Tag Archive | Book review

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.

 
 

Advertisements

Saturday Spotlight

satspot

 

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?

AmazonB&N • KoboGooglePlay • Smashwords

 

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.

Website • FacebookTwitterInstagram • AmazonGoodreads

 

 

Saturday Spotlight

satspot

 

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.

Amazon • B&N

 

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.

Website • FacebookStreet TeamTwitterInstagram • AmazonGoodreads

 
 

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

AmazonGoodreadsUnbound

 
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.

FacebookTwitter

 

 

The Day That A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan

the-day-that-a-ran-away-banner

The Day That A Ran Away is a 32 page children’s fiction.

 
The Day That A Ran Away

 

Master Jet has forgotten to complete his homework… or has he? Jet’s teacher is surprised to find that instead of the alphabet, his page is completely blank. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!

AmazonB&NBook DepositoryFishpond
Add to Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt:

‘Oh no!’ said the teacher. ‘Master Jet,
You haven’t written the alphabet.’

‘I did, Mrs May,’ said Jet in dismay, ‘but…
Today was the day that A ran away.’

B was so sad that she didn’t stay.

JetC left as well; he wanted to play.

D‘s scared of school and went into hiding.

E followed next. I think he went riding.

 

Illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Published by TaleBlade Press.

 

My Review:

Red-AAnother wonderful and fun picture book from B.C.R. Fegan.

We enter Jet’s imagination as he explains to his teacher why he hasn’t written the alphabet.

The book takes you through the alphabet, with super reasons as to why the letters are missing, and ends with Jet ‘paying’ for not doing the work.

A great rhyming book to read to your youngster, with cute and colourful illustrations.

 

Author Information:

BCR-FeganBCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.

WebsiteTwitterGoodreads

 

Before Death by D.M. Singh

515DYk+3+eL
I am young, in love and dead.

It’s hard to imagine that people or things like me come from somewhere, but just like every superhero or villain, we all have an origin story.

This is mine.

My name is Derek but you can call me Death.

#deadisthenewsexy

Amazon

 

 

 

My Review:

I loved this book!

Written mainly from Derek and Grace’s point of view, with occasional input by Lucian, Before Death is a fantastic read.

I loved the quirky and unique characters, the struggling romance that persists after death and the humour.

I first met Derek in Dead Normal. This is the story of how he fell in love, died and became Death. It’s also Grace’s account of love, betrayal and heartbreak.

An emotional rollercoaster that has you in tears, from both sadness and laughter.

 

Author Bio:

_lJg5zui_400x400Dawn always found comfort in books as a child and from a young age and could be found reading or writing. Her first attempt at fiction was at 10 years old and was entitled Hippo In The House.

Dawn wrote and illustrated the book about a little girl, who returns from home to find a Hippo in her bath tub and the trouble they get into trying to return the Hippo to the zoo .

This was a turning point as Dawn decided that from that moment on the only thing she wanted to do was write, she also decided that she would never be an illustrator as her drawing skills were somewhat lacking to say the least

Fast forward a few years after school and Dawn married, had three children and completed a degree in counselling and psychology. She returned to writing in 2005 when she had an overwhelming flood of ideas for several stories and began writing immediately at every opportunity.

 

D.M. Singh

The Day That A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan

The Day That A Ran Away Banner

The Day That A Ran Away is a 32 page children’s fiction
To be released on September 1, 2018.

 
The Day That A Ran Away

 Master Jet has forgotten to complete his homework… or has he? Jet’s teacher is surprised to find that instead of the alphabet, his page is completely blank. Jet tries to explain that it really isn’t his fault. After all, how can he help it, if none of his letters want to stay on the page!

Pre-order:

AmazonB&NBook DepositoryFishpond
Add to Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt:

‘Oh no!’ said the teacher. ‘Master Jet,
You haven’t written the alphabet.’

‘I did, Mrs May,’ said Jet in dismay, ‘but…
Today was the day that A ran away.’

B was so sad that she didn’t stay.

JetC left as well; he wanted to play.

D‘s scared of school and went into hiding.

E followed next. I think he went riding.

 

Illustrated by Lenny Wen.
Published by TaleBlade Press.

 

My Review:

Red-AAnother wonderful and fun picture book from B.C.R. Fegan.

We enter Jet’s imagination as he explains to his teacher why he hasn’t written the alphabet.

The book takes you through the alphabet, with super reasons as to why the letters are missing, and ends with Jet ‘paying’ for not doing the work.

A great rhyming book to read to your youngster, with cute and colourful illustrations.

 

Author Information:

BCR-FeganBCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.

Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.

As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.

WebsiteTwitterGoodreads