Archive for December, 2016

Once upon a Death: Tales of Love and Madness: A Novella Anthology by JL Clayton, KL Cottrell Jessica Ozment.

December 30, 2016 - 1:52 pm No Comments

Once upon a Death: Tales of Love and Madness: A Novella Anthology by JL Clayton, KL Cottrell Jessica Ozment.

Published 30th December 2016

161 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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Having read books by these authors before, I knew I wanted this book so as soon as it was available I pre-ordered this book . As there are only three novellas I will do a short review on each story.

Death Undid Me by JL Clayton: Revona, a necromancer, works for the Bureau of Supernatural, her job was to bring back the murder victims for a short time to find out who killed them. Her job was pretty mundane until a case involved her to revive Officer Cassidy Dwight who was murdered on an undercover assignment .

Although young, Revona acted very mature whilst doing her job and this showed when she had to escape trouble to rescue Cassidy. The twist in the plot when MeShelly was introduced was brilliant and it was something I did not see coming. The twist went onto be well explained so was not confusing. Another great story that can lead to many more books about Revona or MeShelly

Pretty Guilty by KL Cottrell: Coralie had a problem, she was being haunted by Aaron, who she happened to be on a date with him just before he was knocked over and died. Will is the brother of the girl who killed Aaron. They met when Will went to apologise to Coralie for his sister killing her boyfriend.

Coralie always put on a brave face even when the hauntings got unbearable and you could feel Will’s heart breaking whilst she was falling apart. I did feel like giving Coralie a shake and get her to tell Will everything. Will was the loveable chappy always feeling that he had to do the right thing.

This is not just a ghost story but a story about guilt, love and acceptance.

Rift: An Inter-dimensional Love Story by Jessica Ozment and Brett Tahbonemah: Dr Victor Pines was a theoretical physicist who came across a portal whilst working on his latest experiment. Being a true scientist he knows that he has to go and explore and this is where the adventure begins and he meets Zaia, a princess.

Victor was your stereotypical scientist, confident with his job but not with meeting other people especially beautiful alien women. He did not care about his own safety to get results. So excited to find this portal he went without making preparations and was lucky that he met Zaia as he would not have lasted a day without her. However whilst going further on the journey with her, he changed from a blundering scientist to quite a confident man who realised that he was falling in love with the alien princess.

Zaia was how you would imagine an alien princess, curious but aloof. A strong independent woman, she knew that she had to protect Victor.

The ending of this story had left this open for more of Victor and Zaia. Reading this, you could not tell that it was a collaboration and the writing was so descriptive, you felt that you were actually following them on their journey. A great Sci-fi story with cannibals, magic and battles.

If you have not read anything from these authors then this is a great book to start with. With completely different stories that will take you on a unique journey.

The Portal: An Afterlife Novella by Isabel Brann

December 28, 2016 - 10:22 pm No Comments

The Portal: An Afterlife Novella by Isabel Brann

Published on 3rd May 2016

128 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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The Mason Family are portals, mortals that help wandering souls get to heaven or hell. Amelia became a portal when her older brother was killed, not knowing what she had to do , there was only one person she could go. Kyle, her brother’s best friend, has spent his whole life winding her up. As a guardian Kyle was the only one who could show her what it was meant to be a portal.

The characters develop throughout the story as Amelia was the type of girl who kept herself to herself, losing everyone she loved she made it her mission to keep everyone at arm’s length, this made her come across as cold and of cause an easy target for Kyle. Kyle on the other hand was full of life and reminding me of the annoying boy who felt the only way to tell a girl that he fancied them was to annoy them, the type to be the pig tail puller in the playground. The mission they go on is full of surprises and you could feel the sexual tension between Amelia and Kyle from the moment they set foot in Venezuela. Amelia is forced to address her issues with her life to get the job done.

The story is well written and is a good introduction to a new author. The mix between paranormal and action was spot on , which made it a quick read. I hope it will not be long before I can read more of Amelia and Kyle as I don’t think their missions will be boring. A good unique story 

 

Snowed by Maria Alexander

December 26, 2016 - 7:44 am No Comments

Snowed by Maria Alexander

Published by Raw Dog Screaming Press on 2nd November 2016

259 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

 

511nz3llvzlCharity is a 16-year-old genius this has caused her to be an outcast at school. What hadn’t helped is she was the founder member of the Sceptics Club due to her non- religious ideas.  Aidan is a homeless boy that Charity’s mom bought home, talking like he has stepped out of a Jane Ayre novel, he will not tell anyone about his family and where he has come from. There is an instant attraction between them but when one of Charity’s bullies turn up dead, Charity and Sceptic club start to investigate and find out more about Aidan and his evil father than they expected. Adding to Charity’s problems is also her drug dealer, regular bad boy brother Charles, who blames everyone else for his wrong decisions.

I took to Charity straight away, even though she was constantly bullied, she stuck to her beliefs and didn’t change herself to fit in. It was a pleasant change to have a girl who was into robotics and science. All her history made her a natural born leader that was admired within her close nit of friends. Aidan character came across as a really sweet and you can understand why Charity’s mom took him in. I enjoyed how he took to modern technology and embraced the simple tasks of learning to ride a bike and to get a part time job. One of my favourite characters was Michael keeping himself to himself, I loved his one liners and I enjoyed how the author developed these characters throughout the book, telling us more about their stories

Even though, throughout the book there were hints of who Aidan’s dad was. The way the author wrote about this Jekyll and Hyde character, I ended up doubting my suspicions as I could not just believe it, so when Aidan’s story came out, it was still a surprise.

This book is tagged as a children’s story, but I would say that this story is great for adults and teenagers alike. I tend not to read books with a Christmas theme, but I am glad I read this. This story has everything for a YA fantasy read, action, with a touch of romance and you get the horror element from Aidan’s brother and sisters. I got so into the story that I could not believe that it ended on a cliff-hanger, but after I read the acknowledgements I was pleased to come across the epilogue which I thought would complete the story. How wrong I was, it just made me yearn for book 2. My first book from this author but will definitely not be the last. A good read Christmas or not

13: An Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction by Savannah Blevins, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, Taylor Henderson, Erin Lee, Carissa Ann Lynch, Bradon Nave, D.A. Roach, Samie Sands, Sara Schoen, S. Valentine, Jackie Sonnenberg, Luke Swanson

December 22, 2016 - 10:12 pm No Comments

13: An Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction by Savannah Blevins, Marissa Farrar, Thomas S. Flowers, Taylor Henderson, Erin Lee, Carissa Ann Lynch, Bradon Nave, D.A. Roach, Samie Sands, Sara Schoen, S. Valentine, Jackie Sonnenberg, Luke Swanson

Published on 4th October 2016 by Limitless Publishing LLC

435 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

32188483When I saw this book advertised I knew that I had to buy it. Having read books from the majority of the authors I knew that it would be a good buy, and I was not disappointed. As I enjoyed every story I will give a short review on each one:

Mèrchante Reine by Savannah Blevins: Set in the 19th Century this a short story about Lake, an orphan who is on a mission to kill a witch who is terrorising Sanctuary. Most of this story was between Lake and Abram, the son of the family who took her in, madly in love with her, Lake did not feel worthy of his love. She was a very determined and strong minded girl who knew what she had to do to free her town. It wasn’t the ended I expected but tied up the story perfectly

Room 313 by Thomas S Flower: Will Fenning’s life has gone downhill, recently separated and a failing business. Once a brave man he ends up in an airport hotel, to do the only thing he can think of doing. Whilst reading this I did feel sorry for Will as everything went wrong for him. This story was very descriptive, full of suspense building up to a dramatic ending. Another great story by Thomas S Flower.

The Devil’s Daughter by Marissa Farrar: Set in Peru, Erika is doing a story on an ancient tribe, documenting their customs and traditions, but what she did not expect was the ostracizing of a young orphaned girl, who the tribe blamed after members of the tribe started going missing. Erika was very opinionated with her views and although she felt and saw strange things, this did not her maternal instinct kicking in. Although you know what this girl was, it was not explained till the end. An interesting story and I loved the use of the tribe to tell the story.

Haverly Insane Asylum by Taylor Henderson: No anthology is complete without a story set in derelict asylum. Lacey and her boyfriend meet their friends in the asylum and like all teenagers don’t head the danger written on the walls. At the start of this story Lacey was a wimp cowering at every noise, but the further she went into the asylum she knew something was not right. This story gave me the creeps as whilst reading this I knew something was going to happen, I loved the death scenes and the twist at the end

Anesthesia by DA Roach: Mary want to change her life, she had managed to secure her dream job and had the date for her breast reduction operation. With the support from her two friends Justin the owner of the bar she worked and Fray, who she worked with, she thought her life was perfect. How wrong she was! The way the author writes this story makes you think it is a pleasant read, but how wrong you will be. This story has stalking, human trafficking and much more. I was shocked when I found out who was doing this to poor Mary

This One’s Broken by Bradon Nave: Due to the death of their parents, Billy is Savannah‘s main carer. Making sure they are ok is Sheriff Golay. I am not saying anymore about this story as I do not want to give anything away, but they do make the most tender meat in the area. This story was dark and I loved the enthusiasm of Savannah when she was taught a new task. There was a reason for each action which made this a good story.

Ricochet by Carissa Ann Lynch: Regan had a secret, she had got a job at Adventure Town, to earn money to escape her life. Living with her brother and her drunk of a father, this is the reason she wanted to escape. The problem was that her mom disappeared when she was young after she was accused of the murder of a child at Adventure Town. Due to this tragic event, it had stayed closed until now. The only condition of Regan getting this job was she had to wear her mom’s old work shirt. This story was intense and kept my interest from the start. I love the twist at the end and was quite unexpected.

Rest in Peace by Erin Lee: Jeff had Parkinson’s Disease, and with his wife Lisa decided to die with pride and dignity. Opting for euthanasia, Lisa booked them into an old motel seeping with history. Haunted by the Ghost Widow of Coach Motel, she even booked the room where the event took place. Written in their POV, it was interesting how the author played with your emotions, when you were reading Lisa’s story you felt sorry for her but flipping to Jeff’s story she was the evil one and you started feeling sorry for him. I loved the use of the ghosts to get them to finally get to the truth.

The Virus by Samie Sands:  A prequel to the AM13 Outbreak series. What I loved about this story was each chapter was a different character’s POV about the zombie outbreak. This made the story exciting and it flowed smoothly and I as I have not read the Outbreak Series this has really made me want to read it.

The Six-Foot Ladder by Luke Swanson: Ramona Price goes on a road trip to get away from her past and to avoid the ghosts that she sees. What is strange she has no interaction with them. When her car breaks down she finds herself in a little town call Crawford.  Finding the town extremely quiet, she meets a creepy undertaker, who is there to explain the whole story. I enjoyed this story as it was so different to your usual ghost-seeing story, as the undertaker was so creepier in his actions it totally threw you, a great twist at the end

The first of Thirteen by Sara Schoen:  Written in Kelly’s POV, this story is about her life after being kidnapped by Steve. Steve is one sick individual and Kelly’s life is hell. You read and hear stories about girls that are kept prisoner for years and this story helped you understand what they could have gone through. My heart went out to Kelly and I was willing her to survive.

The Challenge by Sophia Valentine: The circus was back in town after a long break and Carla had promised to take her little brother, but when he went missing she has to go into the House of Horrors and face her biggest fears. This story surprised me so much as I only recognise the author as an erotic writer. This story was well written and you could feel the fear Carla had whilst walking the house of horrors. Each room visited was scarier than the last and I could not believe how Carla could keep going. I hope Sophia writes more horror as she definitely got the knack.

This is a must read for horror lovers, each story is a quick read and I am sure you will find a new author to follow. I hope there will be more collaborations with these authors. A good buy and well worth the money

 

 

The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski

December 19, 2016 - 8:31 pm No Comments

The Eleventh Letter by Tom Tomaszewski

Published by Dodo Ink on 25th October 2016

225 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

51nuznofa1lWhen Chris Katiwa began packing to move to a new premise, he didn’t think that finding some old tapes would stir up a load of memories. The tapes played the interviews between him an eager psychotherapist and Louise a young woman involved in a missing persons/murder case in Italy. Added to this is a mysterious woman who is rescued by Chris when she is outside his office in the heavy snow storm.

The author had a way of telling story, they kept me hooked from the beginning. The idea of the interview tapes was a good way to tell Louise’s story and you could just imagine listening to her voice whilst wondering if she was responsible for her friend’s demise.  Jumping to the time of the interviews we then follow Chris in his quest to get to the bottom of the mystery and to prove Louise’s innocence. Whilst reading I was on the edge of my seat as I was expecting something to happen. The introduction of Asha and Josephine was unexpected and I was surprised of their true identity. The way the story was laid out helped develop the main character as the young Chris in Italy was very unsure of his skill and lent a lot on his mentor, whilst when he got older and was working in Harley Street, he was confident in his abilities

With the story line incorporating London, Italy and the interview with Louise, you would expect this to be a confusing read, but it wasn’t, each chapter told you exactly when and where it was set.

It is hard to pigeon hole this book into one particular genre, but I would say that this is a Suspense Ghost story, that will keep you gripped.  I will definitely look out for more from this author