut glaze.

Then I dusted the donuts with edible green glitter. I was
pretty pleased with my green choice…they seem particularly monstrous.

And ta-da! A horde of flesh-eating ghoul donuts!

I’m counting this as a Halloween
craft win. Do you have any Halloween crafts you’re going to make this season?
Any raven wreaths, bat cookies, or carved pumpkins on your agenda?


About Author Laura Bickle

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.

The latest details on her work are available at:

Website / Blog

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Welcome to My 31 Days Of Thrills And Chills!

day of the dead photo: Dancing Skeleton dancing_skeleton.gif

I’ll be sharing all kinds of books, movies, and other spooky stuff for every day in October. Gots to

get those scares on for the 31st!

I’ve got another one by Hunter Shea to share today.

The Jersey Devil

by Hunter Shea



Genre: Horror

 My Review

Having read a bunch of Hunter’s books, I thought I was prepared for The Jersey Devil. So not!

Several generations of the Willet family vow to stop the monster at any cost. The beast has haunted them for years and they want there vengeance. And that cost is high. I’m telling you now, do not get attached to any character. Hunter’s never shy about killing off his characters but he goes above and beyond in this book. After several people I started to like got killed I knew the worst was yet to come. Oops, there goes another one, and another. I tried to count how many died, but lost track somewhere in the double digits.

And the creature. The monster. Heck, I can’t come up a description horrific enough. Beastial and malevolent on so many levels, when the rampage begins it gets super gory and disturbing. If this were made into a movie, there are many scenes where I’d be peeking through my fingers, checking to see if it was done yet.

The author outdid himself with this one. Definitely one for mature readers. There are some explicit scenes so twisted I wouldn’t recommend this for a younger audience.

That being said, I enjoyed this one. Yeah, some things got to me, but that’s when you know the author did their job. If they can make you squirm, they’ve hit the mark.

4  Stars



Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth . . .

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil—and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth . . .

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey . . .



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