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Master of Macabre, Wicked Women Writers, and “Homecoming” by Scott Langrel

April 20, 2016

Hello ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the Casa!

It’s that time of year again, open season for the Master of Macabre and Wicked Women Writers writing contests.  Just like in past years, the contestants are given three elements, which they must include in their story.  Last year was the introduction of turning the story into an audio drama with no less than two people voicing characters, which carries over to this year.  The 2016 theme is Twisted Urban Legends.  You will be given an urban legend, a setting, and an obscure item.  After taking a year off from the contest last year, I intend to enter, but there is also the possibility of having one or two of my sons also competing for the prize of Master of Macabre.  For more details on these contests, check out Master of Macabre or Wicked Women Writers.  You can also check out for more announcements and horror themed nuggets of information, including details on a recently announced anthology that is accepting submissions.

In returning to my book reviewing roots, this week I thought I’d share “Homecoming” by Scott Langrel.  This is the first book in the Finn McCoy Paranormal Thrillers.  Finn is a paranormal handler, someone who deals with, and sometimes cleans up after, members of the fae and other mythical creatures.  He is often called in to situations normal paranormal investigators are unable to handle, and he sets things back into balance.  The first book finds our hero being called back to his old hometown of Shallow Springs, VA, which he left fifteen years prior, to help deal with a series of murders.  In the past, the town’s sheriff maintained a balance with the mystical elements of the forest.  The creatures were permitted to take and kill a limited amount of people they found in the woods in exchange for them not entering the town itself.  A new leader has emerged within one of the magical races, and they don’t like abiding by the truce.  Finn’s job is to keep the people of the town safe, while re-establishing the balance of things between magical and non-magical.

I thought this was a pretty fun read that didn’t try to be something larger than it needed to be.  There was just enough hinting at prior events with the characters, while not having that overshadow the current story taking place.  If the rest of the series is like this one, I think I’ll be reading the rest in short order.  That being said, there were a few things that did defy some level of logic, but none that I can mention because they delve to closely into spoiler territory.  I can say that none of them take you out of the story or take you out of the story.  My rating is a 4 out of 5.

You can find “Homecoming” on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or order it through your local book store.

Check out the latest season of to catch my contribution, Nightmare Fuel.  It is a different topic every week about something horror, paranormal, and creepy, most of which with a basis or legend in real life.  For the season premier, I touch on black-eyed children, with an assist from my youngest three sons.  The episode will be ready for download or listening on the website this weekend.

Until next time…


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