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Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Carson Buckingham is my Woman In Horror today! Carson writes great horror, but she also is capable of adding humor to it, something many authors are not capable of doing. Her great novel Gothic Revival, is a classic example of that.

Writing dialogue is another thing that Carson does so well. Some of the supposed greats from the past wrote horrible dialogue. Geesh! Carson understands that dialogue is simple to write. One writes it like people say it. Mastering simplicity is not easy. Carson has done it. Read her stories and you will see what I mean.

Another thing I love about Carson is her attention to detail without over-doing it. Readers are intelligent. An author needs to paint the picture, but she also needs to allow the reader to grab a hold of the brush and add her own imagery to it. Think of a painting by Monet. You see everything you need to see, and it is gorgeous, but the interpretation of the visual afforded you is yours alone. I love the art of Monet, and I compare Carson's artistry with words to his fantastic skills.

Not only is Carson an author, but she is also a superb editor, who charges great rates, and a book reviewer as well. What a talented lady!

A couple of quotes I got from Carson the other year:

 "I don't believe in writer's block. An empty screen and a daily word quota is all the inspiration I need. It doesn't have to be perfect--it just has to be there. To do anything else puts undue stress on the writer. Edit it later--write it NOW!"  Carson Buckingham

"I never outline anything. All I start with is how I want what I'm writing to end, and then write to that ending."
Carson Buckingham

Carson has the right attitude!

Gothic Revival is the first of Carson's great books I will discuss.

Book Description

August 17, 2014
Alex and Leo Renfield are a husband and wife contractor team who’ve recently moved to the village of Woodhaven, Connecticut to escape the chaos of life in New York. Pretty close to broke, they meet Theodora Hamilton, a somewhat unsavory and odd individual, who offers them an astronomical amount of money to repaint the first floor of her family home.

But along with the huge paycheck comes a set of unsettling rules that must be followed explicitly if they are to accept the offer; one of which is they must reside on the property having no direct contact with the outside world until the job is complete.

Is Theodora Hamilton just an eccentric woman with a peculiar way of doing things, or is there a more sinister agenda that Alex and Leo are unaware of? What exactly does she have in store for this down-on-their-luck couple who have no choice but to accept the offer and the strange requirements that come along with it?
5.0 out of 5 stars things get a whole lot worse. Contracts are signed September 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gothic Revival by Carson Buckingham

It's the first wedding anniversary of Leo and Alex Renfield, and they're finding it hard to make ends meet. After moving to Woodhaven, the couple hope to find work with their remodelling business. It can't come soon enough. So, when an eccentric woman named Theodore Hamilton offers them a painting job at her home, one involving a serious wad of cash, the Renfields have to decide whether the strange requests accompanying the job are worth the trouble.

It's odd enough she wants them to paint at night, but when they find themselves at the disgustingly expensive home of the Hamiltons', things get a whole lot worse.

Contracts are signed, and Leo and Alex return home. Out of the ordinary (and frankly quite scary) things begin to happen. Alex's hand is taken over while writing, Leo is talking to himself, and entire places in Woodhaven are suddenly abandoned ... Or were they ever occupied in the first place? Not to mention the things going on with their turtle!

At the home of Theodora, the Renfields find themselves deeper and deeper in a troubling world. In the last one hundred pages, the weaving of the story is pulled together with a masterful thread.

With soft echoes of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked this way Comes, Gothic Revival is one of the best books I've read in many years. Buckingham is clever, witty, and builds suspense like a pro. The story is spun through dialogue, and just when you think, `okay something needs to happen now,' it does.

There are laugh out loud moments that make Gothic Revival a little bit addictive, and the characters are developed so well, they'll stay with you long after the last page is turned.

5 stars. 
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE WINNER! THIS IS A MUST READ! January 18, 2015
Have you ever read a book where you simply can’t get the characters out of your head? You read and are drawn in, not simply gliding past the words but living them? Gothic Revival, by the amazingly talented wordsmith, Carson Buckingham, is truly a book that needs to be added to your must-read list. Not only uniquely creative is the storyline, but Buckingham goes on to create characters that are believable, intelligent and oh so witty.

This, dear fans of haunted houses, incorporates elements to creep beneath your skin with just enough added mystery to satiate your hunger for the macabre. Indeed, Gothic Revival is a book you will read again and again.

A young couple, carpenters by trade, are given the job of a lifetime: to paint a single room in a huge Gothic Revival home. But there are stipulations – odd stipulations – they can work only after midnight until dawn – why, you ask?

This is just one of the strange strings attached to being paid an exorbitant amount of money for what appears to be a simple job. Or is it?

The owner is reminiscent of an older Morticia Adams. Her staff and family – well let’s just say they fall into the category of odd, strangely peculiar, leaving you uneasy and at times frightened. If you want to read a book causing you to remain glued to each page with great anticipation of what this talented writer has in store beyond the next; well, prepare to cuddle beneath a cozy and what you believe comfortingly safe blanket – oh, and let’s not forget to keep the lights on well past the book’s ending – I implore you.

Carson Buckingham is a genius with every facet of a book’s formation; imagery to dialog, quick and sharp witticism, the gift of creating goosebumps and blowing your mind in the process. This creepfest is one this reviewer has to say, is now on a personal favorite list. Buckingham is an author with more than great promise; she truly is masterful with the written word. I am personally hooked as will you be, dear reader. Once finished, you will want more. Do you hear that, Ms. Buckingham? Your fans anxiously await the next masterpiece. No pressure here… *SMILE* This is intelligent horror at its best – her twists are clever and unrelenting, leaving the reader in awe.

If the best is what you seek, be sure to pick up a copy of Gothic Revival and keep your eyes open for more from this gifted author. She has no intention of letting you down – nor letting you go for that matter.

Carson Buckingham is a winner, and Gothic Revival is but a taste of works yet to come. I can’t wait!
 5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic Revival Is Carson Buckingham's Masterpiece!, November 9, 2014
Robert C. Nelson (CHEYENNE, WY, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gothic Revival (Kindle Edition)
Gothic Revival, by Carson Buckingham, is the author's best work to date. One would think a 536 page novel would have some slow, drawn out sections, but not for Carson. She is a master at Gothic story-telling and knows how to keep the story moving.

I am particularly impressed by the fact there is no elaborate over-description involved. To me, that is boring. Give me some action; some psychological horror. Carson gives the reader all the description she/he needs without describing every useless tid-bit a reader doesn't want to know.

How does she do this? Through her skillful use of dialogue. Too many authors are totally without dialogue skills. Carson could write a non-fiction book on the subject. But then again, anyone who reads Gothic Revival will see what I'm talking about. Her dialogue is written the way people actually talk. Fancy the concept! She has hit upon a secret so simple that it eludes far too many authors.

Now I come to a part of Carson's writing that I really enjoy. Her sense of humor. What, you ask, humor in Gothic horror? You betcha. Once more, Master Carson Buckingham comes riding along on her trusty steed and delivers the right amount of humor at the perfect time. Superb!

Take dialogue unmatched by any author past or present, add in humor, suspense, romance, and a foreboding creepy feeling polishing it all off, and you have Carson Buckingham.

You will notice my review does not tell you the details of the story. Yikes! Why do that? Read the description and the free sample for that. I'm here to tell you about the author's skills. Of that, Carson has many. Besides, I wanted to blurt out some goodies, but that would have been a spoiler. Not my style.

Gothic Revival is a masterpiece!
                                                            *    *    *    *

I believe these reviews say it all. My review is the last one, for those of you who don't know the boring name my parents gave to me. This is a great book! And, it is not a tiny novel. It is worth every penny.
Carson has a great short story Skin Deep in the chilling anthology Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad.

Book Description

February 6, 2013
So, you loved the first ZIPPERED FLESH anthology? Well, here are yet more tales of body enhancements that have gone horribly wrong! Steroids from Hell. Horrendous piercings. Bizarre brain modifications. Obscene amputations. Facial reconstruction. Self-mutilation. Implants. Chilling tales by some of the best horror and suspense writers today, determined to keep you fearful all night (and skittish during the day).
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Gruesome, Not for the Faint of Heart Horror December 28, 2013
By Diane J
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This anthology is full of excellent horror from the beginning story by Bryan Hall, called The Modern Adonis to the last story by Michael Bailey called Primal Tongue. The first one starts off the book with gore and bizarre circumstances, the last story is not a bit bloody, but so creepy and full of "sign of the times" themes. In between, every single one of these offerings has something for everyone. Taut by Shaun Meeks is a mixture of atmospheric nightmare, fetish and what I call "the ick factor". A more gothic and atmosphere centered tale is offered by Lisa Mannetti in The Hunger Artist. Carson Buckingham gives us Skin Deep, which delves into the human desire for perfection. Prosthetics by Daniel J. Russell is downright just creepy. Seeds by L.L. Soares is a wonderful new version of one of my favorite iconic movies. Kealan Patrick Burke spins a dark and very disturbing tale of teenage romance with his story Underneath. In Piper at the Gates, David Benton and W.D. Gagliani take us on a roller coaster creep fest ride. I would describe every story in here, but they are all so good, I just want you to buy this book or e book and start reading immediately!!! You will not be sorry! 
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic collection of weird and wild stories!!! August 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
These stories are so weird and wonderful, at the same time. I enjoyed every second of this book. Some of these stories were so creepy, and far out!! I am definitely going to grab the first one too!! Great job to all the authors!!!! 
                                                           *    *    *    * 
Now I get to some exciting news which I was going to wait to release, but what-the-heck. I just read Carson's manuscript for her novella Home, and I'm sending her a contract. Visionary Press Collaborative will be re-publishing this great book! And . . . and I will get to edit it, although that will be a piece of cake. The cover will remain the same as it was with the previously published version. I love it. No sense in changing it. I am in the process of slowing down my editing for the Press, but there are certain books and authors which I want to do the edits for. This is one of those authors and one of those books.
Here is the book description:
 Following the deaths of her mother and beloved aunt, Kate Kavanagh inherits the family homestead in the Irish enclave of Three Oaks, Connecticut; but the house has changed since she visited a year ago--no more windows on the first floor and gaslights and a wood burning stove in place of the modern appliances. It also appears to be haunted. And that's just for starters. Once she moves into the house, Kate herself begins a gradual but terrifying biological transformation that is part of her inheritance, too; though not mentioned in the Will. With the help of a Rottweiler that's more human than animal, a new friend whose farm stand is only open dusk to dawn, and the "Rat Boys," Kate will get some answers or die trying.
Some of the reviews:
  By Rob M. Miller on March 21, 2012   Four Stars
Format: Kindle Edition
With "Home," Buckingham's put out a work of dark fantasy of the kind to make CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan smile, and yet the work's not derivative or copy-cattish, not of Kiernan's work, or that of anyone else. Instead, the tale is all Buckingham.

In "Home," a young girl, Kate Kavanagh, and her best friend Lucille Sullivan, visit a carnival, and specifically, the tent of Madame Samedi. Cards are read, and the stories they tell are not only dark, but true, so much so, that the card reading crone burns the deck, and thus the the work takes off.

With "Home," one of the most impressive things that struck, was the author's bravery in writing a narrative-heavy tale, a style that's not currently the trend of having nearly every scene an immediate scene, loaded with action and dialogue. A bit jarring at first, I believe the gamble paid off, the format giving "Home" the voice needed to properly impart the tale, and without completely jettison the powerful impact of both dialogue and action, of which the work does have plenty of both.

In terms of straight writing, Buckingham again does a fine job. Yes, there's a handful of errors sprinkled throughout, mostly backward-facing apostrophes used with back-ended contractions, like "'em," but these two are forgivable, what with their number far less than the number of gremlins that Leisure allowed through with their many years of putting out spooky titles.

Ultimately what hits with "Home," is the writer's ability to pull the reader into the tale, and hold them, page after page after just-one-more, I'll be fine getting up to work in the morning. Read in two sitings, the work culminates with its climax and then ends, the way a tale should. With that last page read, I felt contrary feelings; one) disappointment that my time with Jenny, a voice in the dark, and with the "Rat boys," and their faithful service, were all come to an end; and two) gratitude that the writer, again, was brave enough to end the tale right where she should.

A great story should be like the tip of an iceberg, with the tale above the waterline, but a whole world sensed below. Thus is the case with "Home."

Carson Buckingham, thank you for the fine ride.

And if I've gotten your attention, where can I find your next title?

Rob M. Miller
By Nishi Serrano on March 10, 2012   Five Stars
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Home' is a pleasant surprise, I love dark fairytales, and was happy it ended as such. The great thing about Carson's writing is that you never know how it's going to end, and keeps you guessing through the twist and turn of events happening to the characters. If you don't know much about Carson, I suggest going to her blogsite, she has an amazingly funny dark wit, and you will understand why she is a writer to watch. 
By Memere Jeanne on December 6, 2011   Five Stars
Format: Paperback
Home has a flair for Irish folklore that I have never experienced. The book is captivating and I loved the transformation of the main character from start to end. Nice twist to the story line. Once I started, didn't put it down until I finished. Looking forward to her next book. Carson Buckingham is a talented author with an imagination for the unexpected.

By Colum Mcknight on October 24, 2011   Five Stars
Format: Paperback
Carson Buckingham's Home is a dark place. A place wrought with despair, anguish, and a sadness that is absolutely palpable. It's also a place filled with arcane magic and forgotten lore. This is a step in another direction for horror. A very fresh, welcome step, from a very talented newcomer.

Why Buckingham isn't well known to the genre is a mystery to me. Her prose is very well crafted, her story is air tight, and her characters are believable. What every horror reader wants in a story is presented right here in this little novella. The sheer intensity of the first several pages alone should be enough to ensure that the author gains loyal fans immediately. The first major event in the story is expertly geared to make any reader take a step back and re-evaluate Buckingham's willingness to "go there". And she goes there with style.

The story itself, on a whole, is dark. Darker than most fiction I've come across lately, I'd say. The setting feels like something out of a Bradbury tale, but with more emphasis on modern life. Buckingham's descriptive ability doesn't fall short for even a second, and the author paints beautifully dark images with her words. The fear that Buckingham writes into her main character's life is wonderfully savory, and ensures a very quick, yet emotionally tumultuous read. In fact, I blasted through this novella twice, and found myself enjoying just as much the second time around, disturbed and dlighted all the same.

Where the story lacks in length, it more than makes up in its poetic gait. This is a writer who knows how to reach into the dark, almost gothic corners of the horror genre, and pull out all of the things lost with Poe and Lovecraft's time. I'm genuinely happy that this one came across my desk, and wholeheartedly suggest that anyone who digs their horror with a side of myth get out there and grab this.
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read..., November 4, 2011
This review is from: Home (Kindle Edition)
Home combines two of my favorite things ever, Irish folklore and a great near-gothic setting. Its the story of Katie Kavanaugh, whose mother and aunt both pass away at the same time and leave her their house in the town of Three Oaks. Fleeing an abusive marriage, Katie goes home to claim her inheritance. What she gets turns out to be far more than she bargained. Her inheritance includes much more than just a strange old house.

To say it was a compelling read would be putting it mildly. I actually read it all in one sitting, because I couldn't put it down. Carson weaves interesting characters, odd situations and strange goings-on seamlessly into the narrative. The reader can't help but be intrigued and almost desperate to find out what's really going on. All is revealed at the end and the explanation not only makes perfect sense, but will resonate within the reader. And for those discerning enough, it will not be unexpected as there are many subtle hints throughout the story. Anyone familiar with Irish folklore will begin to recognize elements in the story.

The only fault I can find is the length. The story was so good, that it seemed to fly by. I would love to have had a little more length to savor. Having already read several of Carson's published works in anthologies (and one unpublished, as yet, one), I was already a fan. Now I'm a huge fan and will eagerly await her next novel.

I highly recommend Home, and any of Carson's work. Home will appeal to anyone who enjoys gothic-style literature, mysteries, Irish folklore, and well told tales. There's the feel of Bradbury in her work

                                                         *    *    *    *

As Stacey Turner says above, there is something special with the tales of Carson. I suggest you read them, and I will keep you up to date with the re-release of Home.
Carson Buckingham is a Woman In Horror!
Blaze McRob

Carson Buckingham knew from childhood that she wanted to be a writer and began, at age six, by writing books of her own, hand-drawing covers, and selling them to any family member who would pay (usually a gumball) for what she referred to as "great literature." When she ran out of relatives, she came to the conclusion that there was no real money to be made in self-publishing, so she studied writing and read voraciously for the next eighteen years, while simultaneously collecting enough rejection slips to re-paper her living room...twice.

When her landlord chucked her out for, in his words, "making the apartment into one hell of a downer," she redoubled her efforts, and collected four times the rejection slips in half the time, single-handedly causing the first paper shortage in U.S. history.

But she persevered, improved greatly over the years, and here we are.

Carson has been/is a professional proofreader, editor, anthologist, newspaper reporter, copywriter, technical writer, novelist, short story writer and comedy writer. She prefers fiction writing above all, since fiction, ultimately, is where the truth is. Her novels and short stories fall under the horror subgenres of dark fantasy (think Poe, not swords and sorcery) and paranormal suspense and are meant to chill the reader without blood and guts and veins in the teeth.

Her blog is at and though she is a horror writer, Carson's blog is humorous (she hopes) with commentary on life's absurdities updated each week in THE WEEKLY RANT. THE CAPTIONED PHOTO OF THE DAY is there, too, along with the HORROR-SCOPES and even shots of her garden in Arizona. You can also find out about what she's up to in the world of dark fantasy in the BOOK BLURBS and CARSON'S NEWS sections.

She loves reading and gardening; but not at the same time. Though born and raised in Connecticut, she lives in Arizona now--and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her!

Luna's Children: Full Moon Mayhem by D. Alan Lewis (Jul 7, 2014)


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The Best of the Horror Society 2013 by Charles Colyott, Aaron Warwick Dries, Mark Onspaugh and Richard Thomas (Oct 25, 2013)


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Someone Wicked: A Written Remains Anthology by Christine Morgan, JM Reinbold, Billie Sue Mosiman and L.L. Soares (Nov 25, 2013)


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Satan's Toybox: Toy Soldiers by Stacey Turner (Apr 5, 2012)


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Zippered Flesh 2: More Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad by Bryan Hall, Michael Bailey, Shaun Jeffrey and Charles Colyott (Feb 6, 2013)


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Voices from the Gloom - Volume 2 by Maynard Blackoak, Alex Clarke, DW Gillespie and Erik Gustafson (Jul 7, 2014)

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Dark Bits (QuickLII Book 1) by Robert Ford, Kevin Lucia, Mandy Degeit and Jeremy Shipp (Sep 2, 2013)


M is for Monster by Ian Woodhead, Serenity Banks, David Youngquist and Simon Unsworth (Oct 27, 2010)


Home by Carson Buckingham (Jul 20, 2011)


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