Things to Ponder:
I have added a coming soon secion to the blog, displaying some of the new titles you'll see soon. If you know of a title you'd like to see that's coming soon, please feel free to contact me a and I'll have it added.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Excerpt to Bloodbreeders, Living in Darkness

BLOODBREEDERS Living in Darkness by: Robin Renee Ray


Annabel picked up one of the devices, smiled like a mother would to an infant she was trying to feed, and said jovially, "Open wide." Needless to say, I kept my mouth clamped shut. She nodded to Enrique, who came over and pulled down on my bottom jaw. As soon as my mouth was opened wide enough, she shoved the device she held into my mouth. It was a round, metal contraption with a hole in the center, and it had little ‘legs’ that hooked onto the sides of my mouth, keeping it pried wide open. Almost too large to fit, the device caused my lips to feel as if they were being split wider than they should be. She shoved it so far into my mouth that I felt—and heard—as it scraped my teeth, gagging me.

"Do you have the blood ready?" Annabel asked no one in particular.

One of the men brought over a pitcher and sat it on the table. She looked down at me slowly, shaking her head with that stupid half–cocked smile, and said, "You should never disobey Mistress Yvette. She was very kind to offer you food from her own private stock." I wanted to argue, but there was no way I could speak with the device in my mouth. Annabel turned back to the table and picked up the plastic tube.

"If you swallow, the tube will go down much smoother," she said, inserting it through the hole in the tool that she had placed in my mouth.

She pushed the tube into my mouth, past my tongue, into my throat. That’s when I found out what type of pain the tube could cause. I gagged repeatedly as she forced the tube further and further down my esophagus, until it would go no further. Even when the tube was in place, I continued to gag, convulsing and completely unable to take a full breath. Annabel secured a funnel to the small piece of tube that was still exposed, and looked down into my watering eyes.

"This is what happens when you refuse to feed," she told me, picking up the pitcher. "You don’t want to be weak for your date tomorrow night, now do you?"

I didn’t have a clue what she was talking about, and I really didn’t care. All my concentration was trying to steal small puffs of air through my nose in–between the continual heaves. She began to pour blood from the pitcher into the funnel, and I could see the clear tube turn crimson as it filled. She kept pouring until the jug was empty, and then proceeded to pull the tube out. As it came up, the repetitive movement of my diaphragm became more violent.

"Uh-uh," she said, as if scolding a child. "Throw it up, and I do it again, as many times as it takes. We have all night."

She removed the metal piece from my mouth as she spoke. I squeezed my lips together, doing my best to swallow, but it did absolutely no good. My body gave way to one final heave and the blood came gushing from its portal, showering back down onto my face."Now that is a shame," she said, satisfaction shrouding her mock disappointment. "It looks like we’ll have to start all over."

I could see Enrique out of the corner of my tear filled eye, smiling like the Cheshire cat.My throat was in agony, raw all the way down, and Annabel was placing the round thing back in my mouth. This time I tried to struggle, but my head, like this rest of my body fought against its own will. Tears of anguish filled both my eyes and I couldn’t stop them from streaming down my face.

"Oh, don’t cry," Annabel smiled. "If you weren’t busy tomorrow night, I would be doing so much more."

The tube was worse going down the second time than it had been the first. My throat was so raw that it felt as if the tube was ripping off pieces as it went along. Another jug of blood was brought out, and Annabel refilled my stomach."Best hold this down," she said, when she was done. "Like I said before, it only gets worse." Just like before, my body reacted and I gagged as the tube was removed, but I closed my eyes, breathing in as much and as deep as I could, and luckily nothing came up. She removed the piece from my mouth a second time, and I prayed that there wouldn’t be a third. I gagged one last time and as I did blood filled my mouth. I grit my teeth and swallowed it back down without a single drop leaving my lips, leaving Annabel looking slightly disappointed.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Damnation by Robin Renee Ray -- What would you do for your child? (4.7 of 5 Panic Attacks)

I will have to admit, this is one of the toughest reviews I've written and it'll be one of my shortest too. But it's not tough because what I read was bad... No, I'm having such a hard time because Robin Renee Ray has written a tale so deviously treaded, if I mention anything closer to the line of "general" I risk giving the whole story away!

So, what can I say about Damnation without giving it all away? Only great things!

Kimberly is a girl who has a problem and her parents are doing everything they can to fix that problem. After saying that... I can't seem to go any further without spoiling the way Robin seems to lead you through a short portion of Kimberly's life of horror.

"She's having another seizure, John," her mother cried out, then raced for the phone. her father sat down on the bed and took her in his arms, holding her as close to his chest as he could. (Ray, Damnation, Damnation Books)

Robin has a strong visual sense that flows from her fingers to the words of her story, taking you from one moment to the next, never letting you go. She successfully puts you into the hearts and minds of Kimberly and her parents, making you hurt for them just before throwing in a twist that will keep you up at nights wondering, "what if."

Rumor has it Robin is planning more to give her readers in Kimberly's life and all I can say is that I'll be first in line to read what new devilish twists and turns Robin has in store. But, if you want a great introduction into what Robin's planning--I strongly suggest you pick up Damnation at Damnation Books and see what it's all about.

You can find more about Robin Renee Ray at her site:

You can get your copy of Damnation at Damnation Books

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 94 by D.M. Slate -- The "true" meaning of house arrest (4.7 of 5 Panic Attacks)

Imagine being trapped inside your own home. You, your significant other, your kids… All unable to leave because you could be infected and then who would take care of your family? Now imagine being stuck inside your house like this for months. No food other than what you have in your home; no electricity; no real running water and, more importantly, no idea of what is really going on or when it will end.

They don't understand, and we don't want to frighten them, so we turned it into a game of sorts. We told the kids it's a contest to see which family can stay inside the house the longest, and that we really want to win. That seemed to work for now… (Slate, Day 94, Eternal Press)
D.M. Slate does just that. She makes you see what life would be like through the eyes of one mother as she survives the results of a meteor strike near her home with her husband and two kids. And Slate holds no punches in this profoundly thought out story.

Slate should have named this story 94 minutes because the reader is pulled into her world and nothing moves slowly when you have crazed people outside your home and two children who need your protection to survive. For a parent of two children myself, this is a must read. Not because of the possibility of some outbreak like Slate describes, but because of the level of commitment a parent feels toward their child…that ability to protect your flesh and blood to the death…even from those closest to you.

And to further the horror Slate describes, she also has an alternate ending listed on her website ( An ending far darker than the original, yet still portraying that loving spirit of a real parent.

Slate knows what true horror is! It's not gore, but that deep rooted terror that is felt in the direst of moments and Slate has found a way to voice that in Day 94. This story will stick with me for a long time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

There is a difference between horror and gore

I recently had a conversation with a friend on one of the many Yahoo loops I participate in. She had told me that she might not like my books if they were similar to movies such as "The Descent." Now true the movie had its moments of terror, but for me it was nothing more than a shabby plot covered in gore and shock. Now granted there are many in the world who will disagree with me, but it my own opinion, horror is far more than just blood and guts. This is why the hacker-slasher movies stick with us but are never highly rated. If the reader/viewer is not attached to the lead character in more ways than one, the overall impact holds no more value than accidentally cutting your finger while slicing a tomato. It's there briefly but soon fades in your mind.

Now I'm not saying that gore shouldn't be included in horror. But if you believe that nothing but gore makes horror you are sadly mistaken. For example, the Saw series had lost touch with its plot and moved to elaborate death with little attachment to the story. Now I love how they come up with some of these devices and how they can create multiple pieces of the puzzle that put together the big picture at the end, but I feel they've lost me when it comes to falling in love with a character and rooting for said person, hoping with all my might that they make it out.

That brings me to my next point in what I believe horror to be. Now it's true in today's movies and books, you can get away with more and more when talking about what you can do to a character. But that's about as horrible as slapping a mosquito or an irritating fly. A reason some of the greats in horror, Stephen King, Clive Barker so forth and so on, do so well is because they make you love their characters. They get you intimately involved with the hero or heroine; you open your heart to him/her just before the author strips the character from you in some tragic event.

It's horror because we become emotionally involved with the characters. They become flesh and blood and it hurts us when they feel pain, both physical and mental. Our hearts ache when their loved ones are pulled from them because we think of what it would be like to have the same happen to us. Their sacrifices are our own and when they run, we feel the adrenaline pumping; when they die, we feel our heart stop beating; when they love, we feel the heat of their passion.

That is where true horror lies…Not in the actions, but what makes the actions so vital to the story. If you don't love the character, you're doing nothing more than swatting flies for however long the movie is or however long it takes you either finish the book or put it down because you are bored of it.

But, this is my opinion of what I believe horror to be….What do you think true horror is?

Death’s Design On Humanity….

Dear Readers,

Have you ever stood on a lonely stretch of road with tall, imposing trees stretching a concealing canopy on either side as far as you can see in either direction? Nothing but darkness and the unknown beyond them, knowing if help were needed, there wasn’t anywhere to run.

Staring ahead of you, never looking to either side, you know something…someone watched. That someone had a design for you, but there is no inclination as to what. A cold drop of sweat rolls down the back of your neck, tickling each erect hair that’s screaming terror, along with every one of your instincts. You turn around, knowing there has to be…

…But nothing is there.

It makes you think doesn’t it? That maybe, sometimes, there really is something watching us, waiting for the perfect predetermined moment to strike.

I’m about to start watching Final Destination, The Ultimate Destination. I’ve seen the past three movies in the Final Destination Series, all the way back to Devon Sawa on the plane, having a vision that it would crash…and it indeed did. He found out about a different side to this world, one none of us ever wants to see.

We prefer the delusion that there isn’t destiny, fate or death waiting in the wings, pulling our strings. While that very well could be truth…what if it weren’t? That if our misconceptions of control were nonexistent? We are all puppets in some bigger plan, game…

These movies suggest an entity that holds death dear, one that decides who and when dies, and just how to make it happen. On top of that, it has intelligence and rationale, something none of us want when it comes to our worst nightmares. This thing methodically plots with a specific design in mind, an order in which it is done…precise to the point, that it can and has been tricked because of it. Sometimes with deliberate intention, though sometimes not. It is only a matter of perception…and the willingness to see the stuff right before our eyes, without letting our minds put a rational explanation to the irrational.

In the theory of these movies, when death has its eyes upon you, there are ways of knowing it. Seeing small tells around us; just as a reflection in a window, a particular coincidence. A sinking feeling begins in your stomach, but your mind writes it off as something far more mundane. But then a sequence of events leading to your death unfolds around you, and in our naivety, the last grain of our hourglass falls, and it’s over. Even with life handing you hints, it’s unavoidable, though not inescapable.

In the theory of escape, there is an order things must be done, and to interfere with that order will be to disturb death’s design. In these movies, it’s typically someone living through a scene, seeing everything around them in vivid detail, only to start back over, but now with the knowledge to save themselves, and those around them.

In doing so, the order disrupts and death stumbles, pulling back to regroup and assess. But never to give up, and never to forget, always in pursuit of those on whatever list that decides who lives and who dies. It is up to those who are permitted mere glimpses to decipher their own survival.

Now if such an entity existed, would we, the average, unsuspecting person have the abilities and open-mindedness to see it, stop it?

Or on the flipside, what if you did see what happened, and succeeded in avoiding the happenings over and over again? Only to find out everything you’d just been through, only brought you to a time and place of its choosing…and you were going to die anyways.

Final Destination, The Ultimate Destination, is much like the three before it, but I wasn’t expecting much differently. Even though they are damned near carbon-copies of each other, the concept intrigues me in one of those…”What If” mentalities.

Normally, I’m not quite this morbid…lol. But it makes you think, doesn’t it?

Spooky Reading…

Kayden McLeod

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Welcome to my darkness

Before I open this blog up for all my friends to come in and tell us all what they like, dislike, are publishing and working on, I wanted to officially welcome everyone to Inside the Devil's Oak.

Here you will find reviews and promotions from authors and fans of horror. Here you can find out what a writer of horror might think of the latest horror movie or book coming out. And you just might end up with some free stuff along the way as I hope to one day host new authors looking to promote their works.

With that said, right now my friends Kayden McLeod and Robin Renee Ray are my list of fellow authors. If you would like to submit a blog or review, please contact me at and I can see what opportunities Inside the Devil's Oak has for you!

Until then, enjoy my friends…

Trent Kinsey