To read reviews for Animal Movies Guide & 50 Years Of Ghost Movies, click on the text titles
I had never read anything by Staci Layne Wilson before I received her latest book, Horrors of the Holy, hot off the presses in the mail last week. I knew that it had been printed by a "small press" publisher, and was impressed with the book's professional appearance and interesting cover. On the back I found a picture of Ms. Wilson - an attractive, seemingly pleasant young woman snuggled up to an adorable blue-eyed white kitty. Could the woman in this picture of innocence produce effective, terrifying horror? You bet!
Reading the galley copy of manuscript before it goes to press is much like eating ice cream straight from the carton: a guilty pleasure. You know very few people have had a chance to taste the goodies yet, but you still want to gobble it all by yourself. After all, some books, like Horrors of the Holy, encourage you to devour them. The stories range widely in subject matter, dealing with such diverse topics as the night life of zombies, vampires being trapped in mirrors, and monsters that make old movies come alive again. In other words, to take the ice cream metaphor a bit farther, the title suggests you're getting vanilla and you end up with Neapolitan instead. However, unlike Neapolitan, Horrors of the Holy is well blended. The anthology is whipped-together by a consistently competent and quirky writing style, and a serious helping of the bizarrely humorous.
Book Reviewer Site
This book is filled with characters that will sure to delight you, frighten you and tantilize your senses. Filled with high conflicts and interesting concepts of reality, Horrors of the Holy is a unique collection of short stories by one of the best female horror writers today.
After reading Staci Layne Wilson's Horrors of the Holy, I've come to the conclusion that Wilson is anything but shy when it comes to writing horror. She will gleefully sock it to you in the horror genre wrestling ring. Wilson holds nothing back in stories like "Cutting Room Floor" or her version of the spider and the fly scenario of "The Tooth Shall Set You Free." This author gets right down to the business of figuratively grabbing you by the eyeballs to insure you're paying attention. Wilson works under the assumption that she's a horror writer and that you're a horror reader so, "On with the show!" There is no hesitation here, no figgling about getting settled in and comfy before the reels start running past the introductions. Nope, Wilson comes right at you with her "Tales From the Crypt" brand of blunt and brutal horror. She'll throw a naked woman at you with ease just to make sure your image sensors are turned on. Yet Wilson doesn't simply rely on gore and violence to get you going. She's got the ending punch-line motif well in hand.
The small press is full of surprises these days and many of them are just the right kind of surprises: good, solid horror and great writing. This slim collection of short stories is one such surprise package. Elegantly presented, with a subtly creepy cover photograph, Horrors of the Holy presents thirteen macabre tales. For me the standout stories were 'And The Tooth Shall Set You Free,' nicely wrought and nasty, 'Cutting Room Floor', 'Losing My Religion' a strongly written piece, and 'Reflections of the Damned', the damned watches over his soul mate, separated by thin glass throughout the years... Wilson writes understated horror, the horror of whispers and soft moans rather than blood-red banshee screams. She writes it well.
Wilson's stories are creative and entertaining. Her characters, be they mortal or otherwise, have a depth that is comfortable to the reader. This is especially true of the stories that are told in the first person, such as ALWAYS AMBER. Wilson has a knack for that particular kind of character presentation and the result is most appealing.
Masters of Terror
Wilson has a lot going for her. She has a quirky voice that's by turns dark and humorous. Her plots range from interesting takes on classic pulp themes to wildly inventive ideas she can claim as her own. She also knows how to design a book. Both the cover and interior are very attractively laid out. I didn't find a single typo. I wish a lot of other small presses with more expensive editions would pay as much attention to the little details.
Wilson has created a collection of very different spine-tingling stories. The best part of this collection is that there is nothing predictable. While some of the stories are better than others, Wilson has proved she is more than up to the task of writing horror. Delightfully, in some, she artfully entwines humor and irony into the story.
Horrors of the Holy is entertaining throughout. Wilson displays a knack for the genre, particularly in "Reflections of the Damned" and "Always Amber." Both are original plots that explore different worlds and perspectives.
Staci Layne Wilson probably will receive enough comparisons to Poppy Z. Brite to fill a large sarcophagus. And that's too bad. Not because we're not fans of Brite, of course we are, but because Wilson has a demented, slightly skewed vision that's all her own and she reveals it quite succinctly in her anthology Horrors of the Holy: 13 Sinful, Sacrilegious, Supernatural Stories. (Plus we really like cool alliteration.)
...At her best, author Staci Layne Wilson easily rivals the short stories from Doug Clegg that I reviewed last issue. Two pieces in particular stand out. Always Amber is a gem of a story (shameless pun intended) about a ring that inspires evil and a plucky little Hobbit that... okay, I'm confused. Anyway, it's short, there's bad jewelry and it has a cool ending straight out of Weird Tales. The Tooth Shall Set You Free is a lovely piece about a plier-wielding tooth fetishist who chloroforms little kiddies, until he steps on the toes of the Tooth Fairy.
The stories of certain authors are like breaths of fresh air. These are tales where it is evident that the writer did not take themselves too seriously, that the story was simply written for the sheer joy of it, for the fun of it, as it were. They are not meant to change the world, or to become the next great American masterpiece, or to redefine the way in which the craft of writing should be approached. (Not that there's anything wrong with these aspirations.) The writers of such tales wish to-- gasp!--merely entertain.
Ranging from vampires and the supernatural to priests and evangelists, and even the common such as jewelry and teeth, HORRORS OF THE HOLY will have you checking the mirrors and the bathroom repeatedly. Two of my favorites, "Always Amber" demonstrates that possession may come from the simplest of things, while "Anti-Christ Superstar" will have you thinking twice before checking out that cool new web site. While some stories are vaguely familiar as ghost stories or urban legend, this fresh voice brings new meaning and vitality to the story telling. Each story is riveting, written with an intensity that will hook the reader right through the end. Each story lives with vibrancy that is very difficult to match with such a diverse short story collection. If you love horror stories, the HORRORS OF THE HOLY is a must read.
Blether Reviews / Amazon
The collection runs a wide range of the genre with lead characters including the undead, a serial killer, and a dying cowboy's final lament, etc. The book contains well written tales that grip the audience as Staci Layne Wilson provides surprising emotion (that is for the short story format) in several of the stories. The supernatural runs free throughout the tome, but mostly provides atmosphere or the impetus to move the plot forward. ... Ms. Wilson is a talent worth following (SEE THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RAPUNZEL). (Harriet Klausner Blether, #1 Amazon.com Reviewer)
Book of Dark Wisdom Magazine
First-class storyteller, Staci Layne Wilson, has a style that is all her own:
from her wicked tongue-and-cheek insider play on words and names to the heart
she puts into the tale. She evokes the reader's compassion for her mild-mannered
main character--being publicly dissected by a talk show host, to his mounting
terror at the long string of grisly murders that keep mysteriously finding
their way to him . . . with an ending so tightly twisted that it fits perfectly!
Also, you'll find an added bonus: Wilson's short story, Lover's Eye, at the end of GHOST WRITER: a delightfully erotic, stomach-flipping tale of everything you've ever thought (and heard) about eyeballs, spun into a diabolically visual yarn about artist Iris Blume and her passionate greed for instruments of sight.
GHOST WRITER is among her very best works yet; I'm doing more than looking forward to reading more Staci Layne Wilson books--I'm begging her to hurry up and write another one! (T.M. Gray)
Ghost Writer is a well written, fast moving story that throws twists at you right to the very end. A superb, original story.
Fallen Angel Reviews
Staci Layne Wilson has one hell of a book here. It's a spine tingling story from the very start; it's exciting, erotic, chilling, horrifying, gruesome but more then anything, it's AWESOME. This one I guarantee you will not be able to put down! 5 out of 5 Angels.
Blue Iris Journal
...Wilson has told a beautiful story in the style of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Cary is an excellent protagonist. Following him through the story allows us to follow ourselves -- who doesn’t want to be a writer, after all? -- and question our own motives and thoughts about the people in our lives.
Staci Layne Wilson will have you sitting on the edge of your seat while you read how she tells this tale. You will be turning page after page right up until the end. You are taken on this journey of a non-stop ride with plenty of twists and turns. It will amaze you how believable this story is! The description of her characters are so real, they're almost too real. You haven't read a good horror story until you've read Ghost Writer. It is one you will not forget for a very long time.
Tracy Jones (author)
This book kept me guessing from beginning to end. A spine-tingling tale told with such smooth-flowing prose, I can't believe I haven't heard of this author before. I've no doubt I'll be hearing a lot more about Staci Layne Wilson in the future. If this book is any indication of her other work, I'm going to own them all. I highly recommend Ghost Writer to anyone who likes a truly frightening, look over your shoulder, read.
Ghost Writer offers not one but a whole collection of compelling twists on the classic tale about art and evil. It is a complex, darkly entertaining, and at times wickedly funny offering that will keep the readers glued to the page in a wild ride to the sarcastic, gruesome and riveting grand finale. And there is something else—an added bonus titled "Lover's Eye," a little gem of a short story exploring the same theme of the price an artist pays for inspiration.
Wilson's approach to training may be summarized as "friendly" and "slow," emphasizing patience and trying to see the equine point of view. ... The Horse's Choice is a nice change from other books on natural horsemanship, most of which - though most riders are female - are written by male trainers with oversized egos.
Ed's Internet Book Review
The instructions in The Horse's Choice are easy to follow, clear and concise. This book is short and to the point, which means there is no wading through pages and pages of unnecessary material to find the solution to breaking that bad habit. The Horse's Choice is a nice addition to the training collection of any horse owner who wants to correct some of those common pesky problems that always seem to surface at the most inopportune moments.
Under the Covers
Staci Layne Wilson has written a low-key, pleasantly informative manual about horses and their owners. It may be most appropriate and most helpful for prospective buyers of "first" horses. Ms. Wilson shares anecdotes of her personal and often humorous experiences with her own horses which may help owners. She shares her knowledge of what to look for and identify as the individual horse's traits and quirks before buying. She extends her personal insight to include bringing a newly-purchased animal to its new home. Particularly young and inexperienced riders/owners will enjoy these essay-type observations and may apply them to their initial equine experience.
THE HORSE'S CHOICE is a winner! This was an excellent read. Fun and practical, that about sums it up. Staci Wilson said all the right things to keep me interested, make me laugh, and nod my head a lot. I wish I had had this when I bought my first horse. The story she told of her first horse reminded me so much of my first experience choosing a horse.
Word of Mouth
The Horse's Choice covers horse training from both a horse's perspective and a human's perspective, explaining what motivates your horse's behavior, and how to get him to respond to you using brains and compassion instead of brute strength. With compelling, easily understood examples, The Horse's Choice covers everything from the first-time horse purchase to caring for your horse, establishing training routines, and correcting problem behaviors. Written in an engaging, knowledgeable manner, horse expert Staci Layne Wilson has produced an excellent guide to the compassionate care and training of your horse that you'll want to study from cover to cover.
Belles & Beaux of Romance
Staci Layne Wilson creates an incredible warmth within her characters for her debut romance novel THE DANCE. Read it and enjoy the glow! THE DANCE is a mesmerizing story of the strength of one's faith beautifully interwoven throughout this heartwarming story that sometimes brings a quick tear to your eye as it tugs on your heartstrings to make you realize that love is God's most divine gift to us. I laughed and cried, cheered and loved with this great cast of characters created so lovingly by the talented Staci Layne Wilson. I know I'll be on the lookout for more of her books.
Wilson provides not only a lushly detailed background and engaging sub-plots, but she has a standout talent for characterization. Her characters are not cardboard cutouts by any means; they are warm and human and likeable. She creates people you want to get to know better. THE DANCE is great summer reading, romantic and sweet, with a down to earth heroine who is very appealing. Find yourself a comfortable chair and curl up with this book.
Kathy's Faves & Raves
I am really thrilled with the way inspirational romances are being written these days and this one is no exception. It gets the message across subtly without turning the reader off that it is an inspirational. This was a sweet story about how love conquers all. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more stories from Staci Layne Wilson.
THE DANCE is not your run of the mill inspirational romance. Its high points are centered around (the heroine's) dealings with the horses and her tremendous faith. As in her life, romance seems to take the backseat here, and takes a while to get off the ground. But patience is a virtue, so go for it, read "The Dance" and see what I mean.
Mrs. Giggles's Everything Romantic
No, there's no high-flying horse-fixing crime ring to bust or murdered bookies to solve in THE DANCE. It's a simple, utterly charming tale of people falling in love and overcoming the obstacles in the way of the happy ever after. Best of all, the heroine doesn't grate - she's not one of those chirpy, irritatingly perky and guileless Pollyannas. Instead, she is a wonderfully kind and generous soul who clearly deserves her happy ending.
America Online Romance Forum
THE DANCE is a good book with memorable characters in Tami and Blake. I loved the horse, too! ...
Double Dragon Publishing Bestseller...
• Winner, 2002 Myth-Understanding Book Award
"Dynamic and playful -- Very highly recommended!"
rock 'n roll, and the tarot blend in this fantastically eclectic montage shimmering
with wisdom and humor. Rat-tail stew, underground monsters, and vicious Amazon
women all come to play in a surreal and fantastic journey revealing an amazing
imagination on the part of the author. A rock star represents each player in
the major Arcana, and the dialogue includes lighthearted references to hundreds
of lyrics. For those of us that are somewhat illiterate of rock 'n roll, however,
the dialogue and characterizations are no less enchanting. Playful and dynamic,
ROCK & ROLL FANTASY comes very highly recommended.
(Cindy Penn, Amazon top 50 reviewer)
"Staci Layne Wilson's ROCK & ROLL FANTASY is an ALICE IN WONDERLAND for the new millenium. I thoroughly enjoyed it." (Chris Dauten, author of LISSANDRA'S CHILDREN)
The Reading Nook
Overall, I enjoyed reading ROCK & ROLL FANTASY and would recommend it for anyone who is looking for a slightly different type of fantasy story, one that is almost like a tale by Homer.
Escape To Romance
ROCK & ROLL FANTASY is an unforgettable book. It is a "must read" for all children of the Baby-boomer Generation, especially those who have ever listened to Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, or the Rolling Stones. But don't let that whimsy fool you. This book has depths I've only begun to explore. 5 Roses/Innocent (Brenda Thatcher)
Escape To Romance
Suffice to say, THE LIFE & TIMES OF RAPUNZEL is a humorous and enjoyable trip through Punsville, USA. I laughed until my ribs ached, and kept turning pages eager for the next surprise. In a market of crossover books and literary genres expanding beyond normalized boundaries, I have to say that no one Ive read writes a fractured fairy tale like Staci Layne Wilson. This is the first time Ive reviewed for her and Im glad I did. Shes already a noted author in horror and it looks like shes well on her way to creating a niche for herself as a fantasy author as well. Three Cheers! 4.5 Roses/Innocent (Brenda Thatcher)
The Life & Times of Rapunzel is a page-turning story filled with Fairie Tale creatures in a parallel world ... (Meow)
Rapunzel could easily have been a one-dimensional character that is so often seen in fairy tales but she grows and learns throughout the book. Her friendship with Hemingway also provides a great deal of warmth and humor to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this read. (Deb, and Playful the Cat)
In the Library Reviews
The Life & Times of Rapunzel is a wonderful story blended with a nice tale of romance, time travel and humor. This book was full of everything fantasy wizards, gargoyles, dragons and more. The excitement was nonstop! (Robin Taylor)
Blether Reviews / Amazon
This adult fairy tale will leave readers laughing especially at the puns and other bon mots that would send Sigmund Furred to a littered couch. The story line is loaded with amusing action as Rapunzel gains insight to the road rules of the real world which leads to fans enjoying this facetious follow-up to the Rapunzel tale. (Harriet Klausner Blether, #1 Amazon.com Reviewer)
A Romance Review
The romance is very low-key, mainly because Hemingway spends three-quarters of the book as a cat. This was a cute story and in the end they, of course, do live happily ever after (Review by Carolyn)
... An engaging style of story telling, adding a bit of light satire to this story about friendship and about not believing in absolutes (which is kind of ironically cool, since absolutes are so prevalent in the old faery tales). Wilson isn't too proud to use a few well placed puns...the book is rife with plays on all things cat...which only added to the charm of the book. For those who loved Rebecca Lickiss's Ever After or William Goldman's Princess Bride, this is a definite addition to the to read list. Forgive the pun, but it's nearly purr-fect. 5 out of 5 paws. (Cindy Lynn Speer, GWN Reviewer)
eBook Reviews Weekly
If you enjoy fantasy with a different outlook, this is one story you will enjoy. A wide diversity of characters and backgrounds. Author Staci Layne Wilson tells a great story in The Life and Times of Rapunzel. Enjoy! (Anne K. Edwards, Reviewer)
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RAPUNZEL is imaginative and compelling [and] spiced up with light satire. 5 out of 5 Blue Ribbons. (Daria, Reviewer)
days when I was a young, horse-crazed girl, devouring books like "Horses
This book really took me back. Great fuel to feed the minds and dreams of young
girls everywhere to enter the incredible world of horses! Staci really knows
the ups and downs of the special connections of young riders and their mounts!
You won't be disappointed. (Renate Andrasevits-Reed)
The Word on Romance
Ms. Wilson has done a wonderful job of including knowledge about the horsing world that will delight horse crazy kids of all ages. She also allows the reader a glimpse of three (Australia, USA and Great Britain) different cultures by giving background information and using terms exclusive to each region. HORSES BY EMAIL shows how today, technology can bring people of different nationalities closer. (Angela Dobson)
Horses by Email is an intriguing novel of the horse culture and Internet friendships. (Kir Devon)
Amber Quill Press Bestseller...
Winner of a "Bloody Dagger" book award from
All About Murder
The Romance Studio
Wilson has done an awesome job of inventing this vampire world. You believe it is real and you are drawn into her realm of rock and roll and vampires. You are hooked from the first and you don't want to come out till you know the answers. 5 hearts! (Lisa Wine)
Staci Layne Wilson is one of the most imaginative and refreshing writers of vampire romances of the new millennium. Her vampires mirror people as some are good, some are evil and some are insane. One of the cutest parts of DARK LULLABY is Ashara's vampire cat sleeps with her in her coffin. This book deserves a second bite. 5 Stars! (Harriet Klausner, #1 Amazon.com reviewer)
Murder & Mayhem
Dark Lullaby is a romance novel with a twist that teaches us and its heroine that love can conquer anything, even death. Fans of both romance and vampire novels will find this a satisfying read. (Kathy Thomason)
Wilson has created true to life characters with real emotions and depth. Their own strengths are put to the test as they try the strengths and weaknesses of the bonds of blood and love. Dark Lullaby is a great read. I highly recommend this book to fans of vampire fiction, and dark romantic fantasy. 5 stars! (Josephine Piraneo)
Wilson has written, as her first paranormal romance, a wonderful story which shows her capable of telling a tale that can hold the readers attention from page one to "The End". The characters are very well drawn and their actions are appropriate to each of them. She offers new possibilities in the world of the vampire, their origins and powers. 4 angels! (Irene Marshall)
With this one book, Staci Layne Wilson has catapulted herself to the top of my favorite vampire authors list. Her characters are extremely realistic. They're each given depth, and believable motivations, and there isn't a stereotypical one among them! The relationship that develops between Ashara and Liam, the lead singer for a new band called "Darkside" is exquisite. A beautifully written, fresh vampire novel — don't miss this one! 5 stars (Amorae)
DARK LULLABY is well written with the fascination of both vampires and twins to draw in the reader and well-defined characters. ( Amanda Kilgore)
Road to Romance
Staci Layne Wilson has created a story filled with rich imagery, captivating characters and a great amount of atmospheric detail. The descriptions throughout the novel are vivid without being overwhelming, and they serve to truly make the setting truly come alive. Love seems to transcend the barriers of identity in this beautifully told story of acceptance and redemption. For an imaginative, well written vampire tale, look no further than DARK LULLABY. This is one story that will keep you turning pages well into the late hours of the night. (Liz Cooper)
All About Murder
Dark Lullaby is yet another winner from cross-genre specialist Staci Layne Wilson. Her primary characters as well as her secondary ones are believable, their goals sympathetic. Additionally, Ms. Wilson’s knowledge of 60s and 70s music is incredible. She weaves music history and myth through her story with enviable ease. 4.5 Daggers. (Brenda Thatcher)
If one wants to read a refreshingly original vampire romance, this is the book to read. There is plenty to keep one interested and dying for the resolution. Also of note, the story ends in such a way to keep this reviewer gasping in surprise, eager to read the next chapter in the story, which hopefully Ms. Wilson will provide. Be sure to run to the computer and order a copy today, it will not disappoint.4.5 Roses (Kelley Hartsell)
Enchanted in Romance
This story is amazing. The characters have very deep and real emotions. I liked that they weren't perfect they had flaws. The book seems to reach and grab you. One of the best dark romantic fantasy books I have ever read. 5 Unicorns (Anita)
Animal Magnetism is a delightful and unique collection of stories about animals, both real and imaginary! Author Staci Layne Wilson is a master storyteller in any genre she chooses...and one of the aspects of her craft I admire most is the personalities and fanciful names she gives her characters that make them come alive in their situations as well as her intelligent, tongue-in-cheek humor that shines through in her work. She has the rare capacity to make me giggle when I know I shouldn't and to hit me in the gut or heart when I'm least expecting it. 5 Stars (T.M. Gray)