Authors: Donald McCarthy, TS Hall, Lorraine Nelson, Kathryn Hearst, Shannon Hollinger, John Kaniecki, Ray Dean, John Robinson, Thomas Kleaton, Joe DiCicco, Sean Taylor, and Teel James Glenn
Publisher By: Dreaming Big Publications, 2016
Reviewed By: Corinthia Mitchell
About the Book
An artist whose love for his wife has horrific results.
A babysitting job gone horribly wrong.
A talent agency that promises success no matter what; even if you are the one standing in the way.
This chilling collection of modern horror stories is sure to have you peeking warily around corners and walking just a bit faster down dark streets. Full of both creepy events and morbid humor, The Bacchanal stands as a testament to humanity’s love of being afraid and of frightening others.
Humanity’s fear of the unknown and fascination with the supernatural are masterfully depicted in these eleven stories. Though the supernatural elements are the centerpiece of the collection, it is the believable actions of the ordinary humans, both evil and well-meaning, that will send shivers down readers’ spines.
Review, Rating 5/5
As a huge horror nut I’m always willing to curl up with any book that hints towards the macabre, but am a bit sketchy about collections (because there’s always a few duds to slog through). Reading The Bacchanal, however turned out to be one of the most enjoyable short story horror collections that I’ve ever read. The Bacchanal didn’t have a single story that I didn’t enjoy on some level, and every writer’s style was distinct enough to make their story stand out amongst everyone else’s.
What I enjoyed the most while reading The Bacchanal was that each story seemed to play with a distinct type of horror. No two stories read the same because the tone or the approach to the horror genre varied from writer to writer. One story could be gruesomely ghoulish while another could write such a twisted turn a reader could suffer from whiplash.
From the collection, despite enjoying them all, there were a few that stood out from amongst their horrific companions:
“The Encouragement Specialists” by TS Hall is about a talent agency that promises success no matter what, but, as the contracted finds out, with horrific consequences towards whatever is blocking their contractor’s success.
“No Experience Necessary” by Lorraine Nelson is another horror story about a babysitter trapped in home where things are not how they seem.
“Mountain of the Lost” by Shannon Hollinger is a griping tale of a group of girls who end up lost in the mountains before being chased by a psychotic killer.
“Art Imitates Death” by Sean Taylor is a fascinating take on a grieving artist trapped in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.
The Bacchanal is a horror collection that I’d recommend to any reader looking to add to their bookcase.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
About Authors (Taken from bios included in book)
Donald McCarthy is a writer and a teacher. He has published in anthologies and magazines, his work ranging from horror to articles on the economy. He is afraid of cheese. His website is www. donaldmccarthy.com.
TS Hall (when he’s not chained to the keyboard) can be found slinging cardboard at the local comic book shop, or bingewatching horror movies on Netflix. Born and raised in the darkest parts of Appalachia, he now lives in Florence, Kentucky with his wife and three daughters. His writing can also be found in the Pebble Lake Review.
Lorraine Nelson. Global citizen. Lifelong writer. Voracious reader. Frequent traveler. Avid moviegoer. Geeky sci-fi fanatic. Lover of cupcakes.
Kathryn M. Hearst is a southern girl with a love of the dark and strange. Besides writing, she has a passion for shoes, vintage clothing, antique British cars, music, musicians and all things musical (including theatre). Kate lives in central Florida with her chocolate lab, Jolene; and two rescue pups, Jagger and Roxanne. Her short stories have been published in various anthologies. Her debut novel, Feast of the Epiphany, will be out in June 2016, followed by The Spirit Tree and Feast of Mercy Fall 2016. www.kathrynmhearst.com.
Shannon Hollinger with degrees in Crime Scene Technology and Physical Anthropology, hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She currently lives in New Hampshire where she is owned by two terriers and, when allowed, spends her free time writing and climbing mountains. To see where you can find more of her work, check out www.shannonhollinger.com.
John Kaniecki resides in Montclair, New Jersey with his wife Sylvia of over eleven years. John volunteers as a missionary at the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue which is in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey. John is a writer and poet. He has two poetry books “Murmurings of a Mad Man” published by eLectio Publishing and “Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope to the Bottom One Percent” by Dreaming Big Publications. In addition he has a science fiction collection entitled “Words of the Future” published by Witty Bard and a horror novella “Scarecrow, Scarecrow” published by Fat-Lip Press.
Ray Dean was born and raised in Hawaii where she spent many a quiet hour reading and writing stories. Performing in theater and working backstage lead her into the delights of Living History, creating her own worlds through writing seemed the next logical step. Historical settings are her first love, but there is something heady about twisting the threads of time into little knots and creating new timelines to explore. There are endless possibilities that she is just beginning to discover.
John Robinson is a dad and author living in Middle Tennessee. His work has been published by Crowded Quarantine, Zimbell House, and Jitter. He can be contacted at his Facebook page John Robinson/ Literal Remains. (https://www.facebook.com/literal.remains)
Thomas Kleaton is a freelance horror writer. He has had stories published in The Horror ’Zine, and several anthologies including Cellar Door: Words of Beauty, Tales of Terror; The Horror Zine Magazine Summer 2014; Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2014 and 2015; and What Has Two Heads, Ten Eyes, and Terrifying Table Manners? He lives in the woods near Auburn University, AL, with his wife, Sheila.
Joe DiCicco is a 31 year old author from New York, who writes horror, thriller, and dark fantasy and sci-fi. He has a degree in environmental conservation and is an avid nature and animal lover. When not writing he enjoys music, cooking, astronomy, and spending time outdoors. His story, Feed My Queen, was previously published in 2013 by Vamptasy Publishing. He also has a fantasy short, The Last Druid, published in the Mystical Bites anthology by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, as well as a horror short Her Nook, published at innersins.com. He has another horror short, Amped, that will be published in Death Wound Zine in April of 2016.
Sean Taylor is an award-winning writer of stories. He grew up telling lies, and he got pretty good at it, so now he writes them into full-blown adventures for comic books, graphic novels, magazines, book anthologies and novels. He makes stuff up for money, and he writes it down for fun. He’s a lucky fellow that way.
He’s best known for his work on the best-selling Gene Simmons Dominatrix comic book series from IDW Publishing and Simmons Comics Group. He has also written comics for TV properties such as the toprated Oxygen Network series The Bad Girls Club. His other forays into fiction include such realms as steampunk, pulp, young adult, fantasy, super heroes, sci-fi, and even samurai frogs on horseback (seriously, don’t laugh). However, his favorite contribution to the world will be as the writer/editor who invented the genre and coined the term “Hookerpunk.”
Teel James Glenn. Winner of the 2012 Pulp Ark ‘Best Author of the Year.’ Epic ebook award finalist. P&E winner ‘Best Thriller Novel’, “Best Steampunk Short”, Multiple finalist “Best Fantasy short stories,” Collection” Author of the bestselling Exceptionals Series, The Maxi/Moxie Series, The Dr. Shadows Series, The Renfairies series and others.Visit him at www.theurbanswashbuckler.com