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If I Die Before I Wake: Tales of Nightmare Creatures (The Better Off Dead Series Book 4) Kindle Edition
Your worst nightmares come true.
Razor-sharp teeth. Vicious claws. The soul-piercing eyes that stare you down right before it pounces. What will you do when it’s you against a purveyor of pure evil? You think it’s just a dream? Think again. These nightmare creatures have transcended the pages of the books they were written into, they’ve ripped their way from the silver screen, and now they are coming for you. There is nowhere to hide—they will find you. But the question remains. Do you have what it takes to conquer the beast or will you let it destroy you?
The Better Off Dead series delves into the farthest corners of your mind, where your deepest, darkest fears lurk. These masters of horror will haunt your dreams and stalk your nightmares, taking you to the edge of sanity before pushing you to the brink of madness!
With stories by Scotty Milder, Elana Gomel, Hannah O'Doom, Scott Harper, Bridgett Nelson, Brian Asman, Sandra Stephens, Henry Herz, R.E. Sargent, Red Lagoe, Frank Beghin, Kevin M. Folliard, Steven Pajak, Matthew R. Davis. Foreword by Bram Stoker nominated author Jeff Strand.
- ASIN : B08BY58SJW
- Publisher : Sinister Smile Press (February 8, 2021)
- Publication date : February 8, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 1249 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 396 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #329,417 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The House on the Hill by R.E. Sargent
From If I Die Before I Wake:
by R.E. Sargent (Goodreads Author), Steven Pajak , Jeff Strand (Foreword), Scotty Milder , Elana Gomel , Hannah Trusty, Scott Harper , Bridgett Nelson (, Brian Asman , Sandra Stephens, Henry Herz, Red Lagoe , Frank Beghin, Kevin M. Folliard , Matthew R. Davis , Hannah O'Doom
Nobody was kidnapped before or during the writing of this review:
I have been a follower of The Better off dead series since the beginning. Reading each anthology is always like getting a jolt of energy. To date, each anthology has differed a bit from the last but all have one thing in common: They are fantastic stories, perfect for the horror purist.
So I flew through these. The theme here in this anthology are monsters. I was a bit ambivalent because monsters are not usually my thing. But there was not any way I wasn't going to read this.
And I am so glad I did because once again, they made for spectacular reading. I really, when reading these stories, think of my early years reading. I grew up LOVING horror, being drawn to John Saul and Chris Pike and a bit of King but also to very eerie seventies and early eighties horror films like "The Other" and "Let's scare Jessica to death". And I was a huge twilight zone fan.
So these stories are terrific for a number of reasons. But the number one reason is....it isn't just mindless horror. No way. These stories..all of them..have depth and soul and even some humor! There are characters who will stay with me forever. There are moving stories that fasten onto you...not like a monster but like something very special.
AND....They scare the CRAP out of you!!!!!
So....an anthology that can do that.....extremely worthy of a five star review.
I must mention a few stories but it is important for me to say I liked ALL of em! I just cannot MENTION all of them or my review will be twenty pages and you might cuss me out for having to read all that.
The Growth by Sandra Stephens:
This story will live in me forever. It is so deeply touching and so beautiful all at once while being scary to the point where I almost could not sleep. To say I loved it is an understatement. Sarah and John, the mountain man. Wow.
The House on the Hill by R.E. Sargent:
Mr. Sargent was the reason I discovered these anthologies. I read his fantastic short story, "One star review" (which I highly recommend). He has a gift of always writing stories that challenge me to try and put it together. They're always unforgettable and like solving a puzzle. This particular story is no different and also beautifully written and touching. My hat's off to to you and keep on rocking!
Seven Years Bad Luck by Brian Asman
I happen to have a fear of what Mr. Asman wrote about which I will not give away. Just a wee bit of a fear but reading this was utterly fascinating and I loved the story.
The Black Regent by Matthew R. Davis:
Wonderful closing story and eerily cool...Phantom of the Opera is one of my all time favorite Broadway shows so I was all in on this one!
Invader by Bridgett Nelson:
Sigh. Bridgett this was SO GOOD! I love a bit of teen drama but the characters here sure got more than they bargained for! I'd love to know how you thought this up! Wonderful reading...Like Dita especially!
And here I must give a shout out to the REAL Dita...who I miss greatly. I do so hope Dita you come back to GR sometime. Your wit and sense of fun are missed. I did have to include that and I am sure any fan of the real Dita will know exactly what I mean. You are missed.
OK..Back to the stories....I will close with this: what makes these anthologies stand out and why you should read them is:
Any one of these short stories could be a full length book in and of itself. Any of them. I in fact hope some of them maybe become that!
But even if they do not there are more anthologies to come including stories about bad things that lurk under water! I love the sea! And I hope one of the authors writes a story about Sirens because I am obsessed with them!!!!
Anyway...any real horror buff needs to read these. Five stars and.....what's that noise? Oh my GOSH!!!!!!!!
This anthology was published February 8, 2021.
This was a fantastic short story anthology. The best anthology I have read so far in my life. Each story was very well written. I was impressed with how the authors could pull me in with only about 20 pages to do so. Different interesting creatures throughout made this a great reading experience. This is creature horror at its best. I would recommend checking out this anthology and all the others in the Better Off Dead Series.
Thoughts on Individual Stories (Note: All these stories were very high quality. I designated the stories that resonated the most with me 5 stars.)
Forward by Jeff Strand managed to be hilarious and creepy. It had me cackling out loud. 5 stars
A More Than Canine Hunger by Scotty Milder: 5 stars, Beautiful, atmospheric story of a snowy day in Colorado. Wonderful character development of a young boy thinking about his family.
The Alarabi by Elena Gomel-5 stars, Very unique premise unlike anything I have read. This was a beautifully written story that created quite a creepy image in the mind.
Scarecrow by Hannah O’Doom- 4.5 stars, This was a really impressive story with great character development of the main character, a teen girl who is bullied.
Ismini and Blood of the Bullman- 4.5 stars Brutal battle involving a seemingly unbeatable creature. The introduction of a second creature brought the story to a whole different level.
Invader by Bridgett Nelson- 5 stars, Spurned high school senior gets revenge. Loved the beautiful Northwest USA island setting.
Seven Years Bad Luck by Brian Asman- 4.5 stars, Cute new romance comes with some deadly baggage attached. This story actually made mirrors scary.
The Growth by Sandra Stephens-5 stars, A gruesome story of killer nature. I was so invested in the characters. This story was bleak, emotional, and full of body horror.
The Kelpie of Loch Ness by Henry Herz- 4.5 stars, Movie crew filming in Scottland encounter many kinds of creatures.
The House on the Hill by R.E. Sargent- 5 stars, Alternating chapters between a man who is dealing with the loss of his wife and really awesome scenes from a creature’s perspective.
Caecillica by Red Lagoe- 5 stars, Complicated characters, dark revelations, and a creepy story too. Fantastic!
Magic Shadows by Frank Beghin-5 stars, This was a really sad and scary story that could be triggering to some. It blew me away though! A stuffed animal protects a young girl after her family cannot.
Jack of Spades by Kevin M. Folliard- 4.5 stars, This was a coming of age story with a dangerous game. It includes a very unique creature.
The Mortality of Morris Meridian by Steven Pajak- 5 stars, A wonderful story about a man who befriends a very likable creature during World War 2.
The Black Regent by Matthew R. Davis- 4.5 stars, This creepy tale made me nostalgic for video stores and old theaters.