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Sunday, February 4, 2018

With Love for Horror Books: Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Angie has been through a lot, but is now living a peaceful life together with her father. When Reece moves into the house next door she's immediately intrigued and suspects he isn't just a regular guy. He's a popular athlete, but the way crows are around him and how he handles them are making Angie suspect he's got plenty of secrets. Angie is determined to find out more. There's a supernatural presence in the town and something horrible is threatening to attack Angie. Reece knows it's time for Angie to know the truth, can she handle it?

Angie's hometown is being threatened from all sides. Harbringers of death are present and they are a sign that something awful is about to happen. There's nothing Angie can do to stop it. Even if Reece will tell her more about who he is and what he's doing in the town Angie can only wait and see what the disaster will be. She knows it is inevitable, but while spending time with Reece it's easy to shortly forget about the bad stuff and slowly she falls in love. Is it wise to get involved with a guy she can never completely have and what will happen to them when all hell breaks loose?

Black Birds of the Gallows is a fantastic gripping story. Angie is a kindhearted and gifted girl. She knows what she wants, but because of her past she lacks confidence. She slowly becomes braver and more outspoken and I loved to see that change. Reece is intriguing and I couldn't wait to find out more about his background and his family. I loved that he's such a gentleman and that he protects Angie as well as he can. It's clear there's something very special going on between them and I was curious to find out if they'd have a chance at love between all the chaos and destruction around them, if they'd live long enough to love and be loved in return.

Meg Kassel has a wonderful descriptive writing style. Her story is fast-paced and filled with action, magic and creepiness. I loved the combination of horrible insects, evil, darkness and ancient curses. I was immediately captivated by the story and couldn't put it down. Meg Kassel skillfully combines tension, threatening doom and adventure with true love. Black Birds of the Gallows is a terrific enchanting story filled with surprising twists and turns. The story kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end and I was thrilled when I read its beautiful finale. I absolutely loved this gorgeous story.


If you love romance combined with dark magic and creepiness you should definitely read Black Birds of the Gallows.

About Meg Kassel

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s always been creating stories, whether with visuals or words. She worked as a graphic designer before realizing the thing she did for pleasure (writing) was something she should do for real. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. A fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, Meg has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. When she’s not writing, Meg is reading, hanging out with her family, hoarding peanut butter cups, or playing video games. She is a two-time finalist and the 2016 winner of the RWA Golden Heart© contest in YA.



1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I’m from New Jersey, but I live in Maine with my husband and daughter. I’m an art school grad (go Parsons!) and became a graphic designer, but all the time I was doing that, the story behind the design always interested me more. I was always writing stories for fun, but being a writer seemed like a faraway dream. It took me a while to find my way to this career, which I find so rewarding. Black Bird of the Gallows is my first published novel, but far from the first book I wrote!

2. What makes your heart beat faster? 

I love books and movies with dark, forbidden romance, set someplace gothic and mysterious. Races against time and a twisted mystery that needs to be solved also make me have grabby hands.

3. Which horror monster do you fear the most? 

Zombies. Hands down. I have thought about how I’d survive in the case of a zombie apocalypse more times than is normal.

4. If the zombie apocalypse would happen today, what would you do? 

Funny you should ask! I live in Maine, which isn’t densely populated, but there’s still enough people around who would turn! Assuming it was a full-on catastrophe and the power was out, I’d board up the windows, use the fireplace for cooking and boil water from the sump hole. No, I don’t have an arsenal in my house, so it would be a wait-it-out sort of thing. 

5. What's your favorite horror movie?

Candyman, circa 1992.

6. What's your worst nightmare? 

Having to relive high school.

7. If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters and why? 

Ah, I honestly have no idea! The main characters in Black Bird of the Gallows aren’t visual in my head. They’re a few things, like eye and hair color, clothing choices and stuff like that, but they look different in my head depending on the day and the scene, so there’s no one actor/actress I can point to and say “THAT is Reece/Angie.”

8. What inspired you to write horror stories? 

I get REALLY scared by horror films, so writing them is both exhilarating and empowering. To control the story and the dark elements is exciting and I love making up new mythology. Figuring out the rules for my harbingers of death took research that I thoroughly enjoyed. Creating the cursed and tortured Beekeeper character, the “villain” (who I am smitten with, btw), was so much fun. I loved that character so much, I made a different Beekeeper a hero in the companion book, coming out this fall.

9. What do you like the most about the horror genre? 

I like how wide open the field is to create unique characters that no one has seen before, or characters which break the boundaries of an archetype. Also, there is incredible flexibility in terms of where you can take your characters. You can redeem the most depraved monster or corrupt the soul of a hero. The possibilities are only limited by an author’s twisted imagination.

10. What can we expect from you in the future? 

My second book, Keeper of the Bees, releases 9/4/18. It’s a companion to Black Bird of the Gallows and is a darker book than my debut. The story is about a Beekeeper whose bees target a uniquely gifted seventeen-year-old girl. In a moment of restraint, he spares her, but his actions draw the notice of a creature far more dangerous than himself. Keeper of the Bees delves more deeply into the mythology of this world, with the appearance of a sinister character only hinted at in the previous book. More info will be on my website as it becomes available!


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are


  1. The artwork on that cover is amazing!

  2. Black Bird of the Gallows sounds like an original and captivating story with mythical and paranormal creatures that will appeal to fans of the genre.

  3. I do love a good creepy story and this looks just that type - thanks!

  4. I enjoy reading fantasy time to time. Great cover and review.

  5. I love stories where the magic is creepy.