Tag Archive | Short stories

Dark Words by Paul White

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Dark Words: Dark tales, Darker poetry

 
411EwRCnleL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_We all have dark times in our lives; times when the clouds of uncertainty gather about us, when the shadows in our minds slam shut the doorway of hope.

These are times when the future looks bleak, when tomorrow is nothing more than a harbinger of anguish and our past lives a wasteland of futile labour.

Sitting in darkened rooms, listening to sad songs and reading dark words lends a little comfort to our souls as we contemplate the tattered remains of our world.

This book shares those days, the long cold nights of loneliness and apprehensive dread of what bleakness awaits us when the sun rises.

An amalgamation of Dark tales, Darker poetry and still Darker prose.
Emotional, deep, touching, scary, even dreadful, sickening, frightful in parts.

Dark words ventures into your soul, its bony tendril fingernails scratching your innermost fears, picking at your heart, probing your mind and twisting it into an abhorrent tumour of anxious evocative revulsion.

This is a book you NEED to read, a book which pushes boundaries.

**TW. Trigger warning: Contains graphic, illustrative descriptions of self-harm.

Amazon

Excerpt from ‘Roll of the dice’ – Dark Words:

This bar was like one of so many bars located on a towns deteriorating streets. The type of bar which exist only because the last few regular customers have not yet passed away.

Even the exterior slouched wearily, like an aged man with asthma, over the grey pavement. The interior fared little better. It was painted in a sad shade of shit brown, covered with dandruff of dust.

The only glimmer of promise reflected from the whisky bottles standing in disorderly conduct on the grimy shelves and from the brass beer pump which looked incongruous standing upright in the centre of the counter like a golden penis.

The true irony was the beer pump alone was the only object in the entire bar that could stand erect. Its very presence, so predominantly on display, seemed to mock the old men whose only recollection of penile function is shrouded in the befuddled fog of distant memory…

 

My Review:

An interesting and meaningful book of short works, from author, Paul White

Some of the shorts in this book are dark and insightful stories…

I particularly liked the short stories and unexpected endings of Eyes Like a Ghost and Neat and Orderly, and the haunting poem Today I Cried.

Others bring to life the feelings of self-hate, worthlessness and loneliness that comes with depression.

Those parts of the book are hard-hitting and were emotionally difficult for me to read, but also comforting!

T.W.

I’m not a fan of trigger warnings in general, however, parts of this book contain descriptions of self-harm.

 

The Author:

16508152_1422062741137206_3711805459333421422_nI am a multi-genre author of fiction, semi-fiction and non-fictional works. I have published books ranging from Children’s stories to tales of Crime and Violence, from personal accounts of the worlds War Zones to Emotive Poetry books and the humorous side of Military Social History to Twisted tales of both Magic and Gremlins

A common topic running through many of my stories is that of life, of love, happiness, laughter, anger, anguish, fear, uncertainty, pain and loss. All the common denominators of the most important matter of all, the human condition.

I am the founder of CQI Magazine and Electric Eclectic, writer of the blogs, ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind‘ (writing about writing for writers) and Wild Geese, the independent traveller’s blog.

As for myself… I have a warped sense of humour, I love good food, good wine and great company. I am an ardent independent traveller, a nature lover and supporter of ecological and wildlife preservation.

Go on, check me out… you know you want too.

It’s ALL here…

my books, special editions, Electric Eclectic, Work in Progress, links to my blogs and artwork site.

 

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Consumption by Valarie Savage Kinney

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Consumption is a chilling collection chronicling the stories of six people consuming or being consumed by something unnatural.

 
Picture1The Satisfaction of Mercy

Mercy was left for dead in the toxic sewers of Detroit, and now she is consumed with the need for revenge.

 
Jagged Disintegration

Kelsey has fallen victim to a terrible virus with the power to destroy her life from the inside out.

 
The Wedding Takeover

Laura is determined to finally have her perfect wedding day, even if she must steal it from someone else.

 
To Scotland!

Eric is broken-hearted when his best online friend disappears, and he’d give anything to have her back… but not like this.

 
Creeping Moss

Celeste didn’t notice the first black spots, until they spread and took over every aspect of her life.

 
Maternal Consumption

Samaria has fought the gnawing hunger in her gut for years, until she’s finally satisfied by eating something she shouldn’t.

Amazon

 

Meet The Author:

Picture3Valarie Savage 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.

She is the author of Just Hold On, Slither, Heckled, and The Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories in various anthologies.

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AmazonGoodreads

 

  

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Mayhem, Madness and Mirth?

Jessica Wren and Ian Williams challenge each other with monthly themes on the blog:

Mayhem, Madness and Mirth?

Follow the blog to be notified when new stories are uploaded each month!

December’s theme is: Christmas Horror/Thriller

 

Carol of the Bells

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by Jessica Wren

 

Recently widowed Olivia Westcott notices that her teenage son is acting very strangely. An FBI statistician, she notices a bizarre murder pattern and comes to believe her son has fallen victim to Carol of the Bells, a horrific 300-year old curse. A mysterious stranger offers to help her break the curse, but to do so means Olivia has to face a painful past. Inspired by The Crucible.

 

Gift Wrap Killer

giftwrapkillerby Ian Williams

 

A string of gruesome murders has Samantha, a homicide detective, determined to crack the case at any cost. But when her mental health is at stake, Samantha’s partner and family must intervene before she gets herself in too deep.

 

 

 

 

The Authors:

Jessica Wren

jessJessica is a teacher and author from Georgia. Her debut novel is Ice, a paranormal thriller about a small town under siege.

Jessica is also working on the second edition of Ice and a paranormal dystopian trilogy: The Solomon Project, The Rehoboam Sanctions, and The Abijah Coalition. This trilogy will follow three generations of men who are singled out for brutality by the iron-fisted Conference of Independent Nations (C.I.N.). Jessica cannot wait to have this trilogy in its final form.

 

Ian Williams

ianIan is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. His first novel, Transitory, is a murder mystery/thriller set on a distant moon, where a strange alien festival is taking place.

His next book was The Sentient Collector; a futuristic tale of technology gone too far and humanity’s overreliance on AI. It was followed by The Sentient Mimic, and then the final in the trilogy, The Sentient Corruption.

Not A Perfect Fit by Jane A. Schmidt

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Title: Not A Perfect Fit
Author: Jane A. Schmidt
Genre: Heartwarming Humorous Short Stories

 
Jane Schmidt_386x600Not a Perfect Fit is a collection of stories that are laugh-out-loud funny one minute and thought-provoking the next.

Stories range from Schmidt’s experience living off-grid as the only English woman in an Amish neighborhood to family trips that are remarkably similar to National Lampoon’s Vacation.Through it all, she manages to rise above the many challenges she faces—inspiring and entertaining her audience along the way.

Filled with animal antics, gratitude, mishaps, and madcap adventures, Not a Perfect Fit’s tell-all, single-girl-gone-country, down-home stories give readers permission to laugh and cry—and, most important, to carry on.

Amazon * Goodreads

 

 

 Excerpt:

 
Backyard Camping with Dad

      I’m a believer that you don’t have to travel far to get away. I may have picked up this attitude from my dad. He was big on taking me camping . . . in the backyard. And although we loaded up the green station wagon and went on family adventures every summer, it’s the trips to the backyard that I recall the most fondly.
      I remember the musty smell of my dad’s old green army tent. The tent was rolled up tight and neat in a dark green army bag. When we unrolled it, a skinny bag stored in the middle would fall out with a thud.
      Looking back, I see that there was always an order to how things got done when my dad was doing them. Hindsight tells me this was his military training.
      Before we set up the tent, my dad would mow the grass. Next, he would lay down a piece of tarp that was cut perfectly to fit under the tent. Then he’d ceremoniously roll the tent out onto the tarp. Everything lined up neatly, just the way my dad tried to get me to make my bed.
      The skinny bag held all the heavy wooden poles that needed to be fitted together. Two of them went inside the tent and were responsible for holding the tent up. Once those were in place, I had to help pull out each corner of the tent so my dad could anchor it to a huge metal stake that he pounded into the ground. It took forever to set those stakes and get the tent to stand at attention. I seemed to always trip, fall, or crash into, onto, or over one of those primitive stakes or tent lines when I had to get out of the tent for anything.
      The poles inside the tent were challenging to maneuver around. My dad would use the one near our heads to hang a flashlight from. Once the tent was up, we’d fill a cooler with pop for me, Pabst Blue Ribbon for my dad, and pretzel rods for the two of us. I’d put my pajamas on and crawl head first into the tent on my belly, trying not to knock out the poles and wiggling my shoes off as I went. Shoes were always left outside the tent.
      Once we were both settled, we’d play endless games of Crazy Eights by flashlight. I’d always fall asleep before saying good night, which meant that our nightly ritual—a prayer followed by “Good night, alligator; after a while, crocodile”— never made it out of the house and into the tent.
      I remember the thickness of the flannel-lined sleeping bags, and how they got wet when it rained (because the rain never failed to leak into the canvas tent). I also remember making a mad dash for the house when my dad gave up trying to dam up the pools of water that would collect underneath our tired bodies.
      Many nights were beautiful, however, and we’d lie with our heads pointed toward the door flap so we could stare out into a star-filled sky. I remember to this day where the Big Dipper would appear on a cloudless night: right over my pet rabbit Thumper’s cage.
      Sometimes when I’m driving home from work, I find myself looking into backyards and searching for tents or for children playing. This ritual with my dad was priceless, as was playing outside with the neighborhood children. When I got older and had sleepovers, my friends and I often chose to sleep outside, and my dad would still help me set up the tent. As an adult I continue to prefer sleeping in a tent with my head on the ground.
      It’s just about tent season, and I’m planning my first backpacking trip of the year. I’m hoping for less mud on the trails this May and more star-filled nights. When I crawl into my tent, I’ll be sure to be thinking of my dad and thanking him for instilling in me an appreciation of the wonders of sleeping outdoors. I’ll also be thankful that my tent doesn’t leak—or have wooden poles inside!

 

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Excerpt:

 
Birthday Brows

      I find it amusing that while I’ve stopped wearing makeup, my granddaughter, Helena, has started wearing it. This recent discovery was one of those “aha” moments people talk about. I didn’t quite do a head slap when I asked Helena what she wanted for her fourteenth birthday and she replied, “Makeup,” but I did a quick head turn. She was sitting in the passenger seat, and I was driving. I had to look quickly, because I thought for a moment that she’d be in the backseat of the car, securely seat-belted down, with her
sippy cup. But there she was, in the front seat, long hair and long legs, asking me for makeup as her birthday gift.
      I admit I’ll still grab my wand of mascara if I’m going out in the evening or on a date. I’m addicted to my all-natural lip gloss, and my magic face cream is like my new best friend. But I haven’t used makeup—as in, eye shadow, rouge (do they still call it that?), eyeliner, and face frosting—for a long time now. Did I get older and stop caring what I look like anymore, or have my eyes just gotten so weak that I can’t see my own reflection in the mirror? Either way, my makeup drawer nowadays is slim pickings. And I like it that way. Less mess, less money spent, and faster out of the house in the morning.
      Helena has gone from the “I don’t want to shower and wash my hair” phase to the “I can’t stop looking at myself in the mirror” phase, running her hands through her long hair in that way kids do, fast and snappy. As for me, living off-grid for four years without a mirror or bathroom worked wonders for my philosophy that we are a way-too-clean society. I never did understand showering in the morning; if you wash the day’s residue off at night, how do you become dirty by morning? But seeing Helena on her birthday, absolutely beautiful and well groomed, I made a note to myself, and it said, “Remember, Jane, take the time to look in the mirror.”
      Which I did—and yelped. When Helena asked, “What’s wrong, Grandma?” I could only reply, “I just saw my reflection.” It’s gotten that bad. I tried running my hands through my hair but my fingers got stuck, and instead of fluffing up my hair, I merely distributed the oil a bit and matted it down.
      When we got in the checkout lane, I looked over Helena’s purchases carefully. One was packaged in a pink plastic space shuttle container. I am still clueless as to what was in it. The eye shadow was easy to figure out, though, as were the lip gloss and nail polish.
      As part of Helena’s birthday celebration, we went for pedicures. Now that is something I still relish. I am a foot freak of the best kind. “I brake for foot rubs” could be my personal bumper sticker. Helena chose silver nail polish; I went with the hot pink. I loved when they sandblasted the dry skin off the soles of my feet (safety goggles would have been helpful). Helena, however, quickly held up her hand for the young man to stop, pleading too ticklish. She had him paint a nifty flower on each of her big toes. I asked for a swirl on mine. Her flower turned out fantastic. My swirl looked like a snail with paint on its butt had walked across my big toe. I asked to have it painted over.
      Right about then I saw a sign reading, “Eyebrow Waxing $10.” When I pointed it out, Helena told me her mom had just had hers done, so I thought I’d give it a try. Only after our toenails were dry and we were walking back to the tiny, barren room where they did the eyebrow waxing did Helena confide in me, “It’s really painful, Grandma.” I’d guessed it might be. I mean, why was the room hidden in the back of the building? Obviously so other customers wouldn’t hear the thrashing and yelling.
      I started to tell the tiny torture lady that I was fifty-seven and had never had my eyebrows waxed when she shoved the top of my chair down, and I gulped as I tilted back into a prone position, blinded by an enormous spotlight.
      “Oh, very bad. Very bad. Oh, very bad!” she exclaimed.
      I tried lifting my head to give Helena my “What the heck?” look, but that tiny claw, I mean hand, shot right out and held me firmly down. I felt something warm, no hot, and Noooo! Oh, that was brutal! And before I could say anything . . .warm, hot and ohhhh again. And again. And again. The whole time the pint-sized, could-be-a-perfect-prison-torture-guard kept saying, “Very bad, very bad,” over and over again.
      Soon she pushed my chair into an upright position and handed me a mirror. I involuntarily shrieked upon seeing the two angry, “very bad” welts over my watering eyes. “They look great, Grandma!” Helena said. “Wanna go go-karting?”
      And off we went, Helena looking young and simply gorgeous, me looking old and dazed.
I couldn’t help but think that all the makeup in China wouldn’t make my eyes look any better for days . . . maybe even years. Good thing I’ve stopped wearing the stuff.

 

 
The Author:

JaneJANE A. SCHMIDT is a columnist and the owner of two businesses, Fitness Choices and Turtle Adventures. When not teaching her fitness classes or encouraging women to get outside, she spends her time backpacking in places like the Grand Canyon, Superior Hiking Trail, and Isle Royale National Park; biking across Wisconsin; hiking and kayaking in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve; or just hanging out with her animal family in rural Viola, Wisconsin.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Amazon

 

 

 

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Hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours

 

Portraits of Dread by Michael J Elliott

575c3263413c4-bpfullNOMINATED FOR BEST HORROR BOOK IN THE 2016 METAMORPH PUBLISHING INDIE AWARDS.
In this collection, Michael J.Elliott explores fear and dread in many petrifying forms. You’ll find such delights as,

In MOTHER CALLED TODAY a woman becomes increasingly fearful of her demanding mother’s incessant phone calls. She has a horrible secret about her mother, something she is too scared to share with anyone.
In THE LITTLE MAN ON TOP OF THE WARDROBE Four year old James has always been very good about going to bed but recently he’s been too scared to go to sleep. There is a little man living on top of his wardrobe and it wants his soul.Of course that’s just his overactive childhood imagination….Isn’t it?
In A GLUTTON FOR PUNISHMENT we visit a future that isn’t too hard to imagine. It’s a world where the overweight are social pariahs, where a government controls their eating and shopping and failure to loose weight after three attempts results in the obese being sent to a detention camp. Lynda Whittaker has just been sent to one such camp and she’s about to learn a horrifying government secret which shows they till have one final use for the overweight.
Portraits Of Dread contains these chillers and more.

Amazon

 

Win an ecopy of Portraits of Dread by Michael J Elliott

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The Author:

11130284_449191385244010_5513577484407463000_nMichael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A Second Alfred Hitchcock”. Michael continued his love of writing in high school where he wrote and acted in films for his Media Studies class. He went on to study Media briefly at College, writing film scripts and radio ads. As a member of a community social theatre club, Michael wrote many of the sketches and routines that were performed for the benefit of senior citizens clubs. His most notable writing success was having one of his previously written comedy sketches chosen for a television comedy special.

Michael lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia. When he isn’t writing tales to terrify readers he enjoys drawing, golden era hollywood movies, reading and cooking as well as looking after his two ‘best mates’, his cats Charlie and Smokey.

Website | Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Choice Cuts by Michael J. Elliott

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Author gives readers something new to sink their teeth into.

On Halloween 2015, Aussie horror writer, Michael J. Elliott, launched his first collection of shorts, Portraits Of Dread. His first work was very well received and gained him some very favourable reviews. Now, exactly a year later, Michael is set to chill his readers again with his new collection, Choice Cuts-A Bite From The Dark Realm.

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As Michael explained:

“This is another eclectic mix of stories, from dystopia, to good old fashioned horror. I hope I’ve created a nice mix for my readers. I’ve tried to add that unexpected twist and the wry humour which readers have told me they enjoyed in my first collection.”

 

 

STORIES INCLUDE:

PENANCE
Deep within the bowels of an ancient mountside convent, Sister Elizabeta is locked away praying for forgiveness while the Council of Elders decide on a horrific punishment for her sins. What was Sister Elizabeta’s transgression and what is the punishment she is about to undergo?

picture1A BITE FROM THE DARK REALM.
Something is eating the food at a suburban London supermarket. When his overbearing boss tells Allan to rid the store of whatever is infesting the store, he discovers something far more terrifying than rats and mice.

BLACK SILK PANTIES.
Jacob O’Halloran is a sexually repressed bachelor. He gains his fulfillment by stealing women’s panties from suburban clothes lines. When he tries to steal from Audrey he is going to be plunged into a nightmare because Audrey has some issues of her own.

CHOICE CUTS ALSO INCLUDES:
Upon A Dark Horseman
Choice Cuts
Farewell Dear Friend
Brood Mother
And more.

Choice Cuts was released this Halloween and you can get your copy  by clicking on the following links.

Amazon | Smashwords

 
The Author:

11130284_449191385244010_5513577484407463000_nMichael J Elliott was writing stories since his early schooldays and was described by his school principal as “A Second Alfred Hitchcock”. Michael continued his love of writing in high school where he wrote and acted in films for his Media Studies class. He went on to study Media briefly at College, writing film scripts and radio ads. As a member of a community social theatre club, Michael wrote many of the sketches and routines that were performed for the benefit of senior citizens clubs. His most notable writing success was having one of his previously written comedy sketches chosen for a television comedy special.

Michael lives in a bayside suburb in the State of Victoria, Australia. When he isn’t writing tales to terrify readers he enjoys drawing, golden era hollywood movies, reading and cooking as well as looking after his two ‘best mates’, his cats Charlie and Smokey.

 

Michael loves connecting with book lovers and readers from around the world.
Feel free to ask him about his work or just say G’day at any of the following.

Facebook | TwitterOfficial Web Page

 

Books I Read In December 2015

Blood Ties (Blood Trilogy Book 1)

by J. Nicholls

A fantastic start to another adventurous and sexy series by Julie Nicholls.
Join the well-fleshed out characters, Keagan, Gabriel and Lyssa, as they face betrayal and danger at the hands of Dr.Keller and Solgen Laboratories.
It’s not all treachery and peril though, there’s also love, and plenty of hot and steamy action in this fast-paced story.

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to find out more about Ghost, and what happens next!’

I received an ARC of Blood Ties from Julie Nicholls in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

First of three books in the Blood Trilogy.

Keagen was tall, muscular, and stronger than most men were, although he wasn’t exactly a man. His genes were human DNA with a hint of animal, courtesy of Solgen Laboratories. It wasn’t common knowledge what the company did, and their labs were all in secret locations. Only their financial backers knew where they were. Who supported them was unclear. Possibly the government, private military organizations, or even wealthy dictators; no one knew. You would not find any documentation about it. It wasn’t legal what they were doing, that’s for sure.
Keagen tracked and hunted escapees and always caught his prey, but just one eluded him. Gabriel, a lycan.

K 3 4 G E N is Solgen Laboratories number one hunter. He’s genetically enhanced and has a high IQ, heightened senses, and thanks to lycan DNA, he is stronger and faster than any man. It’s taken him a year to find Solgen Labs most wanted escapee; Gabriel, a lycan, and K 3 4 G E N is finally bringing him in, but despite his one hundred percent retrieval rate, his title and life are about to expire.
The labs have created a new hunter, a female. G H 0 5 C T – She’s faster, stronger, and has a new genetic enhancement that gives her the edge. She’s a trained killer, and is eager to replace K 3 4 G E N, robbing him of his title and crown.
Feeling betrayed, K 3 4 G E N turns to his enemy, Gabriel. He hands Gabriel a file containing details of his sister, who was executed at the hands of Dr. Keller, the founder of Solgen Labs. Seeking an alliance, he offers to help Gabriel find out what happened to his sister.
Gabriel must make a choice; trust the hunter, or run and hide as he had done previously.
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…In One Basket (Time Will Tell Book 3)

by Les Lynam

Another great, fun-filled book from Les Lynam !
Having read the first two books of the series I was looking forward to reading …In One Basket, and I was not disappointed.
The book follows on from where the second book ended and I was pulled straight back into the story.
My old friends Sean, Jane/Kate and LX are back and better than ever, and I loved the surprising development of Steffi’s character.
It was an exciting and enjoyable read, filled with non-stop action and unexpected twists!

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.
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Travel Glasses

by Chess Desalls

A thrilling start to a new, interesting and unusual time travelling tale. It was a quick and easy read that grabbed me on page one and took me for an adventurous ride, with several twists and turns along the way.

The world building was fantastic, and thanks to the creative and vivid descriptions, it was easy to see each place that Calla visited, from Edgar’s small cottage in the clearing by the still stream to the White Tower with its long door-lined hallway.

Learning about the futuristic technology and inventions, and the ‘physics and laws’ of time travel at the same time as Calla, helped me to feel what she was feeling.

The characters were well-developed and each had their own personality and voice. As the book continued I learnt more about each one, their backgrounds and the reasons behind their behaviour and actions.

I loved this amazing start to a new series and have already read the second book. I’m now waiting for book 3.

Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It’s a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.
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Insight Kindling

by Chess Desalls

Book 2 of the series is also a quick and gripping read, and like book 1, it is well written, intriguing and kept my attention right through to the last page.
This book picks up where the first book finished and once again I joined Calla on a wild and adventurous ride.

We learn more about the technologies, difficulties, and rules of time travel, and the unique special ‘abilities’ that each traveler has, and many questions left from book one are answered.

The world building is just as wonderful and the new characters brought into the story are as fascinating and three-dimensional as the ones we met in book one.

I recommend that you read the first book, Travel Glasses, before reading Insight Kindling.

I won an eCopy of this book in a Facebook giveaway.

After her relocation from 1969, Jane joins LX and Sean in an attempt to kidnap a clone from the Schattenwelt space station in the year 2169. Sean is shocked to find that he has already been there twice, but even more surprised by the team leader.
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The Phoenix Project

by D.M. Cain


An original, entertaining, thought-provoking and, at times, an uncomfortable read.
The story line was well thought out, refreshingly unique and well worth reading.

I followed Ravens journey in the present as he dealt with life in prison and the brutality of the Phoenix Project, and learnt, through a series of flashbacks, how he ended up there.
His remorse, self-loathing and guilt, but also his survival instinct are graphically brought to life by D.M. Cain.

The world Raven inhabits is brought to life by the authors detailed and descriptive writing.

I was gifted an eCopy of the book by the author.

A thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

In prisons across the country, inmates are forced to fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a bitterly depressed young prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?
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Heads & Tales

by Karina Kantas

A great collection of well-written, easy to read short stories.
The book contains a mix of genres, and as with most anthologies, some stories appealed to me than others, and some of them left me wanting more!

My favourites were Haunted by his Absence, Nobel Heart, Crossed and Twist of Fate.

Heads & Tales is a collection of 28 short stories that will delight, fright and leave you questioning your sanity.
Diverse collection of flash and short fiction. Includes the award winning horror story Crossed.

Thought provoking storytelling at its best.

Genres include horror, comedy, romance, thriller, science fiction, historical romance and prose.
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Stake-Out (Paranormal Detectives #1)

by Lily Luchesi

This book grabbed my attention on page one and didn’t let go until the last page.

Stake Out is a short book that that packs a great deal into it… vampires, werewolves and witches plus visions, danger and intrigue.
The authors descriptive details immerse you in the action. and pull you through the twists and turns in the story.

This book is an impressive start to what will most likely be an awesome series.

Detective Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn’t even human: he’s a 200 year old rogue vampire!

The department doesn’t believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.

Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to help her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.

But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches and Danny’s strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica make things more difficult than it should be.
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Miranda’s Rights (Paranormal Detectives Book Two)

by Lily Luchesi

As with the first book, this one also kept me interested from beginning to end.
It’s another quick and easy read, which is hard to put down.
Once again the authors descriptive writing and attention to detail draws you into the story.

I think the book works well as a stand-alone, but reading Stake-Out first gives you more insight into the characters, their backgrounds and their relationships.

I am now looking forward to reading the next book on the series.

I received an ARC of Miranda’s Rights from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The dead don’t always rest easy…
Retired detective, Danny Mancini, is haunted by nightmares after he found out that paranormal creatures exist. All he wants is to forget them…especially a certain half-vampire. When cursed werewolves show up trying to kill him, he is forced to go back to the Paranormal Investigative Division for help against a powerful old enemy. What he was not expecting was a dead ex showing back up after twenty-six years.
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The Lost Soul (Enchena #1)

by K.S. Marsden

An enjoyable and interesting fantasy story, that kicked off at a fast trot, maybe a little too fast at the start, but settled down to a slower pace that let the tension and suspense capture my attention.

The plot was well-thought out, and included plenty of information and the history surrounding the events. The adventure, mystery, intrigue and danger all go into make this a great story.

The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes and the characters.
I loved the whole host of interesting and diverse characters, from humans to unicorns and even the ‘feared’ Mallus.

I won a copy of The Lost Soul in a giveaway.

Enchena’s history is written by the victorious. Through war and betrayal, King Hrafn’s reign has spread across the land. The rebellion is stirring again…

In a world where the evil nature of humans has infected the very forests and animals surrounding them, they are crying out for a new hope; a new hero.
Natural enemies must come together, to overcome the curse.

Two innocent people must be brought from another world. One will bring the rebellion the way to succeed; the other will be their destruction.
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A Casualty of Grace

by Lisa Brown

This touching and emotional story follows Oliver on his journey to manhood, after losing his parents, being forcefully transported to Canada and being ‘adopted’ by a family far from his home.
It is a realistic, thoroughly researched historical fiction that flows well.
All the characters are thoughtfully developed and I felt for Oliver, Simon, Liza and even, towards the end, for the cruel and flawed, Pritchard.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, which seemed rushed and was set many years after the main story.


I received an eCopy of A Casualty of Grace from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Oliver and Simon are young brothers who are unexpectedly orphaned and left alone in the world with nobody to care for them. Now, all they have is each other, and the threat of being torn apart becomes painfully real. The promise of a good home together in distant Canada eases their fears, but it is a promise that is destined to be broken.

After being separated from Simon, fate delivers Oliver to the Pritchard farm, where Liza Pritchard, a woman struggling with her own fractured and afflicted life, sees in Oliver the family she so desperately wants. But Oliver has to contend with her husband, an angry and violent man, and he can’t see past the terrible life he has been thrust into. Both Oliver and Liza have much to learn about faith and forgiveness, and together they embark on an emotional journey that will change each of them forever.
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Behind the Music: A Selection of Short Stories

by Karen J. Mossman

A wonderful and well-written book of short romantic stories.
Each one was believable, interesting and enjoyable to read.

I won an eCopy of this book in a Facebook event

Behind the Music looks at the real people behind the images of stage and screen in five fictional stories. Karen has based it mainly in the nineties and we meet the burnt out rock star who thinks he has nothing else to give; Nick playing his first concert on home ground; A reunion between students from a seaside town, but one is now a West End star; Mickey finally laying to rest the ghosts of his past and an interview with a band member whose grass roots she is proud of.
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The Betrayal of Ka (The Transprophetics #1)

by Shea R. Oliver

After a slow start, the pace picked up and I was taken for a roller coaster of a ride, through the twists and turns of an interesting and complicated plot, told from multiple perspectives, that come together as the story progresses.

The main characters were three-dimensional and well-developed, and although didn’t much like Ka at the beginning of the book, my opinion of him changed well before the end of the book. Some of the other characters were much easier to like, and some to dislike.


Fortunately, the story ends in a good place, without a cliff-hanger, but making it clear that there is more to the story, which I am looking forward to reading.


I received an eCopy of The Betrayal of Ka from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

As the spaceship secretly lands on Earth, Ka’s mission is clear: find and kill Transprophetics. His shipmates think of him as a killer. On his home planet of Koranth, he is considered a murderer. Haunted in his dreams by the boy whose life he stole, Ka struggles to define who he really is.

A girl in a temple in Thailand. A boy kidnapped in Mexico. Both can do the impossible. Both can move objects with their minds. These two Transprophetics pose grave risks to the Donovackia Corporation as it plans its invasion of Earth.

With a blade in his hand, Ka’s decision to kill, or not, will reverberate across the galaxy.
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The Last Roadshow

by John Czarnota

An enjoyable and presumably well-researched book, I say presumably because I know nothing about the artists mentioned or The Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The main protagonist, Joe Knocker, was interesting and likeable, and the book jumps back and forth in time as Joe reminisces about previous ‘jobs’, which also adds depth to his character.
I found myself rooting for Joe to finish his journey successfully.
The cast of characters he met on his journey were, for the most part, well fleshed out.

I received an eCopy of The Last Roadshow from John Czarnota in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Joe Knocker’s lucrative career as a rogue art thief who trailed the Antiques Roadshow for over a decade is interrupted by a life-changing encounter with his past. The result, a cross-country trek to make right one of the nation’s wrongs by retrieving a national treasure, leads to a heart attack, a missing body, a kidnapping, a promising romance, a showdown, and a shocking reunion. Interweaving historical fact with psychological insight and colorful characters, The Last Roadshow takes us on an unforgettable redemptive journey.
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The Rectifier: Volumes 1 and 2 (A Frank Jackson Short Story)

by Glenn A. Jones

25760603I read Volumes 1 and 2 and I enjoyed them, but they were very short, I read them both in under an hour.
The stories were action-packed, but I didn’t get drawn in, and the characters were lacking in personality.
The protagonist, Frank Jackson, was unconvincing – suffering from amnesia he accepted too easily that it was his job is to kill those that escaped justice.


I received both volumes from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Frank Jackson is a rectifier, he rights wrongs caused by senseless and desperate criminals. When the court system fails, he’s there to exact his own high-powered vigilante justice.

He’s also a man without a past, a man desperately seeking what he has lost.

In the first of a series of electrifying short stories, a coma and subsequent amnesia thrusts Frank Jackson into an unfamiliar world of intrigue and adventure where he relies upon his gut instinct to survive.

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Finding Home

by Jesse Birkey

An engaging and well-written book with plenty of twists.
The descriptive writing and the realistic characters drew me into this story of tragedy, love and hope.

I didn’t find the book at all ‘preachy’, although to me, some parts of the book seemed to be bordering on fantasy.

I received a copy/an eCopy of Finding Home from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

John had been a pillar in his local church, but the loss of his family in a terrible accident destroyed all he’d known to be true. After cutting ties with everyone and moving across the country, he settled into a life of alcohol, women, and bar fights.

John wanted to turn his back on God and the beliefs he grew up with, but an encounter with a mystical stranger makes him think twice. Can John wade through the trauma of his past and lifelong pain of his heart to connect with God once again?

“Home” for Alice was a suffocating prison of sex and drugs until a suicide attempt took her to Redwood, New York. A new relationship with Jesus brought life from her ashes, but memories of her childhood still escape her, leaving a void nothing can fill. Can a surprising move and chance at love finally bring light to the darkness?
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