Accepting NO review requests

As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review_WRITERS ON WRITING OMNIBUS by Various Authors, Ed. By Joe Mynhardt

Writers on Writing Vol. 1 - 4 OmnibusWriters on Writing Vol. 1 - 4 Omnibus by Joe Mynhardt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: WRITERS ON WRITING OMNIBUS VOL. 1-4
By Various Authors

Although I am not a published author, I have been a widely voracious reader for six decades, and a sometime writer. I adore reading books on the writing process. Doing so, I think, improves my reading capacity and draws me closer in understanding to authors.

I'm delighted to review Crystal Lake Publishing's new WRITERS ON WRITING OMNIBUS, a compact collection of advice and how-to, provided by authors and editors who are familiar with the processes of writing, self-editing, proofreading, editing, formatting, and self-publishing and traditional publishing. These women and men have all "paid the dues," suffered and celebrated, sacrificed and rejoiced. (Hopefully, none has been "down to the Crossroads" to do a deal for fame and fortune.) Nonetheless, the dues are paid and they've enjoyed success, but will be the first to tell you, writing--and succeeding--is always an ongoing process.

The beauty of this omnibus volume is the plethora of excellent and pointed writing advice, offered in a series of essays. Read what you need at any given time, or settle in for a longer read if you wish. It's all time well spent, whether you are a beginning writer, an accomplished author, or a reader looking for a closer view of the writing process.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Review: MONARCHS by Alex Chu

MonarchsMonarchs by Alex Chu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

MONARCHS by Alex Chu

MONARCHS is a suspenseful and surprising thriller, set primarily in New Jersey and New York City, with a side venture to modern Shanghai. A disgruntled worn-out call center rep receives a bizarre spam email, offering to fulfill his wildest dreams of wealth and status--in return for a human sacrifice. Arriving at his down point, the offer is neither faux nor fraudulent, catapulting Logan into an entirely new realm of possibilities. But the "one" sacrifice is never sufficient--until Logan's dilemma magnifies, and he crashes and burns. From that point, the thriller becomes more of a self-help exposition, as Logan determines to take charge of his own life.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review_A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM by Adam Aust

A Glitch in the SystemA Glitch in the System by Adam Aust
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM by Adam Aust

This debut mystery is a thrill-a-moment highly suspenseful roller coaster ride, where surprises and twists abound and both reader and protagonist are kept heart-in-mouth. Readers are caught up from the first page, accompanying the female protagonist whose life and relationships are upended and turned inside out.

Angela Gianni is a university-degreed L. A. resident who makes her living as a psychiatrist. When her best friend reports a bad breakup, then disappears while supposedly returning to the ex's apartment to collect her clothes, Angela files a missing person report. Next a client also disappears, she receives threatening text messages and parcels, another client dies--and a bewildered Angela finds herself charged with triple homicide.

A GLITCH IN THE SYSTEM is breathless reading (and heaven for a conspiracy theorist like me.)

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Review_LOVE YOU TO DEATH by Caroline Mitchell

Love You To Death (Detective Ruby Preston #1)Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: LOVE YOU TO DEATH by Caroline Mitchell
(DS RUBY PRESTON BOOK 1)

An electrifying suspense thriller, LOVE YOU TO DEATH is also heartwrenching and horrifying, as Detective Sergeant Ruby Preston and the Shoreditch (East London) Serious Crimes Unit work without respite to identify a killer stalking, then murdering and staging, women who gave their daughters for adoption.

Author Mitchell weaves a compelling character in Ruby, as well as in her team and superiors, and her family and former love. Not a spare moment to catch breath in this powerful novel!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review_HITLER; THE PSYCHIATRIC FILES by Nigel Cawthorne

Hitler: The Psychiatric FilesHitler: The Psychiatric Files by Nigel Cawthorne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: HITLER: THE PSYCHIATRIC FILES by Nigel Cawthorne


Although the quantity of deaths for which he was responsible was far exceeded by both Stalin and Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-Tung), Adolf Hitler's infamy persists. More than 80 years after he determined to assume power, he is still an enigma, not for what he did, but for the reasons behind his actions. In this study author Nigel Cawthorne carefully examines the nature of Adolf Hitler's personal pathology.

Driven by his megalomaniacal conviction that “I cannot be mistaken. What I do and say is historical,” [quoted from text, p. 16], Hitler grasped at power first and foremost, without a cogent plan of action or a platform. As early as 1940, psychoanalysts and psychatrists began to formulate studies of the mind of Hitler, based on what available information existed, such as newsreels of speeches, and his writings.

Drawing on numerous extant sources, author Nigel Cawthorne delineates a clarifying portrait of a man whose obvious mental illness and shortcomings, in the natural course, would have resented in a life poor in quality, and likely homelessness. Yet this same individual managed to take power, become a dictator, and control a nation with his on-again, off-again, charisma and hypnotic gaze. HITLER: THE PSYCHIATRIC FILES makes for fascinating, thought-provoking, reading.

View all my reviews

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review_ SAFE WITH ME

Safe With MeSafe With Me by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: SAFE WITH ME

Detailed and implactable, SAFE WITH ME is a portrait of madness "from the inside." There's a trite cliche holding that those who worry they have mental illness don't; the corollary is that the truly ill just don't know and can't recognize. Such is the case with this novel, stuffed to the brim with off-the-track personalities, ranging from the selfish mildly neurotic, to the definitely dangerous to self and others. In between, perhaps, are the morally lethargic, who experience a niggling awareness of "something is wrong," but for reasons of greed or ambition or personal loss, fail to act. Just as in the brutal murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City several decades ago, those who know, even if only an inkling or an intuition, and don't act, are guilty by omission of the inevitable tragedies.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

THE OTHER SISTER by Dianne Dixon_Review

The Other SisterThe Other Sister by Dianne Dixon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: THE OTHER SISTER by Dianne Dixon

Early on THE OTHER SISTER truly captivated me. I loved the insight into lives and lifestyles unlike mine, and the clues planted every so often telegraphing hints of future events, kept me racing through the pages. The "slice of life" portrayal of various characters and the subtle realistic horrific events befalling several, vividly create the environs. I am reminded of the admirable English author Tina Seskis, in themes, execution, and quality of achievement.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review_THE HAZE by James W. Hall [Bibliomysteries]

The HazeThe Haze by James W. Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: THE HAZE

Reading opens new worlds to our imagination--in this story, quite literally. An elderly nursing home resident fondly "recalls" his days as a contract killer. He is a voracious reader of crime, noir, and pulp fiction, provided by his not-so-devoted daughter, a bookstore clerk. In his mind, past, present, and fiction weave a fascinating new and adventurous life tapestry.

View all my reviews

Monday, September 19, 2016

Review of FARM DOGS by Janet Vorwald Dohner

Farm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and Other Canine Working PartnersFarm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and Other Canine Working Partners by Janet Vorwald Dohner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of FARM DOGS by Janet Vorwald Dohner

"Farm dogs" are not only the kind we might see in Western films, herding livestock; or in photos of the British isles, with sheepdogs guarding. Farm dogs can be many disparate breeds, sizes, and of distinct categories of abilities. Author Janet Vorwald Dohner presents a well-thought-out guidebook to this topic, which is of use to pet owners and dog lovers everywhere, as well as to those who live and work on farms. Commencing with "A Short History of Man and Dog Together," author Dohner explores the nature and qualifications of the "working dog." She then delineates several major categories including dogs to guard livestock; dogs who herd; "terriers and earthdogs"; and a category of other breeds comprising "Multifunctional and Traditional Farm Partners." When the reader has completed the book, he or she will know much about the categories of working dogs, and which breed to choose for greatest effectiveness, according to the reader's need for a "farm" dog.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

BROKEN Series Box Set by Maegan Abel_Pre-Release Celebration!

Join Forever Red Publishing and Barclay Publicity in celebrating Maegan Abel’s bestselling The Broken Series by pre-ordering THE BROKEN SERIES BOX SET today for just $0.99! This sizzling box set includes 3 full length novels and one novella. Titles included are Perfectly Broken, Unforgivably Broken, Broken Holidays - A Broken Series Novella, and Silently Broken! Rafflecopter for The Broken Series Box Set Giveaway: Forever Red Publishing is offering one (1) lucky grand prize winner a Kindle loaded with selected Forever Red Publishing Titles! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29262/ About The Broken Series Box Set: Title: The Broken Series Box Set Author: Maegan Abel Publisher: Forever Red Publishing Release Date: August 23, 2016 Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance ISBN: 9781941853375 “Sometimes, when you take the broken pieces and combine them, you get something even more beautiful.” Life will never be the same. People always say things like that and you never really believe them, but it’s the truth. One day, you think you have your life all figured out and then a single event starts a chain reaction you can’t seem to stop… Zane Tishler and Lili Cortez fit in perfectly with the party crowd of Sin City locals. They’ve spent two years honing a finely tuned system to bag and tag tourists with no strings attached. Sex is just sex, after all. But when dangerous shadows from the past start to reappear, things get complicated. Best friends and roommates, they never expected to find what they’d both been searching for in each other, but sometimes those who know us best forgive our sins the easiest. Through shootings, fires, and a multitude of secrets and lies, can they both survive? Even if they do, can their love? Add to your TBR List: Goodreads Pre-Order Your Copy Now for $0.99 Today! Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes Excerpt: I stared as Lili moved with almost mechanical motions, making it seem like she was pausing for small fractions of a second between movements. When she pulled this off perfectly, the sound of the crowd around us surged. I was completely entranced as she continued dancing and her eyes landed on mine. She moved to me and pulled me to her before spinning to press her ass against me again. I wrapped my arms around her waist, resting both my palms flat along her stomach and abdomen as I bent my knees to lower myself while we swayed together. She was so close I could see the beads of sweat running down her neck, the tiny hairs curling along her hairline in an unruly fashion. I felt the bare skin of her stomach when her shirt rose and my fingers slid underneath, tugging her even closer. She threw her head back and I gripped her hips. Turning her to face me, I lifted her up, my fingers on her backside as she used the position to move against me. Wrapping her legs around my waist, she grabbed the back of my hair with both hands, her nails grazing my scalp. I groaned and pressed my lips to hers again without another coherent thought. The crowd went crazy when the song ended and Lili blinked, seeming stunned as she looked around. I glanced up from her to a sea of camera phones that no doubt captured Lizzie's embarrassing ass stomping by Lili. I grinned at her and let her slide slowly down my body but she looked past me. "And it's EX-wife, you… repulsive tramp!" Lili stuttered as she spat the words. With an irritated huff, she moved quickly through the crowd. I could barely see the top of her head as she passed through the door toward the street. I glanced at the table to see Tish and Kas were already moving that way so I turned to follow Lili. "Zane!" Lizzie whined, grabbing my arm. Half an hour ago, I would've fought myself not to fall About Maegan Abel: Maegan despises writing about herself in the third person. She also hates touting her accomplishments like she thinks she’s really done all this amazing stuff… Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ll tell you what you need to know. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went to college in my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. I now work full-time in an alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theaters around the area. I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on my list of things to accomplish in my life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, I read eleven books in four weeks. It was during that time that the character of Lili was born and after the show left Tulsa, I sat down and began writing my first published book, Perfectly Broken. Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Publisher’s Website

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review of HOW TO WRITE A BOOK LIKE A PRO

How to Write a Book Like a Pro: Top 10 Mistakes Beginners Do And How To Avoid Them How to Write a Book Like a Pro: Top 10 Mistakes Beginners Do And How To Avoid Them by James Holtenson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of HOW TO WRITE A BOOK LKE A PRO; TOP 10 MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM by James Holtenson

This inspiring short book will appeal to those who want to write, but have not yet begun, beginner writers, and any writers who wish to improve their craft. Author Holtenson breaks down ten types of mistakes, and then carefully addresses each, providing not criticism, but positive praise with every sentence. You will go through this book realising that you, too, can and should write, to follow your desires. I especially appreciated the author's emphasis on the importance of reading much as well as writing much. Polish your craft and work toward excellence!


View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review of MOTIVATION: 8 SIMPLE STEPS TO MOTIVATION

MOTIVATION: 8 Simple Secrets to Motivation: Find Inspiration, Shift Mindset & Create Success (Motivational, Self-Help, Productivity, Happiness)MOTIVATION: 8 Simple Secrets to Motivation: Find Inspiration, Shift Mindset & Create Success by K. I. Cobarrubias


Review of MOTIVATION: 8 SIMPLE SECRETS TO MOTIVATION by K. Cobarrubias

The author offers 8 steps to increasing one's motivation, pointing out throughout that happiness and success are neither the same, nor exclusive of each other. A simple lifestyle can be abundant in joy and generosity while a wealthy lifestyle can be lonely. Instead, each of us needs to recover the wonder and ability to imagine and create that we possessed in childhood, then use that to intuit, feel, and proceed.

This short book can be read in one sitting, but will provide food for further thought and examination.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 27, 2016

Review of SIREN by Celina Grace (Kate Redman Mysteries #9)

Siren (Kate Redman Mysteries, #9)Siren by Celina Grace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of SIREN by Celina Grace (Kate Redman Mystery #9)

I always enjoy this series because author Celina Grace has such a smooth, conversational, style, sort of in the cozy-mystery vein, yet with deeper understanding of character and some really ingenious plotting. In this newest, for example, a suspenseful opening leads to the discovery of the corpse of an upper-middle-class English entrepreneur, a man with a loving wife and three children and a sizable residence, in a compromising and very unpretty situation. While Kate Redman, her Detective Superintendent, and the others on the homicide team are tossed into the investigation, racking up long hours, viewing CCTV tapes, and conducting numerous interviews, all the team still have to maintain their personal lives and relationships, and their relations in terms of the team as an entirety and as individuals. So while this is a police procedural series, it is also much more, a series with real characters in real lives. I don't often say this, but I think the Kate Redman series would be an outstanding, long-running, television series if well casted.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 24, 2016

MRS. LEE AND MRS. GRAY by Dorothy Love_Spotlight and Review










MRS. LEE AND MRS. GRAY by Dorothy Love_Spotlight and Review

Spotlight:

Centered on the extraordinary lifelong friendship between Mary Anna Custis Lee -- a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington and the wife of Confederate General Robert E. Lee -- and Selina Norris Gray -- a black woman born into slavery at Arlington who became Mary Lee's personal maid, head housekeeper, and confidante -- Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray explores the dynamics of a powerful alliance that transcended race, culture, and the turmoil of war, and paints  “a sympathetic portrait of these two women that both engages and educates the reader” (Publishers Weekly.)
 
Like Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings and Jennifer Chiaverini’s Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule, Dorothy Love’s Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the story of a complex relationship between mistress and slave that left an indelible mark on our common history.
 
Told in alternating voices, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray reveals:
 
•    The unfolding of a lifelong friendship between mistress and slave
•    Selina Gray’s courageous act that resulted in the preservation of historic American treasures
•    The hidden strengths and accomplishments of Mary Anna Custis Lee
•    The crushing losses and sacrifices both women endured during and after the war
A general’s wife and a slave girl forge a friendship that transcends race, culture, and the crucible of Civil War.


Mary Anna Custis Lee is a great-granddaughter of Martha Washington, wife of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and heiress to Virginia’s storied Arlington house and General Washington’s personal belongings.


Born in bondage at Arlington, Selina Norris Gray learns to read and write in the schoolroom Mary and her mother keep for the slave children and eventually becomes Mary’s housekeeper and confidante. As Mary’s health declines, Selina becomes her personal maid, strengthening a bond that lasts until death parts them.


Forced to flee Arlington at the start of the Civil War, Mary entrusts the keys to her beloved home to no one but Selina. When Union troops begin looting the house, it is Selina who confronts their commander and saves many of its historic treasures.


In a story spanning crude slave quarters, sunny schoolrooms, stately wedding parlors, and cramped birthing rooms, novelist Dorothy Love amplifies the astonishing true-life account of an extraordinary alliance and casts fresh light on the tumultuous years leading up to and through the wrenching battle for a nation’s soul.


A classic American tale, Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Gray is the first novel to chronicle this beautiful fifty-year friendship forged at the crossroads of America’s journey from enslavement to emancipation. (

Review:
In this contemporary culture, when Image is Everything, and History is literally a thing of the past, ignored and underappreciated, it is important to bring History to vivid and identifiable life. As we tend to forget, History was made by humans living in their present, humans who had emotions, thoughts, fears, needs, just as do we. Author Dorothy Love shines a beautiful light on two very disparate women who were nonetheless simultaneously products of their divergent cultures, and fast friends throughout. Kudos to Ms. Love for bringing this pair to our reckoning, and for humanizing a brutally heartwrenching era in American history.

Monday, May 30, 2016

MAYAN BLUE_review

Review: Mayan Blue

Mayan BlueMayan Blue by Michelle Garza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Review: MAYAN BLUE by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason

I so appreciate the Lovecraftian resonance of this story: modern research scientist [archaeologist, professor, cancer survivor--at odds with other faculty and peers in his specialty] determines to prove what to most is a wild, far-fetched notion. So [In keeping with so many of H. P. Lovecraftian' s foolishly reckless characters] he proceeds, on his own, opens what should be avoided, and pays the consequences. His risk-taking opens a dangerous can of worms--err, owls; and releases what, millennia ago, had been sealed by multiple self-sacrifices. Of course, others will now suffer too.

Plenty of blood, gore, dismemberment, and enucleation here to satisfy those devotees of extreme horror, and an intriguing weaving of ancient Mayan mythology. Plus, for fans of 80's horror films, there are university students, some of whom are so airheaded one wants them gone just to shut them up. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: furtl By Strobe Witherspoon

Review: furtl

furtlfurtl by Strobe Witherspoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Review: furtl by Strobe Witherspoon

So you think privacy, personal and global, suffers too many inroads these days? Think governments [everywhere] know too much and abuse that knowledge? HA! Read furtl: a very-near future, very societally-dystopian, very "sell to the highest bidder," very mentally-ruined citizenry, narrative. Beware: dumbing-down is NOT a slow process; and the setting of furtl is NOT far ahead. Beware. 

Review: SCHISM by Brett Holewinski

Schism Schism by Britt Holewinski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: SCHISM

When society collapses, for whatever reason--war, disease, invasion--humanity resorts to its basest motivations. Looting, pillage, killing, are rampant. Such is the case even when the survivors are all youngsters, as in Brett Holewinski's dystopian tale, SCHISM. When six billion of the global population fall prey to plague, the survivors are those in early adolescence or younger. Those with character and moral integrity strive to not just survive, but to persevere and rebuild. Others live only to destroy. SCHISM is the first in a trilogy.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 22, 2016

MOTORMAN by Robert E. Dunn_Tour

Review: MOTORMAN by Robert Dunn

When I read author Robert Dunn 's RED HIGHWAY, I was blown away by its power and range. MOTORMAN also impressed me strongly, but for me it resonated more for the various individuals than for its general apocalyptic impact [as In RED HIGHWAY].

 I too live in a community whose economy is collapsing. In some regions, economic issues result in individuals joining gangs or selling drugs. There is some of that here, but the community in which fugitive Johnny finds himself has adopted a massively different solution, one that is both bizarre and pragmatic. Mr. Dunn deftly blends horror, science fiction, literary fiction, and a deep understanding of humanness in a beautifully crafted story.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

THE INVASION by Brett McBean_Tour







Review:  THE INVASION by Brett McBean

The author has exhibited so much talent and interwoven so many layers of meaning into this novel that not once did I panic due to the nature of the plot--planned multiple home invasions by a technologically spiffy "cult." Okay, a couple of scenes and references really perturbed me. But we are so thoroughly introduced to the characters before the ugly events commence, that I just breezed along, wrapped up in the family and friends, cheering them on, rather than focusing on the pain and terror. Also, none of the "victims-to-be," as the terror squad perceives them, are wimp-outs, each in her or her own way has character strength and determination, compassion and empathy--all traits missing in the cult members, who are all human-shaped voids, commanded by a Black Hole with a metaphysical bent.

Mr. McBean, bring it on. You've far surpassed expectations in this supremely rapid-paced thriller.






The Invasion, Synopsis

Print Length235 pages
Publisher: Sinister Grin Press
Publication Date: May 15, 2016

It was supposed to be a quiet end to a long day: five close-knit family and friends settling in for some much-needed sleep after coming together for an early Christmas party.

Instead, it’s the beginning of a shocking night of brutality when six intruders break into the sprawling residence of Debra Hillsboro, a middle-aged romance novelist with a fierce devotion to her loved ones and a strong kinship with her home of almost thirty years.

Armed with smartphones and a modern brand of madness, the intruders – an internet-age cult disconnected from humanity and addicted to causing fear and mayhem – have come to the secluded property for one purpose: to terrorize, and ultimately kill, everyone inside all while filming their heinous crimes.

Outnumbered and cut off from the outside world, the terrified occupants find themselves trapped in a fight for survival as a once place of safety is turned into a deadly maze of darkened rooms and forbidding hallways. On this sweltering summer night, they must somehow find a way to escape before the cult turns the beloved home into a house for the dead.

 

Brett McBean, Biography

Brett McBean is an award-winning horror and thriller author. His books, which include The MotherThe Last Motel and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game, have been published in Australia, the U.S., and Germany.

He’s been nominated for the Aurealis, Ditmar, and Ned Kelly awards, and he won the 2011 Australian Shadows Award for his collection, Tales of Sin and Madness.

He lives in Melbourne with his wife, daughter and German shepherd.

Find out more at: brettmcbean.com

Praise for Brett McBean

"McBean’s voice is one that should be heard – a hint of Laymon and Koontz, yet distinctly his own.” —Brian Keene, author of The Rising and Terminal

“Brett McBean is as brash and brutal as a young Jack Ketchum. He visits the dark rooms inside us all.” —Scott Nicholson, author of The Manor and The Farm

"The Invasion, by Brett McBean, is a startlingly bleak home invasion story, but one that is wonderfully written. McBean relies on his characters and atmosphere to bring the biggest scares, along with the frightening threat of home invasion that many readers will bring to the reading all by themselves." -Michael Patrick Hicks, author of Convergence




Purchase Links

Amazon (U.S)

Amazon (Australia)

Amazon (U.K.)



Friday, May 6, 2016

Review_RAGE AND REDEMPTION IN ALPHABET CITY by Ann Grech

Review: RAGE AND REDEMPTION IN ALPHABET CITY by Amy Grech

A Wild and uproarious tour of the gritty underside of New York City's "Alphabet Avenues," this story is an eye-opener [and often, a stomach-churner]. Guaranteed, you won't think of the city in the same way ever again. Ms. Gresch delivers a far-out Neo-Noir depiction. Much like a highway fatality, you might find it cringeworthy but you won't be able to turn away.



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Tour: VICKI BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon




What would you do for a friend? Check out Somer Canon’s debut work! Follow along the tour!

Vicki Beautiful, Synopsis

Publication Date: April 26, 2016
PublisherSamhain
Novella

One last taste of perfection…

Sasha and Brynn descend upon the showplace home of their girlhood friend, Vicki, planning to celebrate her surviving cancer to reach her fortieth birthday. As they gather around Vicki’s perfectly set dinner table, though, her husband shares devastating news. The cancer is back, and she doesn’t have long to live.

Her life is cut even shorter than Sasha and Brynn expect—the next morning, their friend is found dead, her flawless skin slit at the wrists. But a tub full of blood is only the beginning. Before the weekend is through, they are forced to question how far they’re willing to go to fulfill Vicki’s last wish.

A very specific, very detailed recipe that only the truest of friends could stomach…

Biography


Somer Canon is a minivan revving suburban mother who avoids her neighbors for fear of
being found out as a weirdo.  When she’s not peering out of her windows, she’s consuming books, movies, and video games that sate her need for blood, gore, and things that disturb her mother.

Vicki Beautiful is her debut novella.

Find out more about Somer and her upcoming works at her websitehttp://www.somercanon.com. You can also connect with Somer onTwitter: www.twitter.com/SomerM.

Praise for Vicki Beautiful

 I read this at one gripping session and I shall read more by this author. Excellent, original and worth every one of my five stars.” –Catherine Cavendish, Author of The Devil’s Serenade

“At times it reminded me of the cult classic "Eating Raoul" and others "The Big Chill". Suffice to say, Canon has created an intriguing tale that will not only have you caring about characters put into an awkward, unsettling situation but also wondering how they'll react to it every step of the way. I highly recommend this unique and entertaining story.” 
–Matthew Franks, Author The Monster Underneath

“This is not the normal type of book that I would read, but the cover sold it to me, and I like reading new authors and genres. This book is beautifully written, the writing flows and you feel you really understand what the character’s are feeling…” Rebecca, GoodReads Reviewer

“The ending of this story was truly horrific. I am an old school horror fan, and have been indulging in the genre since I was old enough to hold a book. I also adore and enjoy the sub-genre splatterpunk, I read Jack Ketchum as a bedside book all the time. It takes a lot to phase me, but even I was turning my head in repulsion at the end. What a wonderful debut story for SomerCanon.” 
BadseedgirlGoodReads Reviewer

“A simple story, but all the more powerful for its simplicity. Four stars. The author has guts and skill.” –Outlaw Poet

Purchase Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

Want to Feature Somer Canon?

If you would like a copy of the book for review or to conduct an interview with Somer Canon, please contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at Hook of a Book Media:HookofaBook

@ho



tma

Review: Vicki Beautiful

Vicki BeautifulVicki Beautiful by Somer Canon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: VICKY BEAUTIFUL by Somer Canon

How far are you willing to go to fulfill the final wishes of your best friend or your spouse? That question is the crux of this debut horror novella. I found the horror extreme, even considering that I read the work of Edward Lee, Matt Shaw, and Bryan D. Smith, so I kept my teeth gritted and my eyes metaphorically shut throughout. [That's my fair warning for the faint of heart and the queasy of stomach.] I can't even say I liked the story; but I rate it 5 stars for writing, characterization, plot, and execution. It's really well-done. Now I have to restring my wrenched heartstrings.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: MUERTE IN LAS VEGAS by Jack Thompson





Review: MUERTE EN LAS VEGAS by Jack Thompson

Generally, I don't have an interest in reading about glitz or gambling. But I do enjoy the Raja Williams mystery series. To my surprise, I was fully captivated from the prologue, some time before the appearance of extraordinarily talented investigator Raja and his hacker sidekick Vinnie. The victim is such an appealing individual, and immediately elicited my empathy. I even liked her parents. The villainous, of which there are multiple, had me spitting nails as they demonstrated the worst failings of human [or should that be "inhuman"] nature. As is often the case, a very few "good" people face several bad, and a vast number of indifferent and apathetic.

Author Jack Thompson maintains the Intrigue level at high throughout, leaving readers emotionally wrung, but satisfied with a champion read.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: THE NIGHT STALKER by Robert Bryndza

Review: The Night Stalker

The Night StalkerThe Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: THE NIGHT STALKER by Robert Bryndza
DCI Erika Foster #2]

If you haven't begun this series with THE GIRL IN THE ICE, you're really missing out. Both are excellent, penned by an author who Is unafraid to expose his characters' true nature [whether protagonist, villain, or victim] and his grasp of character psychology is sound. His protagonist, Detective Chief Inspector Erika Foster, formerly of the Manchester [England] force, more recently of London, is a headstrong individual whose reliance on "instinct" is fast becoming out of control. In my review of THE GIRL IN THE ICE, I offered comparison to Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone, and I believe this to be true for that book. However, by the finish of THE NIGHT STALKER, Erika is clearly devolving, so is diverging from similarity to other strong but unstable female sleuths. Nonetheless I shall be waiting impatiently for DCI Erika Foster' s next stunning appearance. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

THE COMPLETE POEMS by Anne Sexton_Review

Review: THE COMPLETE POEMS by Anne Sexton

The very complexity of Anne Sexton' s psyche informed her extensive poetry, her life, her relationships, her character, and ultimately her demise. In common with women authors Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton remains a larger-than-life icon in the pageant of literary history of the 20th century. Collected in this volume are the eight published collections and two posthumous collections, plus an insightful biographical introduction by Sexton' s close friend, Maxine Kumin.

5 Stars


Sunday, February 21, 2016

THINGS WE FEAR by Glenn Rolfe

Things We FearThings We Fear by Glenn Rolfe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars 

Review: THINGS WE FEAR by Glenn Rolfe

I never miss a Glenn Rolfe story--never. I know I'll be scared, in a subtle and literary way. THINGS WE FEAR crept under my skin. Author Rolfe combines human monsters (yes, they exist) and the monsters-in-the-closet type of scare: those "that can't really exist!" kind. A character in another story insists, "Ghosts can literally scare you to death." Sometimes, our fears can be the death of us, too. 

Be wiser than me: . Don't read this at night. 




Things We Fear, Synopsis

Print length: 98 pages
Publisher: Samhain Horror
Publication date: March 8, 2016

Summer has just begun, and fear is in season.

School’s out, and the faculty at Fairington Elementary School are free for the summer. Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her classroom, but she’s afraid of being hurt again. Meanwhile, Aaron is determined not to let his phobia of drowning prevent him from enjoying the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.

But they’re about to learn real fear. Fairington is home to a monster. Phys Ed teacher Matt Holmes has more to offer the ladies than a perfect smile. He’s a killer and he’s got his sights set on Emily.

Who at Fairington will conquer their fears? And who will fall to a psychopath’s hellbent rage?

Where Nightmares Begin, Synopsis

Print Length: 219 pages; 
A collection of the three novellas Boom Town, Abram's Bridge, Things We Fear

Publisher: Samhain Horror

Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Available Print and Digital

Monsters can hide anywhere. Under a bridge, below the earth…or behind a smile.

Abram’s Bridge

When Lil Ron realizes the beautiful girl he met under Abram’s Bridge is a ghost, he sets out to make things right for Sweet Kate. His quest leads him into a tangle of small-town secrets as he uncovers a story of heartbreak, violence…and fear.

Boom Town

Thirty years after a notorious UFO encounter, the town of Eckert, Wisconsin, is besieged by mysterious rumbles from deep in the earth. As the earthly tremors grow stronger, two pre-teens discover a dislodged pipe spewing a strange, bubbling ooze. Their curiosity unleashes an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.

Things We Fear

Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the Ed Tech from her FairingtonElementary classroom, but fears she’ll be hurt again. Aaron is determined to overcome his drowning phobia and enjoy the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town.

But real fear lurks closer than they think. Fairington harbors a psychopath seething with hell-bentrage—and he’s got his sights set on Emily.

Biography of Glenn Rolfe

"Glenn Rolfe is an author, singer, songwriter and all around fun loving guy from the haunted woods of New England. He has studied Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, and continues his education in the world of horror by devouring the novels of Stephen King and Richard Laymon.

He and his wife, Meghan, have three children, Ruby, Ramona, and Axl. He is grateful to be loved despite his weirdness.

He is the author the novellas, Abram’s BridgeBoom Town, and his latest, Things We Fear(March, 2016), the short fiction collection, Slush, and the novels The Haunted Halls and Blood and Rain (October 2015). His first novella collection, Where Nightmares Begin, will also be released in March 2016. His next book, Chasing Ghosts, will be coming by 2017.

He is hard at work on many more. Stay tuned!

Praise for Things We Fear

"Things We Fear is a compulsively readable tale of obsession and dark suspense, with one of the creepiest villains I've encountered in recent years." -- Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh

"Glenn Rolfe's new thriller is addictive. A quick, compelling read. Rolfe creates tension with a minimal amount of words. His characters are so well-drawn they come alive (before they die)." -- Duncan Ralston, author of Salvage

"Fast paced and tense, with one of the most interesting monsters I've read about in recent times." -- Patrick Lacey, author of A Debt to Be Paid

"Glenn Rolfe is quickly establishing a name for himself as one of a number of excellent new writers to ensure the horror genre is kept alive and well. His previous books – Abram’s Bridge,Boom Town and Blood and Rain – have also served to show the extensive breadth of his imagination and Things We Fear carries on that trend. Quite simply, each story is fresh, new, exciting, and unpredictable." -- Catherine Cavendish, author of Dark Avenging Angel

"In this frighteningly real look at true horror, Rolfe manages to up the ante of tension while balancing genuinely heartbreaking moments, while showcasing his talent for creating unforgettable characters placed in equally unforgettable moments." -- David, Beneath TheUnderground

"There is a definite old school feel about this novella. It isn’t an over the top gore fest. Instead, what we have is a tense, psychological thriller that builds steadily towards a fitting climax." -Adrian Shotbolt, at Ginger Nuts of Horror

Praise for Abram's Bridge (a novella within Where Nightmares Begin)

"This is a stellar debut from Glenn Rolfe, a tale that will give you chills as much as it will make you question the hardness in men's hearts and the spirit of redemption." -Hunter Shea, Author ofThe Montauk Monster and Island of the Forbidden

"If you're looking for a page-turning who-done-it with a touch of the supernatural and a solid all around story that satisfies, then look no further." -David Bernstein, author of Goblins andUnhinged

Praise for Boom Town (a novella within Where Nightmares Begin)

"Short and sharp, Glenn Rolfe’s BOOM TOWN packs in in for a novella. An excellent blend of horror and sci-fi, with way more character development than you usually see in a shorter work like this." -Russell James, Author of Q Island

"Boom Town is a fun, fast-paced read packed with action, copious amounts of alien slime and an aura of creepiness that is sure to appeal to both horror and science fiction fans." -Rich, TheHorror Bookshelf

Purchase Things We Fear

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

Purchase Where Nightmares Begin

Amazon (Kindle edition. Print link coming soon)

Barnes & Noble

Samhain

If you have any questions, would like a copy for review or to conduct an interview, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, Publicist, at hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com.






FURTHERMORE