The Bacchanal and Other Horrific Tales
By Donald McCarthy, TS Hall, Lorraine Nelson, Kathryn M. Hearst, Shannon Hollinger, John Kaniecki, Ray Dean, John Robinson, Thomas Kleaton, Joe DiCicco, Sean Taylor, Teel James Glenn
Published by Dreaming Big Publications
Reviewed by Amy Owings
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. 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.
4 out of 5 stars
I loved the variety of horror and suspense stories in this collection. It dealt with everything from supernatural creatures to psychological thrills, and the most interesting aspect was the way in which the protagonists dealt with the horrors affronting them. My favorite story has to be “The Encouragement Specialists” for its unique plot and chilling insinuation of how writers find success, which struck a chord with me. My only complaint is that the collection overall was not as scary as I expected it to be; however, it was still a great read.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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.
When he’s not chained to the keyboard, TS Hall can be found slinging cardboard at the local comic book shop, or binge-watching 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). 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
With degrees in Crime Scene Technology and Physical Anthropology, Shannon Hollinger 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 Sylvia, his wife 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. 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. He also 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. www.raydean.net
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: 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. http://thomaskleaton.wordpress.com/
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.
5 out of 5 stars - Reviewed by Ally
The Bacchanal: And Other Horrific Tales is a wonderful example of what everyone needs and wants from a collection of scary stories. Full of both supernatural occurrences and instances in which the depravity of humanity is made truly apparent, this horror collection is sure to appeal and frighten all who take the leap to read it.
A truly enjoyable read, The Bacchanal is both incredibly entertaining, frightening, and even morbidly funny at times. In collections of this type, it is typical that one or two of the stories is easily forgettable when compared to others. However, in this collection this simply does not happen. Each and every one of these stories is both spine-tingling and captivating in its own way. The authors’ creativity is honestly laudable and their ability to twist and elaborate on tropes such as a babysitter or zombies or a mysterious disappearance in the mountains keeps the reader on their toes and fascinated by the story. The stories are all incredibly different and call on different horrific aspects in order to terrify the reader, further cementing its status as a masterful collection of fiction.