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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

D: Darkest Beginnings by Chris Turnbull

(Prequel to Whitby’s Darkest Secret)

 
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What makes a young boy turn to the darkness?

What turns an honest man into a monster?

In this prequel to Whitby’s Darkest Secret, journey back and learn about the life of the boy, who grew up to become known simply as ‘D’

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My Review:

D: Darkest Beginnings is the background story of the man known only as D!

It’s a quick and easy read chronicling the life and misfortunes of a young, nameless, orphan boy, left to the harsh regime of a workhouse at the tender age of five.

He’s bullied from day one in the workhouse, and by various antagonist as he grows up, and then finally hit by tragedy the day before his wedding.

I will definitely be reading the other books in the series, and have already started D: Whitby’s Darkest Secret, as I am curious to know what becomes of this young man!

 

About The Author:

13781487Chris has always been a keen reader and writer, he loves the feeling of been drawn into a good book and the escapism into another world after a long day at work.

In 2013, after finishing his first full story Chris decided that he wanted to get it professionally edited in the hope to print it out for himself. After very little persuasion Chris finally released time travel story The Vintage Coat on Amazon and had a successful book launch in Leeds.

Chris was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire in England.

The eldest of two sons Chris originally wanted to become a dog groomer and trained in this field before working on a farm in the grooming room as well as helping with the dog hydrotherapy.

After a few years, Chris moved on and found a job at Bradford University working with PhD students in the Biology labs. Chris enjoyed nearly 7 years there before moving over to York University to take on a similar, be it more senior role.

Chris now lives on the outskirts of York with his partner and their Jack Russell terrier.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Knowing His Madness by Valarie Savage Kinney

Secrets of Windy Springs Book 4

 

519oqwvvhzlLife hasn’t gone the way Dashiel Winston once thought it would. His ability has destroyed his marriage, wreaked havoc on his mind, and left him weighted by the burdens of his past decisions. At fifty-seven, he lives alone with little company beyond the voices vying for attention in his head. For too many years, he’s buried himself in the fantasy life he’s created; everyone who knows him sees him as the flamboyant, addled pirate, Captain Dash. He’s loving, he’s jovial… and his heart is about to break from the terrible pain it carries.

When his deepest secrets are forced out in the open and his most treasured relationship threatened, he’s left with a choice: come clean about the decades of lies he’s built his life upon, or risk losing both his family and his sanity.

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My Review:

This is the book I’ve wanted to read since starting the Windy Springs series – the life of my favourite character, Captain Dash, as told by the man himself.

In this book Dash is, as always, a multi-layered and remarkable man. We get an insight into what makes him tick and into his struggles with mental illness.

I am always happy to return to Windy Springs and the wonderful quirky characters.

I love the way the author has used her magical world to give an honest look at mental illness and hopefully help to diminish the stigma surrounding it – Well done, Valarie!

I highly recommend this book, and the series.

 

About The Author:

27654394_1904237963158226_6070796649316661387_nValarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two insane little dogs. Author of Heckled, Slither, Just Hold On, and the Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories included in various anthologies.

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The Hairy Hand by Robin Bennett

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the hairy hand coverA scary adventure for 8 – 12 year olds, full of jokes, magical familiars and a Dickensian cast.

When Septimus inherits a magical, treasure-finding Hairy Hand from his uncle, life suddenly becomes a lot more exciting – and dangerous!

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Introducing Sept, the awful Plogs, the Village of Nowhere and the letter that changed everything

When Septimus Plog was small he liked to play in puddles outside his house. Sometimes he would look up and see his mother watching him from the kitchen window. He would stop and wave at her with all his little might … then wait; but she never waved back. Not once.

He always knew he was very different from everyone else in the village and Septimus often wondered if that was why his mother seemed not to like him very much.

For starters, he had this name. Septimus (Sept, for short). Everyone else his age was called Garp, Darg or Dorgk or Blaarg. Good, honest names that sounded like you were sneezing into custard or you had swallowed something pointy.

Secondly, he read books – by the sack, when he could get his hands on them. As far as he knew, no-one else in his village read anything except graffiti. And quite how Sept knew how to read was a mystery: there were no schools for a hundred miles, no teachers and, more to the point, Sept couldn’t remember ever not being able to read. Printed words in books just popped into his head, as if someone was telling the story out loud.

Unfortunately, in the Plog household there were only two books: the one he kept secret from his parents; and the one they kept a secret from him. Sept had only ever glimpsed it when he’d come home once and caught his mother staring at the cover as if she dared not open it. It was a small book with a black cover, like dead bats’ wings, and no title. Something about the book scared Sept very much indeed. His mother kept the Black Book in her apron pocket.

The other one – his secret book – he had read so many times he knew it almost by heart. It was called, How to be Happy, and it had twelve chapters, each with a simple idea for looking on the bright side of life. It was Sept’s most treasured possession, one that was just his. He hid it away in his room under a floorboard – because where he came from, possessions were just things other people hadn’t got around to stealing yet.

 

My Review:

I enjoyed this humorous and moderately gruesome read which, I think, will appeal to its target audience.

Septimus Plog, or Sept for short, doesn’t have the best upbringing and doesn’t fit in in his village. An unexpected inheritance from his uncle, a powerful magician, changes that.

Sept embarks on a journey, not only to find his late uncles home, but also to find himself and to stand up for what is right.

There’s an amazing cast of ghastly characters, including Sept’s parents, Plog the Sneaker and Gertrude!

A fun and adventurous fantasy story of good versus bad, determination and resisting temptation.

 

Author Information:

7020809Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children, sometimes under the nom de plume R.S Harding, and a few more on the swashbuckling world of business: How to Make a Good Living Running Your Own Business, Kicking the Property Ladder and Start up Smart, all published by Harriman House.

In 1997, Monster Books was founded as a way for Robin to sound moderately respectable when he was selling his books and also to allow full control over his work.

Robin has spoken at conferences on fantasy literature. His first book for young adults, Picus the Thief, won the Writer’s News Indie Published Book of the Year Award in 2012.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018

 
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Plaisted Publishing House and The Ghostly Writes Crew have done it again, bringing us yet another collection of haunted tales and spooky poems.

From ghostly encounters to haunted carnival rides, wicked forests and ghoulish manors, there is something inside for everyone.

So curl up beneath your blanket and get ready to experience all the spine-tingling encounters hidden inside….

The Ghostly Writes Anthology 2018

 
 

 

Your Authors for 2018 are:-

C L Williams, Karen Mossman, Adam Mitchell, Dan McAteer, M E Hembroff, Chandra Trulove Fry, Kyrena Lynch, Wendy Steele, Michael Lynes, Eve Merrick-Williams, Adele Marie Park, Jane Risdon, Mary Woldering, K M McFarland, R M Demeester, C A Keith, Cassandra Jones, M J Mallon, Claire Plaisted, Pamela Silva, J G Clay, Michelle Hughes & Mara Ritsma

The book is written in various English Grammar and Spelling from around the world!!

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My Review:

An enjoyable mix of short stories, as is usual with anthologies, I found some of them more enjoyable than others. Most were well written and I will be keeping an eye out for books by their authors. Others were a bit confusing, and one or two seemed to be a small part of a much longer story.

My favourite stories include:
The Gift by Jane Risdon
At Midnight by Chandra Trulove Fry
and
The Basement by Wendy Steele

The ebook is free at most online retailers

 

When I Grow Up by Jon Hales

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front“What if there was something more, not found within a book?
I closed my eyes as tightly as I could and took a look…”

Mr Dove’s class is trying to decide what to be when they grow up but Annie has some ideas of her own. Alien Hunter? Master Ice Cream Taster? President of the Universe? With a little imagination, anything is possible…

Beautifully illustrated, expertly rhymed, with a powerful message about the importance of imagination and dreaming big dreams, this picture book will delight again and again. Perfect for ages 4-8.

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Excerpt:

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My Review:

Another entertaining and imaginative children’s picture book from Jon Hales.

Annie’s teacher has tasked the class to write about what they want to do when they grow up, but Annie can’t decide what she wants to be.

Written in rhyme,  the story is a wonderful read for youngsters, and for adults to read to their children/grandchildren.

The beautifully drawn illustrations are delightful and an integral part of the book!

 
Meet The Author:

6595516Jon Hales is a British author, English literature graduate and former English teacher who learned first-hand the power of a great picture book while teaching in Taiwan, reading stories to his younger students. The capacity for a well crafted turn of phrase, captivating character or hilarious illustration to capture the imagination of its audience was fascinating to him. Jon dreamed of crafting stories that would bring joy to both children and adults, stories that could be read again and again without losing their charm.

Jon lives in London with his wife Annie. He would like to stress that no animals were harmed in the production of his debut picture book, Mathimals.

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Also by Jon Hales: Mathimals

 
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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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Bob the Littlest Dinosaur & Bob and the Color Fairy by Karlie Lucas

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Tired of being the smallest dinosaur, Bob sets out on an adventure to change his appearance. After facing many obstacles, Bob decides that being small isn’t as bad as he thought it was.

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When the wizards steals all the color from Bob’s home, the littlest dinosaur goes in search of the color fairies. But when they refuse to help simply because he’s different, he has to find another way to restore the colors.

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My Review:

These books are entertaining stories for little dinosaur fans. The pictures are simple but vibrant.

In both books we join Bob as he goes on an adventure and learns a lesson about self-esteem.

Bob the Littlest Dinosaur shows that size and height are not important. While the story in Bob and the Color Fairy teaches that it’s ok to be different.

 

Author Information:

AuthorKarlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

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