Tag Archive | Spotlight

Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Gordon Place by Isaac Thorne

 
The Gordon PlaceLost Hollow constable Graham Gordon just walked into his abandoned childhood home for the first time in twenty years. Local teenagers have been spreading rumors about disembodied screams coming from inside. Now, thanks to a rickety set of cellar stairs and the hateful spirit of his dead father, he might never escape.

Meanwhile, Channel 6 News feature reporter Afia Afton—whose father is the victim of a local decades-old hate crime—is meeting with town administrator Patsy Blankenship. Her mission is to develop a ghost story feature for a special to air on the station’s Halloween broadcast. When Patsy tells her about the screams at the Gordon place, the past and the present are set on a collision course with potentially catastrophic results.

Can Graham come to terms with his father’s past and redeem his own future? Can the murder mystery that has haunted Afia for most of her life finally be solved?

It’s a fight for the future and the past when spirit and flesh wage war at the Gordon place.

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My Review:

The Gordon Place is a chilling paranormal tale that kept me turning the pages. The writing switches between the past and modern day, and presents a tense and creepy story.

Duty calls and, as the only constable in the small town of Lost Hollow, Graham Gordon has returned to his childhood home. A place where his mother left him to be beaten and abused by his alcoholic father, who has now been dead for many years. Graham has an accident and because of the run-down state of the house, he can’t get out.

Meanwhile, reporter, Afia Afton and cameraman, Joe ‘Staff’ Stafford are on their way to Lost Hollow to film a ghost story feature. B&B owner, Patsy, has a tale to tell them about the local entity, The Black Bitch, a dog with a human face.

Afia left Lost Hollow as a child, after someone murdered her father, a few years after her mother had disappeared, and she’s never been back until now.

Graham and Afia’s fathers had bad blood between them, but no-one knew, or cared, about how deep the hostility ran, or the extent of Lee Gordon’s hatred, until the events in the book run their course.

An intriguing and creepy, haunted house story with ghosts, spirits and possession. Not for the easily offended as the antagonist is a vile and abusive racist.

 

About The Author:

Isaac ThorneIsaac Thorne is a nice man who has, over the course of his life, developed a modest ability to spin a good yarn. Really. He promises. Just don’t push him down a flight of stairs.

You can find Isaac on Twitter or on Facebook.

Isaac reviews films for TNHorror.com and TheHorrorcist.com. He is the host of Thorne’s Theater of Terror and Classic Cuts on 24/7/365 horror-themed SCRM Radio.

More of Isaac’s work is available at isaacthorne.com and wherever books are sold.

 

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Sentinel’s Reign by Suzanne Rogerson

(Silent Sea Chronicles – Book 2)

 
40167510The Sentinel’s reign is doomed to failure unless Tei can prevent the Kalayan people from plunging into war.

With the new Sentinel initiated and the magic restored on Kalaya, life is flourishing for Tei and the exiles. But Rathnor’s plans for war soon escalate and thwart any chance of peace.

Brogan’s position on the Assembly is uncertain as rumours circulate that he is an exile spy.

After an attempt on his life, Farrell is more determined than ever to build a home for his people on Stone Haven. But the council have their sights set on Kalaya and Farrell struggles to steer them from war.

As trouble brews within and outside forces gather against them, can the exiles keep their hold on the magic, or will this spell the end of Kalaya and its people?

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My Review:

The second book of the trilogy continues the story of life on Kalaya, and is another great book from Suzanne Rogerson.

The Sentinel’s Reign moves at a slower pace than The Lost Sentinel, but still has plenty of action.

The characters we met previously continue to develop, grow, and adjust to their new circumstances.

Suzanne Rogersons world building and descriptive writing ensured that, once again, I could always see where in the world I and the characters were.

I have become attached to many of the characters within the pages of the Silent Sea Chronicles and am looking forward to reading the final instalment.

 

About The Author:

Suzanne RogersonSuzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her hugely encouraging husband and two children.

She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.

Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.

She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.

Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of all she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Injections of Insanity by Lorraine Mace

(D.I. Sterling Book 3)

 
Injections of Insanity

 

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling has just six weeks to solve a series of murders by insulin injection, with nothing to connect the victims except the manner of death and a note left at each crime scene.

The murderer, determined to avenge a wrong from many years earlier, gets close to his prey by assuming various identities.

Can Paolo win in his race against the pretender?

 

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My Review:

The third book in the D. I. Sterling Series has the same gripping and gritty style as the previous two.

We rejoin Paolo and the rest of the cast as they attempt to track down a murderer who is out for revenge.

Paolo is a well fleshed out and realistic character. I like the way he deals with his complicated home life and his work colleagues, as well as investigating a series of murders, where the victims seem to have no connection to each other.

The case has plenty of twists to keep Paolo (and the reader) busy trying to figure it out before someone else is killed.

This series is now a firm favourite of mine and I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

About The Author:

Retriever of Souls - Lorraine MaceWhen not working on her crime novels, Lorraine Mace is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.

She is co-author, with Maureen Vincent-Northam, of The Writer’s Abc Checklist (Accent Press). Other books include children’s novel Vlad The Inhaler – Hero In The Making, and Notes From The Margin, a compilation of her Writing Magazine humour column.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Cry Standing Up by Valarie Savage Kinney

Cry Standing Up“We had a crowd at the house that night, and even though I was careful about the frailty of my glass; even though I remembered to hold it just tightly enough to keep my grasp, but not so tightly I caused it any more harm; even though I was cautious about the perspiration dripping down the sides… even so, my glass still broke. It broke in the darkness, the deep of the night so black the stars were barely visible. Just before 1 a.m., when the rest of the world had the audacity to be sleeping, that’s when it happened. And the world continued to slumber, just as it always had, just as if my glass, my special, perfect glass, had not just shattered all over the floor.”

My soul had gone to sleep the day my sister died, and I wasn’t keen on the idea of waking it up. Being numb is a whole lot easier to handle than raw, screaming agony.

And then I found out my brother had terminal lung cancer. What follows is my journey through the grief of losing my siblings. I wrote a lot during these years of aching loss and grief, and most of it is not pretty, but it is honest and real. My hope with this book is that others who are mourning might realize they are not alone in the way they feel. Deep grief changes people, that’s just a fact. It’s not an experience one can just “get over.” We can learn to live with it, though, accepting the waves of emotion that sometimes strike us out of nowhere. And in time, laughter will come again.

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My Review:

Cry Standing Up is a book about grief, depression, and anxiety. It’s poignant, and it’s emotional.

I have had depression and anxiety for a long time, and having lost a few people close to me over the past few months, I found many of the author’s thoughts very familiar. Although some parts weren’t easy to read, and I read a lot of the book through my tears, it was reassuring to realise that I’m not alone in my feelings.

Of all the thoughts in this book that struck a chord with me, this one resonated the most:

“If the people around me could stop dropping dead for like five minutes, I might be able to get my head screwed back on straight. But obviously that’s not going to happen”

 
Cry Standing Up also offered a comforting beacon in the dark and an assurance that it was ok to be tired all the time, to cry, to be me, and to grieve.

Thank you, Valarie!

 

About The Author:

Valarie Savage KinneyValarie Savage Kinney is a writer, fiber artist, and Renaissance festival junkie with a wicked caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, grown children, two slightly hysterical dogs, and eight (yes, eight) guinea pigs.

She is the author of Slither, Heckled, Consumption and The Secrets of Windy Springs Series. She puts the “I” in weird.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

The Haunting of Room 909 by Michael James

(Junior Paranormal Investigators Book 1)

The Haunting of Room 909Summer is usually a time of fun and games for most children, but Hanna and Ben Littleton are not your average eleven and twelve-year-old. Their father is Percy Littleton, a famous paranormal investigator, and this summer they are traveling to different locations to investigate unexplained phenomena. Things are rather boring until they stop at Castleridge Hotel.

Though warned by their father not to meddle in his investigation, the brother and sister are convinced they can prove their worth as true investigators. Their eagerness soon turns to terror when Hanna begins having visions about a certain former employee of the hotel, the elevator takes them to the ninth floor on its own, and ghosts interact with them. The building seems to have a mind of its own as Hanna and Ben are forced to figure out what really happened one hundred years ago at Castleridge Hotel, before the spirits trapped inside decide to make them permanent residents.

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My Review:

A wonderfully spooky book for youngsters

After their mother disappeared in unusual circumstances, Hanna and Ben’s dad became a paranormal investigator. His latest case is the haunting of a hotel, and although their dad doesn’t want them anywhere near the centre of the paranormal events on the ninth floor, the hotel has other ideas. As Hannah is sensitive to some of the ghosts and Ben is excited to help investigate, the two youngsters are drawn into the events.

This was an enjoyable, fast-paced book with a great mix of supernatural creepiness and humour. Just right for youngsters 8/9 and above.

 

About The Author:

Michael JamesMichael James is an author from the prairie province of Alberta, Canada. He is an avid golfer, cyclist, mountain climber, and astronomy enthusiast.

Junior Paranormal Investigators: The Haunting of Room 909 is Michael’s debut novel for middle grade readers. After absorbing all things paranormal while growing up, he knew he had to share his fascination with ghosts and other-worldly-creatures with the next generation of kids.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

 

Light the Way by Joe Kipling

(The Union Trilogy Book 2)

 
Light the WayIn the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside.

MaryAnn Hunter has crossed over to become a fugitive on the Outside. Hiding out in the Union headquarters MaryAnn is slowly coming to terms with the lies she has been brought up with.

But when a friend asks for help MaryAnne finds herself on a dangerous rescue mission that takes her on a terrifying journey back into the desperate clutches of the Director and the Light.

MaryAnn faces a fight for survival. It’s a fight she must win against insurmountable odds – but is it one she is willing to win at any cost?

Light the Way is the second book in The Union Trilogy.

Set in a dystopian future The Union Trilogy is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown.

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My Review:

A brilliant follow up to Blinded by the Light. This time, in addition to MaryAnn’s point of view, there’s Charlotte’s point of view, which doesn’t detract from the main character and definitely adds to the story, as MaryAnn can’t be in two places at the same time.

In this book, we once again join MaryAnn, who is growing from her experiences and is no longer the spoilt rich kid we met at the beginning of book one. Although still uncertain as to whether or not she wants to join The Union, she doesn’t hesitate to help when one of the Unionists family members needs rescuing from The Light.

MaryAnne and her friends undertake a dangerous journey and rescue attempt, even though it puts their lives at risk, and MaryAnn within reach of the Director of the Foundation again.

I hoped for a lot from book two and was not disappointed. I can’t help wondering whether MaryAnn and Peter will ever stop arguing for long enough to realise that they have feelings for each other.

I am more than ready for book three. Fingers crossed, I won’t have to wait for too long.

  

About The Author:

Joe KiplingJoe Kipling is a West Yorkshire based young adult fiction writer with a lifelong passion for Sci-Fi, particularly the post-apocalyptic variety.

She currently lives in Holmfirth with her dog Kenny and is a full-time consultant and part-time writer.

A lifetime of travelling and avoiding near catastrophe has provided endless inspiration for The Union Trilogy.

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling

(The Union Trilogy Book 1)

Blinded by the light

In the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn’t matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it’s all about being noticed at the right parties.

But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.

Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?

Blinded by the Light is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.

This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It Shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to ‘do the right thing’.

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My Review:

Set in a future where the population has been decimated by the Sandman Virus and the elite live in Neighbourhoods run by The Light Foundation. This was an enjoyable read, told from MaryAnn’s point of view.

MaryAnn’s father is an important man in The Light Foundation and at the start of the book MaryAnn has a perfect life, she’s a spoilt rich kid who has everything she wants.

After meeting her estranged brother, Daryl, at a party, disaster strikes and MaryAnn has to live with the Director of the Foundation. Although still rich and spoilt, she becomes isolated with only the Director’s daughter, Maud, for company.

When her brother contacts her again, she discovers he is a Unionist. The Unionists live outside of Neighbourhoods and know the truth behind The Light Foundation. As MaryAnn is introduced to other Unionist members, including her Uncle Patrick and Daryl’s friend, Peter, her beliefs are challenged, and her world changes from the ‘them and us’ attitude that she was brought up with.

The characters were well written and multi-dimensional, my favourites being MaryAnn and Peter. I loved seeing MaryAnn adapt and mature as the story went on, and the developing friendship between her and Peter, though it was heartbreaking watching the life she knew collapse around her.

The Author has done an amazing job of world building and how her society is structured, and it’s easy to imagine living there, either as one the elite or one of ‘outsiders’

Overall, a topnotch and imaginative start to a trilogy for young adults, and older adults also. I’ve already started Book 2, Light the Way.

About The Author:

Joe KiplingJoe Kipling is a West Yorkshire based young adult fiction writer with a lifelong passion for Sci-Fi, particularly the post-apocalyptic variety.

She currently lives in Holmfirth with her dog Kenny and is a full-time consultant and part-time writer.

A lifetime of travelling and avoiding near catastrophe has provided endless inspiration for The Union Trilogy.

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