Tag Archive | Book review

Saturday Spotlight

The Magic of Grandfather Time by Rose English

(The Magic of Grandfather Time Series Book 1)

‘A grandfather clock has a face and a voice. As its name suggests, it is more than a piece of furniture; it is a member of the family’
Richard C.R. Barder 1983

DECEMBER 1880. There will be no jolly Christmas cheer this year. The harsh winter had descended; snow blankets the ground and the lake is frozen solid. Within the walls of Clement Cottage, the fire is dwindling, its embers barely bright enough to cast the shadow of the broken man upon the wall. Cole is lost in his deep sadness; he has just one heartfelt wish. To be re-united with his beloved, the soulmate so cruelly stolen from him – Cornelia.

A sad mournful ticking comes from a blackened corner of the parlour where a longcase clock is hidden. Tall and stately, noble of face, loud of voice and keeper of great secrets, he is Grandfather Time. Bestowed with the gift of magic from Old Father Time himself, as he begins to chime out the magical hour of midnight, can he grant Cole his wish?

The book includes An Introduction to Grandfather Time.

Amazon

My Review:

This beautifully written book started by taking me back in time with the song, Grandfather’s Clock, that I vaguely remembered from my childhood.

I was transported further back in time with the first story of the book.

Set on New Year’s Eve, 1880, this is a sweet and moving love story about a young man and his memories, on the anniversary of the death of his wife.

The second story took me even further back, to New Year’s Eve, 1699, where a clock-maker awaits the birth of his youngest child and Old Father Time grants a wish.

The author’s inspiration note and the historical facts at the end of the book are a nice touch.

I loved the author’s characters and felt their emotions. I shed a few tears while reading the first story. Rose English has a wonderful way of stringing words together and immersing you in the time and place of the story. I look forward to reading more stories in this series.

About The Author:

Living on ‘England’s Green & Pleasant Land’, amongst the gentle rolling hills of the Herefordshire Countryside, Rose’s house is wall to wall books. She even has a ‘leaning tower of paperbacks’.

Rose is a dreamer, preferring a simple & quiet life. Often spending time lone, although never lonely, being ever surrounded by great characters when lost in a good book. She loves theatre and the arts, adoring live performances on stage. Rose has very eclectic tastes.

Working as a school librarian, and sharing her love of books with the children was the best job she ever had. However, life moves on and another chapter was only a page turn away.

Now working in an entirely different library, in Hereford’s Wye Valley NHS Trust Hospital, Rose spends her day cleaning and issuing ‘Medical Equipment’.

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Day Of Execution by Lily Luchesi


Blood is not thicker than water.

The Undead are restless, and the Empress feels powerless to heal the rift within the vampiric empire. As tensions rise, Angelica and Danny must hold a crumbling paranormal world together. But a knocking from the portal into Hell makes for a dark distraction. What horrors will the new Lieutenant of the Underworld heap upon them?

 

Excerpt:

 

      Danny was walking through the PID offices, but it wasn’t the PID he knew. Not anymore. Corpses were strewn across the floor, all people he recognized, most of them humans. He went to touch one, an older man with white hair, to see if by chance he was still alive, but he couldn’t. It was then he knew what was happening: he was having a vision.
But how? When he turned into a vampire, he had knowingly given up his psychic powers and hadn’t had a vision for over twenty years now. Despite his uneasiness, it was like riding a bike as the vision unfolded. He simply followed it to see it to fruition, knowing that he had no control over it now.
It was vivid, much more vivid than his visions used to be, which was saying something. The smell of blood was everywhere, but there was something wrong with it. It was sour, and made him cover his nose and mouth with his jacket so he wouldn’t gag. He’d never smelled it before, but when he saw the needles on a table filled with red liquid so dark it looked black, he knew: it was dead man’s blood.
Deadlier than garlic and more lethal than holy water to a vampire, dead man’s blood could kill a vamp nearly instantly. It had to be from a corpse that was dead for at least twenty-four hours, and the older the blood, the quicker the death of the vampire. Angelica had been testing out a new weapon which fired arrows filled with dead man’s blood and holy water, to better fight against any other possible Undead defectors.
He gave the table with the needles a wide berth, walking further down the hall to the training room. He wanted to stop, to turn and run, at least to wake up. But like any good nightmare, vision of the future or not, he could only keep walking at a steady but slow pace.
He could hear screaming and crying from the other side of the training room door, and his stomach rolled when he realized it was Angelica he heard crying. It didn’t sound like she was in pain, exactly. She sounded angry and desperate and … sad?
He pushed open the door with a shaking hand and saw a bloody corpse pinned to a pile of workout mats, eyes wide in horror. He had no idea who the man was: he was in his sixties with greying hair and wide, hazel eyes. He’d been killed via vampire bite.
Danny turned the corner around the pile of workout mats the corpse lay on and saw another body, this one so far into decomposition that it was unrecognizable save for the fact that it wore male clothing. Angelica sat before it, blood leaking from her eyes, nose, and mouth as she sobbed.
Before his eyes he watched as his wife, the woman he loved, began to deteriorate and decay, turning into a skeletal corpse just like the one on the floor.
He tried to call out to her, to run to her, but he was still and silent.
From behind him, a voice slithered into his ear. He usually couldn’t hear voices clearly in his visions, they sounded like they were underwater. However, this one was as clear as a bell, and damn familiar, though he couldn’t place it.
“The time for revenge is upon us, Detective. Are you ready to see your world crumble before your eyes?”

 


The whole series is on sale January 1-6. Seven books for $6!

 
My Review:

This penultimate book of the series, is yet another awesome book from Lily Luchesi. From page one I was immediately transported back into Angelica and Danny’s life, their Empire and the PID.

The return of an old enemy threatening Angelica and Danny’s world kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end… and what an ending! I was not expecting that!

With plot twists, plenty of action, betrayal and much more, this book did not disappoint. I can’t wait to see what Lily has in store for the finale!!

I highly recommend this book, and the series.

 

 

About The Author:

Lily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula.

Her Coven Series has successfully topped Amazon’s Hot New Releases list consecutively.

She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Saturday Spotlight

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Horror High Series
by Carissa Ann Lynch

 
Cheerleading Can Be Murder – Book #1

15823283_583144511871498_4221171994049435069_nGetting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…

For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.

High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…

Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.

The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.

Cheerleading has become a game of life and death.

Amazon

 
Cutting Up the Competition – Book #2

15822614_583144501871499_1829100399388212203_nDay one of sophomore year, and Horror High is already living up to its name…

Amanda Loxx isn’t your stereotypical cheerleader. Her life has never been perfect. Her father is dead, and her mother is a drug addict. Now she is forced to live with her kooky grandma Mimi, who happens to be a former Las Vegas showgirl. Sophomore year is supposed to bring normal back to her life.

We’ve got murder, yes we do! We’ve got murder, how about you?

A string of pranks including a haunting chant sets everyone on alert. The girl who taunted the cheerleaders last year is locked away in juvenile hall. Amanda and her friends think it’s just a prank…a copycat looking for attention or a freshman hoping to scare off the competition.

When a cheerleader is found dead and another one attacked, everyone is certain history is set to repeat itself…

If Amanda and her friends hope to survive another year at the infamous Horror High, they’ve got to figure out who is behind these new attacks. Is it the freakishly talented new freshman hoping to carve her way to a varsity spot, or the person sending Amanda threatening letters? Whoever it is, she’s…

Cutting Up the Competition

Amazon

 
Killer Moves – Book #3

15780733_583144488538167_7815061749898094409_nAfter last year’s tragedy, life at Horror High should go back to normal…

Winter Addams has always loved to cheer and she’s ready to finally focus on the squad and their upcoming competition. But when a suspicious note is found on the body of a dead cheerleader, everyone immediately fears the worst. Is the real killer still out there?

Ready. Set. Stay alive…

Winter and the squad head out to a national competition, determined to reestablish themselves and clean up the school’s reputation. But danger follows Horror High everywhere, and another cheerleader ends up in the hospital. With half a squad, and a killer on the loose, Winter and her friends fear it may be time to give up cheer for good.

Quitting won’t save them now…

The sociopath behind the murders has it out for the squad, and all their lives are at stake. (less)

Amazon

 

My Review:

An easy to read, enjoyable and entertaining series.
A fast-paced mystery with plenty of twists, suspense and chills.

The author descriptive writing took me back to my school days, the friendships, cliques and betrayals.

The characters are a well-written mix of angst, risk-taking, conflict and hormones… typical and believable teens.

Each book is written from a different cheerleaders point of view, as well from ‘The Sociopath’

 

The Author:

F5EC6sADBesides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea.

I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books.

My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked.

My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I recently signed with Limitless Publishing for my series, the Flocksdale Files: Have You Seen This Girl?, House of the Lost Girls, and Carnival of Dead Girls. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything!

I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

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Painless by Marty Thornley

painless_

 
The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.

For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.

 
My Review:

31Q9ogwM2mLA book of two halves.

In the first half, we are introduced to quite a large cast of characters.

We meet Greg and other patients, all of whom are suffering, for various reasons, from chronic and debilitating pain. They are, understandably, willing to try anything to be cured and are happy to be a part of the ‘clinical trials’ which are taking place in a hospital out in the middle of nowhere.

We are also meet Dr. Menta, who is running the trials, alongside Dr. Georgia and nursing staff. Their reasons for taking part in the unorthodox trials are less obvious, and not really explained.

Most of the characters are reasonably well fleshed out with some backstory, although I didn’t really connect with any of them.

The latter half of the book descends into a bloody and gory ‘horror film’ scenario, as the patients, now pain-free, turn on the staff, each other and themselves.

This book is an interesting read, definitely set in the horror genre and not for the faint-hearted.

 

Author Bio:

MartyMarty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.

As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.

So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.

 
 

Saturday Spotlight

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The 12 Terrors of Christmas
by Claudette Melanson

 
36383570Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled “Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine.” A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, “Mislead,” previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.

Terror One: Who is Santa really? Does something sinister lurk beneath the red suit and apple-cheeked visage? More importantly, what does Santa want for Christmas?
Terror Two: It is said that every wish bears a cost…even a wish of good intent. What do Detective Talbot and his son, Mallory, stand to lose when the pair seek to right a wrong on Christmas Eve?
Terror Three: Christmas can be a time for great joy…but also for heart-wrenching regret. Can the magic of Christmas Eve turn back the clock before time runs out for Morana and her family?
Terror Four: Snow falls white and clean, seeming to purify the small town of Moon, Pennsylvania, but the woods behind Vaughn’s home have taken on a sinister cast. The snow keeps falling in record-breaking depths, but does evil lay hidden beneath its seemingly-innocent luster?
Terror Five: As his elves scurry to fill the toy orders for the busy season, unknown terror creeps toward the workshop intent on releasing an evil meant to cancel Santa’s yearly deliveries forever.
Terror Six: A well-meaning elf casts a spell which could inadvertently reveal the dark truth about Santa’s workshop and its inhabitants. The world’s children may end up paying a terrifying price, proving that the path of good intention oftentimes does indeed lead to hell.
Terror Seven: A scary twist on a classic Christmas poem
Terror Eight: Santa’s sleigh plummets to the ground, tearing all hope of a merry Christmas to bits and pieces. Will the elves be able to employ enough magic to stitch together some sort of solution? Or will their efforts only deliver greater horror and loss?
Terror Nine: Trinette is preparing to celebrate her first Christmas in love. Her boyfriend says he found the perfect gift for her, but beneath the shiny red paper and ribbon lies a secret he’s kept hidden during all the months of their courtship…
Terror Ten: The world’s population explosion means business is booming at Santa’s workshop, with the need to expand making a difficult excavation below the permafrost necessary. But the elves should use caution lest they dig up an evil best left buried.
Terror Eleven: A special holiday treat for Maura DeLuca fans! Riptide ended on a happy note, but how did Maura’s extended family celebrate Christmas? Could it be that the holiday didn’t quite play out the way the vampires planned?
Terror Twelve: It’s a dangerous time to call oneself a non-believer. Those who scoff at Santa’s existence are melting all over the world. But could the benevolent head elf turn out to be the murderer?

Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?

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My Review:

A wonderfully creepy take on Santa… and Christmas.

I enjoyed these 12 dark and disturbing stories that explore a less than jolly side of the holiday season.
The short stories include zombie elves, were-deer and vampires to name but a few, and many of the tales were interlinked which added to the interest.

This is a well-written and descriptive anthology, and an entertaining read.

 

The Author:

Claudette MelansonClaudette Melanson writes dark fantasy in Kitchener, Ontario with seven bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters, Beckett, Sansa, Daenerys, & Caramel. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English, BS in English Education and an MA in Literature. Harboring a deep admiration of vampires since the age of five left her with the desire to eventually become one, and now fuels the creation of her favorite paranormal characters. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many stories playing out inside her head.

In her very scant spare time, she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories…along with other genres of great fiction, as well as riding every roller coaster she encounters in both her hometown and away at signings. An advocate for good health and ketogenic eating, her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew-flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours.

Future dreams include a cabin boasting a roaring fire, isolated inside a snow-filled wood in the Yukon—the perfect writing spot—and the completion of dozens of future novels and stories. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic and loving bunmom, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

In her spare time–what’s that???–she loves to watch anime, game the XBox 360–especially Silent Hill Games, read great works of fiction & play with the bunnies. Coffee Lover, occasional blogger, Keto eater & movie watcher.

Her first novel, Rising Tide, was the winner of the Gold Medal for YA Mystery in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Competition. Her second, Undertow, took Honorable Mention, for YA Horror the same year for Readers’ Favorite. Rising Tide was also the medalist winner for New Apple’s Summer Ebook competition.

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Saturday Spotlight

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The Coven Heir
by Lily Luchesi

 
41573098The Dark never dies.

One year after The Company of Clan Munro was defeated, things in the UK Coven are settling down, and also beginning to be shaken up.

The Princess, Harley Sinclair, is building her potion business and planning a wedding to James Quigley, while still taking lessons from her father, the Coven King.

Her younger half-brother, Nick Smith, is moving to London with three friends … including Roger Ainsley, the son of the former leader of the Dark.

When a mysterious stranger appears back from the dead, his words of warning of another Dark Clan rising might change Nick and Harley’s lives forever.

There’s a deathwitch in the Coven, and she has her sights set on the Princess.

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My Review:

In the second book of The Coven Series, we rejoin Harley and her friends as they move on from school to adult life, and the storyline matures alongside them.

Harley is still the main character, but we get to know more about Bane, Nick, Roger and Daria as they play larger roles in this story.

The non-stop action keeps you turning the pages, as you wonder what will happen next and how Harley and co. will respond.

I love Harley, she is inspiring, badass, and definitely not a quitter!

 

The Author:

lilyluchesiLily Luchesi is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of the Paranormal Detectives Series, published by Vamptasy Publishing. She also has short stories included in multiple bestselling anthologies, and a successful dark erotica retelling of Dracula. She is also the editor, curator and contributing author of Vamptasy Publishing’s Damsels of Distress anthology, which celebrates strong female characters in horror and paranormal fiction. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things “dark”. At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle. She is also an out member of the LGBT+ community. When she’s not writing, she’s going to rock concerts, getting tattooed, watching the CW, or reading manga. And drinking copious amounts of coffee.

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Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott

mrpopstarbanner

 
Title: Dear Mr Pop Star
Author: Derek & Dave Philpott
Publisher: Unbound (September 20, 2018)
Publication Date: September 20, 2018

 
28767798_10155291090256546_1208899743_oA collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

“If you don’t like this book, then you’re no friend of mine.” Ivan Doroschuk, Men Without Hats

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My Review:

A fabulous, laugh-out-loud book!

Have you ever wanted to write to a pop star to find out the meaning behind their lyrics, or tell them the lyrics don’t make sense? That’s exactly what ‘The Philpotts’ did, and a lot of the stars wrote back!
The letters Derek and Dave wrote are funny and some of the replies are even funnier.

The book kicks off with a letter to the Doctor, from Doctor and the Medics questioning the band name and the difference between a doctor and a medic and the awesome reply from ‘Duck Tour’.

This is a humorous collection of those letters and replies. a must read for any music fan!

 

Derek and Dave Philpott are the noms de plume of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a worldwide social networking community.

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