Archive for June, 2017

A Spark of Magic Revamped: Chosen Saga Book 1 by JL Clayton

June 30, 2017 - 5:14 pm No Comments

A Spark of Magic Revamped: Chosen Saga Book 1 by JL Clayton

Published 30th June 2017

196 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

I read this book originally on the 14th January 2016 and really enjoyed it. So, when the author announced that she had revamped it, I knew that I needed to read it.

The story is the same and revolves around Charlie, a teenage girl who is anything but normal. Moving to new areas is nothing strange for Charlie, but having two hot guys toying for her attention, and being stalked by a mystery guy was something new.

So, what’s changed? Whilst the story was mainly written in Charlies POV, the author included the POV of Tru and Jace which added to the story. The story flowed more smoothly as their POV explained in depth their feelings and actions. The biggest change for me was the POV of Crispin, whilst he is still the evil one, there was compassion in his actions and you could really feel his sadistic love for Charlie.

I have read everything that JL Clayton has written and as each book is released you can tell how much she has grown in her story telling. I hope she is revamping the other 2 books in this series and that she gets to write book 4 as she has reawakened my interest in the Chosen Saga

The Fourth Monkey by JD Baker

June 27, 2017 - 6:49 pm No Comments

The Fourth Monkey by JD Baker

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 27th June 2017

416 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

The majority of us have heard of the 3 monkeys, “See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil “but have you heard of the 4th monkey “Do no evil”. This was the rules that the 4MK followed when he decided who to kill.   Detective Sam Porter has been the lead investigator in this manhunt for over 5 years, nowhere near catching him, but after getting his hands on 4MK’s diary, there is hope. With time running out for 4MKs latest victim, can Porter and his colleagues find her before it is too late.

Porter was a good cop and you had the sense that he was respected by his colleagues. At the start of the story he was going through something personal and although you have an idea what it is, it is not revealed until near the end. The friendship between him and Nash is strong and you can tell that they have partners for a long time. They each had each other’s backs and Nash was always there getting Porter through the tough times.

From the start of this book you know you are in for an exciting story. The story covers different timelines.  the ongoing investigation and 4MK’s past written in the format of a diary. Flitting from one to the other, you would think it would be confusing but you would be completely wrong. The diary helps explain the psyche of 4MK, the type of family he was brought up and when you read the diary you will not be surprised that he turned out like he did. This is a dark thriller with plenty of twists to keep you guessing. With a surprise ending this could lead to a series and I would enjoy reading more about Porter and Nash

Part 2 in the Angel Fallen Publicity Tour

June 27, 2017 - 6:33 pm No Comments

So yesterday we found out the man behind the book and the blurb to An Angel Fallen. Today here is my review on the book

An Angel Fallen by Andy Graham

Published on 13th June 2017

79 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

There is not a lot to do where Michael lives, and he would rather not spend it at home. So, him and his best friend Raph make up their own entertainment. One night when they were both out, something falls from the sky, triggering a chain of events that got more catastrophic.

Michael was always the follower, everything Raph wanted to do he went along with it even when he didn’t agree with it. Although spending time with Raph was far better than spending it at home. The only one who looked after him was Ariel the housekeeper. However, after the eventful night, he did grow a conscience and started to stand up to Raph and show compassion.

Although this is a short story, there is a lot going on which makes it a quick read. Whilst reading this story, it reminded me of an old testament story that was told to me at Sunday school. This is a well written horror with some twists that will keep you gripped from the start.

 

An Angel Fallen Publicity Tour

June 26, 2017 - 4:54 pm 1 Comment

When we were asked to be involved in The Angel Fallen publicity Tour, how could we say no. Today, you will find out more about the book and the author himself. Come back tomorrow and read my review.

Out now

 

You’re eighteen. Bored. Dad’s away a lot. Says its business, but you’ve seen the lipstick stains. Mum’s home. Too much. Keeping the world gin market afloat on her own. There’s Ariel, the family maid. She’s cool. The one piece of this messed up world that makes sense. And then there’s Raph. Raph’s the leader of your gang of two. He gets off on doing those things to the animals you both catch: the slicing, crushing, and maiming. Buried a few alive, too. His relationship with that hammer of his is sick. You run with Raph because, well, nothing else to do out here, right? Except if your folks found out what you’ve been up to, there’d be hell.

Then you find it. Whatever it is. It can’t be what you think it is. Those things don’t exist. But it’s staring at you. Asking for help. Is it dying? Can these things die? You need to do something for it. Raph wants to do something to it. Time to choose. Do you run with the human devil you know, or take a chance on this thing that fell from the heavens?

An Angel Fallen is a tale of divine retribution from British author Andy Graham. On a day when the world is struggling to stay sane, and is being ravaged by biblical plagues, what price will two teenagers pay for their past?

Want to know more about Andy Graham,  well here is his bio, keep scrolling to read an interview he did with Theresa:

Andy Graham is a British author currently living in the Czech Republic who will now stop talking about himself in the third person because it’s odd. I have two main collections of books: The Lords of Misrule is a series of dystopian political thrillers set in an alternate world based on life in 21st century EU/ US. I also have an expanding collection of creepy reads that explore the darker side of life, death, and the undead. There are a few unfinished stories rattling around in my hard-drive and some unstarted ones knocking around in my head. They range from disposable airport fiction and YA sci fi to grimdark epics, but they will have to wait their turn. (Unfortunately for my wife, who is waiting for me to write something ‘nice’, preferably with sparkly vampires.) Outside of reading and writing, I’m a musician, qualified osteopath, seasoned insomniac, and father to two young kids who have too much energy to let me grow old gracefully. You can find me online at www.andygrahamauthor.com (where you can claim a free book), twitter – @andygraham2001 and FB – andy graham author.

 

Interview by Theresa Derwin

Tell us about you?

Husband. Father. Brother. Son. Nephew. Uncle. (No longer a grandson). Writer. Osteopath. Bassist. Teacher. Insomniac. Optimistic cynic. British Ex-Pat living in Prague. Born-again barbell enthusiast.

That’s the nuts and bolts of it. The longer version just fills in the gaps and uses more commas.

What inspired the idea to write about a possible angel?

The initial story idea was inspired by a post that cropped up on a well-known social media outlet. It was one of the name-and-shame-and-share type posts about a couple of teenagers who had mutilated a dog. There was a picture of them standing in front of the poor animal’s mangled corpse. One kid was grinning. The other was holding a hammer. They’d crucified the dog. It was repulsive.

As often happens when I see or hear of things like this (and, unfortunately, humans are a bountiful source of inspiration in this area), that image lodged in my brain. That mental splinter very quickly became a ‘what if’ type situation; what if the dog could get its own back on those kids? What would it do? Forgive and forget, or get vengeance?

I’m not sure at what point the dog became an angel. I’m not entirely sure why, either. It could have been because I’d been toying with the idea of writing something more supernatural (most of my work to date is rooted in reality). It might have been because my wife has a couple of small stone angels next to our bed. It may have been just an extension of the retribution idea – because there’s no retribution like divine retribution.

Raph is a pretty brutal character. And a teenager. Was it intentional to look at how teenagers push boundaries in today’s society?

Not intentionally, no. Raph is that age because the picture I saw that inspired the story was of teenagers. I’ve also heard of this kind of thing happening before, and it’s always teenagers involved.

Making him and Mike that age did give me the chance to explore the darker side of kids trying to find their place in the world – both financially, workwise, and, crucially, emotionally. I fear that this last thing is something which is being overlooked in a society that is increasingly based on achieving and winning ‘things’. You could argue that this competition has always been there, and to a certain degree is needed, but I wonder if the social media driven ‘comparisonitis’ is making things worse.

What was it about writing a younger narrator that appealed to you?

I didn’t set out to make the narrator younger. It was mainly the picture I saw that fixed the age of the two teenagers in my mind. Once that mental image was there, I couldn’t shake it or see the story unfolding any other way.

What that age did do, however, was give me a chance to drop hints as to why the boys behave like this, specifically, how the actions (and inactions) of the parents may have contributed to the emotional vacuity of the boys. I realise that adults are affected by their childhood, too, but I think teenagers are much more emotionally malleable and vulnerable.

What’s next for you?

I have the germ of an idea of a sequel. That ‘arrived’ this morning while I was strung out on insomnia on a plane to London. It’s not going to be a proper sequel but will have a similar feel, length, and title to An Angel Fallen. The working title is A Demon Risen. It combines a few ideas that have been knocking around my head for a while, but I hadn’t seen how to

connect them before. Now they have slotted into place. Don’t ask me how that works, I have no idea. They were separate ideas which now just seem to fit as if they always have. The story may also feature an older version of Mike.

I like the idea of a universe of connecting stories. (There’s a reference in An Angel Fallen to my short story Sunflower, for instance.) As long as it doesn’t get too ponderous or confusing, I think that concept could be quite cool.

Before that, I want to finish book four of my main series – The Lords of Misrule. It’s a series of dystopian political thrillers, set in an alternate world based on 21st Century EU/US. That’s more dark fiction than horror. It has no angels or demons, and the only monsters are the human ones. And the latter, to be honest, scare me more, because they’re real.

 

Whispered Echoes by Paul F Olson

June 23, 2017 - 6:36 pm No Comments

Whispered Echoes by Paul F Olson

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 23rd June 2017

275 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Having only read Indie authors for just over a year I had not had the pleasure of reading any of the author’s work. However, when I was offered the chance to read a collection of his dark horror stories in one book and being a lover of short stories, how could I say no.

Before I even got to the stories I found the introduction by Paul F Olson fascinating, how he explained the history behind the creation of some of the stories and the lengths he had go to, to get these stories to the format we all know. It shows my age as I remember floppy discs.

For this review, I am going to pick a couple of my favourites, but with 11 short stories and a novella I was spoilt for a choice.

Homecoming:  Beckett was having a relaxing drink in a rundown bar, when he noticed a teenager having a drink, having a son the same age, he thought he may be in trouble. Having offered to take him home, he did not expect what he found. This story lulls you into a false sense of security however the further you read the creepier is gets. Whilst you know something is not right, you don’t expect the ending, then it hits you.

The More Things Change: Elvin lives in a town that nothing stays the same, it gets more surreal over time. The animals talk, the sky is green at the moment but can change every day structures change shape and texture and my favourite; bears riding Harleys, this is only a few things that are affecting this town and whilst at the start the residents find it quite fun, over time, the cracks start to appear and they are looking for someone to blame. Written from Elvin’s POV, this story is showing an apocalyptic at its funniest and whilst it is humorous, there was a serious side showing the mob culture, when they want changes.

Faith and Henry Gustafson:  Henry Gustafson gets a call in the dead of night about a murder at a disused summer camp, but when he gets there he is in for a surprise. This story reminded me a lot of those slasher movies set in the woods. This story was full of suspense and not knowing what to expect made it a really quick read.

Bloodybones: Amy loves life, an action junkie, who lives in a lighthouse. This story follows her on a regular journey home and the aftermath of that fatal Saturday afternoon. This story is intense from the start, starting with the race against the storm, you can feel Amy’s concerns and fears. The story then changes to her boyfriend’s POV we follow each step of his investigation. Reading from his POV makes the story more harrowing as you can feel his loss and when Amy’s sister comes to visit, you get the feeling that he thinks he is losing his mind. The more they investigate Amy, the more sinister the story gets, as they come across a creature called Bloodybones, who reminds me of Slenderman, created by adults to scare their children. A great story with a dramatic ending

This a great selection of short stories that will have looking over your shoulder whilst you read it. Now I have read Paul F Olson’s work I will look out for more