Latest review for HATCHED

Just read a great review for my novel Hatched…

“The book Hatched is the first in a series about the zombie apocalypse. There are a ton, dare I say WAY TOO DAMN MANY, zombie things out there. Luckily for us, this is unlike any you have ever read.” – James Amthor

You can read the rest of the review at:

You can read Hatched for free on Kindle Unlimited:

“Psychosis, Spiders and Zombies, Oh My!” – 5 Star Review for Hatched

“I was interested in this book based on the cover art and title alone, and they do not disappoint. ‘Hatched’ is a unique take on a parasitic invasion that affects humans in ways that are horrifying and hard to predict. I read a lot of content in this genre and I’m always on the hunt for a unique take on a cliche – this is the one for zombie lore. I’ve consumed an absurd amount of this kind of content and there is nothing out there like this that I’ve found. If you like horror, have a fear spiders and enjoy a thrilling, spine tingling (literally) adventure, then ‘Hatched’ is the story for you! Darren Marlar gives a stellar performance.” -Simone K (

Hatched is available in print, audiobook, and on Kindle.

If you live in the Wausau area, please request the book from Jankes’ Book Store.

Book Review: Video Night by Adam Cesare

Ready Player One of the horror genre…

Billy and Tom and been long friends and every Friday they have a tradition. They find horror films from the local video store and watch them. Sounds simple, but its a tradition, something they have been doing since Billy’s dad first bought one of the town’s first VHS machines. This Friday is different. This Friday, the horror they are accustomed to watching has become a reality around them as an alien invasion has started during their video night. Now they must fight to survive as their town burns down around them.

I’m going to start by saying that I really loved this book. The plot was a piece of well crafted simplicity that didn’t try to do too much, and because of that it was a lot of fun to read. The characters were fun and being a horror nerd myself, easy to relate to. While the book and the characters did fall into tropes much of the time, but when it comes to a 80’s nostalgia (this book is set in the 80’s) I feel that works for it. The 80s’ were the golden age for horror movies and this book is that love letter you have wanted. I just wish the characters went more into horror trivia mode and really played up their love for the genre.

I know that is a bad negative to a book, but I really enjoyed this one. If you’re a fan of creature feature horror films and live horror fiction, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Available today at both and

My Rating 5/5

Book Review: Deadfall Hotel

Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem

“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave…”

Richard has lost his wife and in his grief, has accepted a job offer at a very unique hotel. It is one of mysteries and wonder, and where the dead can walk the halls with the living. It is a place where dreams can take shape and pets can mutate into monsters.

This book is an interesting read with some odd directions, and for the most part, I found it highly enjoyable. Now I’ll say that with the caveat that I do not feel like many others will like this book. It has an odd detached tone to it while things are happening and it leaves the reader like you are never fully brought into the secrets of the hotel. I enjoyed that because our main character often never feels like he has fully been brought into the fold.

It also does not have a straight central story line where it leads to a massive climax that gets resolved. Instead, the book introduces us to the main character, we have a few adventures with him and his daughter and then the story is over and we are left saying goodbye. I’m okay with that, however the end isn’t fully explained and we’re left not fully understanding what changed. It is the ending that keeps me from rating this book higher.

I did listen to this as an audiobook and the narrator did a fantastic job. In fact, the next audiobook I am going to listen to, by pure coincidence, is also narrated by him and I am looking forward to it.

Rating 4/5


Purchase your copy today. Available in your local book store or on Amazon.
If in Wausau, WI, please make sure to buy your copy from Janke Books Store

Book Review: The Deceased by Tom Piccirilli

Jacob Maelstrom’s family had been brutally murdered by his sister ten years ago in their family home. He was eleven then, and was found in the closet with no memory of what happened.

Now, on the anniversary of the killings, Jacob is being summoned home by the ghosts. They want him to visit. He’s been away from the family home for far too long…

Mr. Piccirilli is an excellent writer and that alone makes this book an interesting read. He has a great way of pulling you into the characters and their surroundings. That being said, I wanted to like this book more than I do. The storyline was very disjointed which I’m sure was intentional to create a surreal effect, however I wonder how much better the book would could have been.

Another aspect of this book, and something not really important to the review, is that there are certain parts of the book that read like a gothic self help book on how to write a horror novel. He intersperses little nuggets on how to write. I don’t know if you will, but I enjoyed them.


Purchase your copy today. Available in your local book store or on Amazon.
If in Wausau, WI, please make sure to buy your copy from Janke Books Store

New 5 Star Review for HATCHED

“Ziggy Stardust ain’t got nothing on this tale. This story should really be a page from the great 90’s RPG All Flesh Must be Eaten. That game took and added zombied to different genres. It also came up with some brilliant alternate reasons for zombies to have come about, and this book adds Arachnaphobia with All Flesh. It works on a lot of different levels, and the creep factor really digs deep under your skin. If you have an aversion to creepy crawlies then this book isn’t for you. You won’t be able to sleep afterward; just because of the thoughts it will implant in your head.

If I had my guess, this would be the start of a series, or at least a part of a series of books, just because somethings aren’t tied up so neatly as you’d expect and if that is the case I am excited, because this was a great story.

Marlar does a great job with the narration. There are a lot of characters in this story, and he doesn’t make you guess which is in the lead at the time. He is easy to follow and he keeps your attention.

Fans of zombies, voodoo, and arachnids will really enjoy this book, but then so will any horror junkie.

READ IT NOW!!!” – Ray Johnson posted to

Hatched is free to read with Kindle Unlimited or to listen with an audible subscription.

Pulled into the Lair…

Here is my latest interview as I was featured today on Ursula K. Raphael’s literary blog “AstraDaemon’s Lair.” She reviewed Into Darkness and also asked a few questions, but you can read all of that on her site.

AstraDaemon’s Lair

Book Review: Terror Byte by J. R. Park

Detective Norton is thought to be one of London’s best detectives but lately he is a haunted man. Just weeks ago his girlfriend was murdered leaving him with nothing but the job which he focuses on relentlessly. Then he is called in to investigate an office building where the entire staff is found brutally murdered. His only clue is the flash drive that curiously has his dead girlfriend’s name printed on it.

I must admit I have a lot of mixed feeling about this book. It’s short, and part me feels that it works because of it. However I also feel like the hindrance of the book is it’s brevity and that it should be longer with twists, turns, and added suspense. As it stands, it is an interesting book that is never sure what genre it wants to be a part of so it takes a limitless from each. You have the grotesque beginning with the gratuitous sex scene, and then you stumble through the noir until you find yourself reading a techno-thriller.

Now don’t get me wrong, I found the book to be engaging and worked my way through the short fiction rather quickly, however this book was not one of my favorites.

Rating: 3/5

Click Here to purchase from Amazon

Book Review: An Unwelcome Quest

An Unwelcome Quest (Magic 2.0 book 3) by Scott Meyer

We are back in the world of Magic 2.0, following the adventures of Phillip and Martin. For those who are unfamiliar with these ‘wizards’, they are two time traveling men who happened across a computer file that gave them unlimited access to influence the world around them. See, all of life is a computer program, and these two as well as many others have found away to use that, propel themselves into the past and proclaim themselves as wizards.

Book 3 in the series follows these men as a former ‘wizard’ who had been banished and stripped of his powers reclaims said powers and forces our heroes with their friends into a fantasy video game. There, they must complete and epic quest to find out who is the chosen one that will live.

I just finished reading this novel, and I will start of by saying that I found this book to be the best of the series so far. The first in the book I had many issues with and it took me nearly a year before I finally worked up desire to read the second book. The second book was better and enjoyable enough that I went ahead and went right into the third book. I didn’t regret it.

This book was a lot of fun, and the characters are entertaining with most of them being fully developed with their own personalties. That alone is pretty good considering how many characters we had to deal with in this novel. The story itself flowed well, and continued at a good pace that I burned through the book at a good pace even with many of life’s interruptions.

The quest they are sent on was one of my favorite parts as it had a lot of fun poking holes in many of the fantasy game tropes that I myself have on occasion found frustrating. Have two separate parties going through the quest allowed for some fun moments as we got to see how two different sets of characters interact with the challenges that they faced and was quiet humorous as they came across some of the game’s glitches.

The book is a light hearted, fun read and for anyone looking for something like that, I would recommend. Though to really get a feel for the characters, you will probably need to read the other two books. It does try to tell you everything that had happened before, and you will probably be able to get the full story without them. Still, to really understand who Phillip and Martin as well as Jimmy and Gary are, you’ll want those additional stories.


Click Here to by from Amazon