Tag Archive | Book Review

4 Shots of Horror by John Hunt

4shotsofhorror

 

4 Shots of Horror

 

 

A boy who makes friends with spiders, a missing mother and drunken father, a convenience store robbery gone wrong, and a deadly game with the undead. Enjoy these twisted four tales of terror from noted horror author John Hunt.

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My Review:

As the title suggests, 4 Shots of Horror comprises of 4 short horror stories. I usually prefer a longer horror story that I can get my teeth into, but these tales were the perfect length to keep up the suspense and tell the story.

My two favourite stories, Itsy-Bitsy Betty and The Farmer and the Well, had young boys as the main characters, both underdogs and both being bullied. Even though I have a great fear of spiders I liked the ones in Itsy-Bitsy Betty.

House Flipping was a fun read. Both this story and Tweaker had a sense of well deserved comeuppance.

As a fan of horror, I will be looking for more books by John Hunt.

 

Author Bio:

John HuntA busy father of four with a dog and cat, John Hunt lives and works in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He has had nine short stories published in various anthologies and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. He is the author of Doll House, The Tracker, the apocalyptic novella, Balance, and Off The Grid. He is also a co-host on the Movies of the Damned!! podcast.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Case of The Lonesome Lushington by T.G. Campbell

(Bow Street Society #2)

Lonesome LushingtonIn this sequel to The Case of The Curious Client the Bow Street Society are privately commissioned to investigate the murder of a woman whose mutilated body was discovered in the doorway of the London Crystal Palace Bazaar on Oxford Street. Scandal, lies, intrigue, and murder all await the Society as they explore the consumerist hub of the Victorian Era & its surrounding areas, glimpse the upper classes’ sordid underbelly, and make a shocking discovery no one could’ve predicted…

The Bow Street Society is a fictional group of amateur detectives operating in London in 1896. Each of its civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field. This ensures the Society may work to solve cases on the behalf of their clients regardless of their client’s social class or wealth; cases that the police either can’t or won’t investigate. From an Artist to an Illusionist, from a Hansom Cabman to a Fashion Journalist, the Bow Street Society is justice by all and for all.

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My Review:

For the second book of the series, I once again joined Rebecca Trent and some Bow Street Society members as they are commissioned by Mrs Dianna Suggitt to investigate the murder of her sister, Maryanna Roberts, a fallen woman.

As the society narrow down the list of suspects, while trying not to antagonise the police, who don’t approve of them investigating the crime, another murder takes place.

As with the previous book, The Case of the Curious Client, this was a compelling read with a fascinating plot. I enjoyed getting to know the familiar characters better and meeting the new ones.

The author’s attention to detail transported me once more to 1890’s London and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

About The Author:

6af07c396b9dfcfbc82b1406bbcc4cf5Tahnee Georgina (T.G.) Campbell wrote her first crime fiction story at the age of sixteen as a gift for her best friend. At only 40 pages long it fell considerably short of a “novel” but it marked the beginning of a creative journey that would eventually spawn the first of the Bow Street Society mystery novels; The Case of the Curious Client. During that time she attended the University of Winchester where she acquired her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Studies and wrote a dissertation on the social and cultural importance of the works of Agatha Christie.

She also became a volunteer member of staff on an international text-based gaming website where she was responsible for creating, and facilitating, storyline-games in a Victorian Era setting. The historical content of the reference pages for this setting were therefore researched, collated, and maintained by her.

It was as part of her work for this site that she came up with the idea of The Bow Street Society. Though The Case of the Curious Client is a project independent from the website the time she spent as a member of staff there helped her better understand character formation/evolution, effective use of description, and clue-puzzle mystery plot mechanics.

More recently, she attended her very first book signing event in the form of the UK Indie Lit Fest in Bradford on the 28th July 2018. She’s currently planning a schedule of similar events in 2019, to give her readers even more opportunities to meet her and have their Bow Street Society books signed. The second and third instalments of the Bow Street Society mysteries The Case of The Lonesome Lushington and The Case of The Spectral Shot are on sale now. There are also two published volumes of the Bow Street Society Casebook: The Case of The Shrinking Shopkeeper & Other Stories and The Case of The Peculiar Portrait & Other Stories. T.G. Campbell also writes monthly features for Fresh Lifestyle Magazine and releases new Casebook short stories in the monthly Gaslight Gazette. The fourth Bow Street Society mystery is due to be released in 2019.

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The Other Side of the Streets by Maria Gibbs

The Other Side of the Streets

Children from the Streets #3

 
The Other Side of the StreetsRio, Brasil has always been split in half.

Marcos Martinez is from the half where homelessness and poverty is the norm. The son of a man who lived on the streets until he was adopted at the age of twelve, Marcos has made it his mission to defy the norm and make something of his life.

Gio Silvas knows only the lifestyle of the other side. A billionaire’s son, he’s a selfish, weak, narcissistic bully who thrives on hedonism, vibrant carnivals, and untold wealth—a lifestyle where the word “no” is not part of his vocabulary.

When Gio falls for Marcos’ twin sister Caro, a hard life lesson is heading his way. Will he see the error of his ways and change, or will his love for Caro push him and her family past the point of no return?

Familiar characters await, along with new, to both entrance and appall in this third installment of the Children from the Streets series. Come. It’s time. Carnival is upon us.

Are you ready to return to the streets?

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My Review:

Another emotional story in the Children from the Streets series.

The boys from the first book, have grown up and now have children of their own. Marcos and Caro are one set of Pedro and Alea Martinez’ twin children, and in this book, we follow their heartbreaking and tragic story, as their father’s time on the streets as a child continues to affect the next generation.

I am loving this series, inspired by real-life events, it’s an informative and very emotional read.

I would advise you to read the first two books, A Boy from the Streets and Sins of the Father, before opening this one.

 
Meet The Author:

Maria GibbsI started reading and writing from an early age, it has always been my passion and my escape. There are so many worlds out there to discover and to create. I write in many genres, my mind is alive with thoughts and ideas so I allow them free release on paper. If I were to sum up what the common denominator is between my books, I would have to say they tug at the heartstrings – in the main. My reader’s tell me I’ve reduced them to tears. Inspiration comes in many forms and I grab it with greedy hands. I am predominantly a pantser, planning only when needed.

I work full-time but my dream is to be able to make a living from writing and be able to give my undivided time to releasing all the books that are floating around in my over-active brain.

When I’m not writing, I like reading, crafting, running, listening to music or riding my motorbike.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd

strangers-she-knows-by-christina-dodd-coverI have three deadly problems:

1. I’ve seriously offended a maniacal killer.
2. I just had a bullet removed from my brain.
3. My new daughter is growing up too fast–and she’s in the line of fire.

Living on an obscure, technology-free island off California means safety from the murderer who hunts Kellen Adams and her new family…. Or does it? Family time becomes terror-time, and at last, alone, Kellen faces a killer playing a cruel game. Only one can survive, and Kellen knows who must win…and who must die.

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My Review:

This, the third and final book of the Cape Charade series, works well as a standalone book as there is enough information for you to understand some of what has gone before. That being said I’m sure that reading the first two, would’ve given me more insight into the characters, their relationships and the circumstances leading up to the events in this book.

Max, Kellen and Rae Di Luca flee to a remote island to avoid being caught and killed by Mara Phillipi, a psychopath from a previous book, who has escaped from prison. They take with them a cook and their dog, Luna. The only other inhabitants on the almost deserted island are a husband and wife team of caretakers, and a friendly ‘ghost’.

With no way of communication with the outside world, apart from the radio in the helicopter they arrived in, it takes a while for the family to settle into their more relaxed way of life. They pass the time by exploring the island on bikes, and by reading the journal of one of the islands previous residents.

Mara finds them, wrecks the helicopter and drugs Rae, who Max has to take off the island in a small boat during a storm, leaving Kellen on the island to deal with the killer. The final showdown between the two women is tense and terrifying, with Kellen being at a disadvantage as she’s still recovering from brain surgery.

The book is a thrill ride, packed with action, suspense, and mystery. I’ve added the first two books of the series to my to-read list.

 

About The Author:

strangers-she-knows-by-christina-dodd-authorNew York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd writes “edge-of-the-seat suspense” (Iris Johansen) with “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd” (ALA Booklist). Her fifty-eight books have been called “scary, sexy, and smartly written” by Booklist and, much to her mother’s delight, Dodd was once a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

False Flag by Rachel Churcher ​​

False Flag Rachel Churcher coverKetty Smith is an instructor with the Recruit Training Service, turning sixteen-year-old conscripts into government fighters. She’s determined to win the job of lead instructor at Camp Bishop, but the arrival of Bex and her friends brings challenges she’s not ready to handle. Running from her own traumatic past, Ketty faces a choice: to make a stand, and expose a government conspiracy, or keep herself safe, and hope she’s working for the winning side.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

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My Review:

In Battle Ground, the first book of the series, Ketty Smith was Bex Ellman’s nemesis and not a particularly nice person. However, there are two sides to this story.

Instead of following on from book 1, as I expected, this book revisits the same events only this time from Ketty’s point of view.

Although we already know what happened during this timeframe, the shift in viewpoint added depth and showed new aspects of the events.

I now understand Ketty as a person, although because of the ambiguous political backdrop to the story, I’m still unsure which side I should be rooting for!

I am enjoying this fascinating and plausible series and I’m looking forward to reading book 3.

 

The Author:
Rachel Churcher Author photoRachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

The Botanist by L.K. Hill​

The BotanistIn the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.

Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.

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My Review:

A well written, captivating and nail-biting story from L. K. Hill.

Detective Cody Oliver stumbles across a burial site in the desert. From that moment the small town in which he lives descends into a mass of journalists and extra policemen as Cody and his colleagues attempt to track down the serial killer.

Having escaped the clutches of the killer previously, Alex Thompson returns to Mt. Dessicate to remind the investigators of her experience, and finds herself, once again, targeted by the murderer.

Although I guessed early on who the killer was, the twists and turns the author took me through to get there kept me turning the pages. The slow-burning romance between the two main characters was somewhat predictable but added another dimension to the story.

The book held my attention throughout. It was dark and thrilling, and with some descriptions of the brutal torture inflicted by the killer, probably not for the faint-hearted, but I will be adding more books by L.K. Hill to my to-read list.

 

The Author:

L.K. HillL.K. Hill is a pen name for author Liesel K Hill. She writes across three genres. Her historical romance is written under the pen name K.L. Conger. She writes scifi and fantasy, including dystopian, under her full name, Liesel K. Hill. Her crime fiction is written under her initials, L.K. Hill.

She comes from a large, tight-knit family and resides in Northern Utah. She loved to read and write at a young age, and her earliest memories consist of her father sitting in the doorway of her room at night, relating stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the One Ring. Her mother also read to her every afternoon as a child, sometimes for several hours a day.

Today she is an award-winning author. She plans to keep writing until they nail her coffin shut. Or the Second Coming happens. Whichever comes first. ;D

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A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval

 

Is Paris the city of happily ever afters?

A Paris Fairy TaleWorkaholic art historian Aurora Black doesn’t have time for fairy tales or Prince Charmings, even in the most romantic city in the world. She has recently been hired by a Parisian auction house for a job that could make or break her career. Unfortunately, daredevil journalist Cédric Castel seems intent on disrupting Aurora’s routine.

As Aurora and Cédric embark on a journey across France, they get more than they bargained for as they find themselves battling rogue antiques dealers and personal demons, not to mention a growing attraction to each other.

But with the help of a fairy godmother or two, could they both find their happily ever afters?

 

 

My Review:

A Paris Fairy Tale is the second book by Marie Laval that I’ve read. I enjoyed Little Pink Taxi, but this book is my favourite of the two.

Aurora Black is a dedicated workaholic with low self-esteem, because of the scars and limp she was left with after the car accident that killed her parents. She doesn’t remember much about them or her early childhood, although her Grandmother paints a picture of neglect and poverty due to her mother’s flighty attitude.

When we meet Aurora, she is leaving for France, as she’s been hired by Florent Maupas to work on a rare manuscript, previously thought to have been destroyed. Once in Paris, she meets Cédric Castel, a journalist who is suspicious of her and believes she is involved in the criminal activities of Maupas and his associates.

What follows is an exciting and intriguing story, with twists and shocking discoveries in both their professional and personal lives as Cédric and Aurora attempt to uncover the truth about the manuscript, and break down the barriers they have erected between each other.

A Paris Fairy Tale is a well-written, emotive, action-packed romantic suspense novel and was a delight to read.

 

The Author:

Marie LavalOriginally from Lyon in France, Marie now lives in Lancashire with her family. She works full-time as a modern languages teacher, and in her spare times loves writing romance and dreaming about romantic heroes.

She writes both historical and contemporary romance, and her historical romance The Lion’s Embrace won the Gold Medal at the Global eBook Awards 2015 (category Historical Romance).

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her native France, as well as her passion for history and research, very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!

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