Archive for November, 2017

Tales of New Mexico by Joseph D’Lacey and Unquiet Waters by Thana Niveau

November 30, 2017 - 8:35 pm No Comments

Tales of New Mexico (Black Shuck Shadows Book 2) by Joseph D’Lacey
Published 10th September 2017
63 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Two short stories, completely different but one thing in common, the backdrop of the desert of New Mexico.
The Gathering of the Sheaves. Nicholson is on a quest, he has heard of a cactus that holds unusual properties and he wants to get his hands on it. As a Victorian Englishman in the wilds of the New Mexico desert, he was not prepared for the basic living conditions and the danger of his journey. At the start of this story I did find it a bit confusing, however when I realised the story was jumping between the journey of the cactus discovery and the build-up to the find, the story clicked. The descriptive way the story was written gave you an understanding on how dire Nicholson’s journey was. Closing your eyes, you could picture the sights and smells of New Mexico and similarities to the old western films come to mind. Having Chigger as his guide, draws him into the supernatural world of the Native Americans. This has so much in for a short story and what Nicholson goes through for made me grimace.
The Vespertine. When a stranger goes to a medicine man for healing. This story starts off in Austria and how he became ill by what I think are vampires, to him being used like a lab animal and the horrendous experiments done to him. As he is relaying all this to the medicine man you can sense the desolation in his voice. This was my favourite of the two and I read it quickly. Throughout you are wondering whether he will get cured. A great ending.
This is a great book for a quick read, for 2 short stories it has a lot of horror in, but it also makes you think. Scattered through both stories are the native American’s struggle with their land. I enjoy reading this author’s work and again I was not disappointed.

Unquiet Waters (Black Shuck Shadows Book 3) by Thana Niveau
Published on 29th September 2017
68 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


Water can be deceiving, one minute it is calm the next your life is in danger. These 4 stories capture the fearfulness of water.
To Drown the World: Evan had not seen his sister Lea, for many years. Not a lover of water, he could never understand her fascination. When he finally saw her, her living arrangements were dire, and she was acting very strange, but when he wants to get her to safety, the water is something to fear. Whilst this story has a horror feel, the real horror is humans polluting the oceans.
The Reflection: Ever had a dream that you were drowning, Allan has but can never find out who is trying to kill him. A regular guy with no enemies. This all changes when he meets a familiar face. Throughout this story, there was a sense of dread, you know something is going to happen to Allan. The suspense is built up as Allan encounters more people. Through Allan’s confusion, you do not see the ending coming.
Rapture of the Deep: To get Natalie out of her depression of breaking up with her boyfriend. Her best friend Jo takes her on an exciting holiday. With Karl, Jo’s boyfriend, they go on a boating holiday, where Natalie is taught to snorkel. From the start, you know that Jo is trying to help, but Natalie is too depressed to realise the help. However, when Natalie goes snorkelling, she is in awe of the sights and she starts to get uplifted. With her life in danger, the sound she hears has a siren feel to it. This is a sad story
Where the Water Comes in: My favourite story of the four. Tara lives in her dream home, happy with her life but has a strange drinking habit. She likes drinking seawater, usually infused seaweed tea. She also had a fascination of water and she put her body through a lot to get her fix. She even dreamt of the sea. As the house began to change so did Tara. This story builds up to the grand reveal and whilst reading this story, I did not have any idea what changes were going to occur.
With all four stories, the author knows how to set the scene. With water facts scattered throughout, you could tell that she did her research. As a new author to me this was a good introduction to her work.

The Rest will Come Book Tour Day 2

November 24, 2017 - 8:51 pm No Comments

So yesterday we met the author. Today is my review of  The Rest Will Come by Christina Bergling
Published by Limitless Publishing LLC on 8th August 2017
276 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

All Emma wanted was a family. Divorced and with the biological clock ticking she resorted to online dating. Her online dates were a mixed bag, but through her experiences she did find one thing she fell in love with.
Emma was a nice girl, but had bad taste in men. She wanted the spark, the butterflies in her stomach, what she got was heartbreak. She became withdrawn and was hard on herself. To get her out of this slump she would go her best friend Ronnie for some TLC and if that didn’t help she would run, not an easy jog but miles and miles pounding the floor until her muscles ached and her feet blistered. This was her way of punishing herself. When she found out that she enjoyed murder, she became a Jekyll and Hyde, whilst she felt guilty that she was doing it, she also felt exhilarated like an adrenalin junkie.
Ronnie was a great character, she did provide quite a few of the comedy moments. A woman who was happy with herself knew what she wanted but would not change herself to get it. She was a sounding board for Emma and many a night they would share a bottle of wine. When she became a mom, she was not your typical mom.
This book started off with a bang, the murder was graphic. As the book continues you learn more about Emma’s past and as each failed date was relived. I did find this part of the story quite slow and I was wiling her to act on her fantasies. However, this gave you understood what drove her to start murdering. Each murder was meticulous planned, and it was interesting reading how she enticed each date to their death. I did find it funny when you were reading the online seduction that some of the guys tried to use to draw her. It felt that you were privy to an inside joke.
I have read some of the author’s short stories, this is the 1st full length story that I have read. The murders scenes were visual, and you could imagine yourself watching these scenes as they unfold. Whilst this will attract horror lovers, anyone who likes psychological thrillers will also enjoy reading this. The author has a way of drawing you into the story and you want to keep reading to find out what happens. Whilst I guessed what was going to happen near the end, I was surprised at the ending, and felt that it was just right.  If you are looking for a good read, then pick up this book.

The Rest Will Come Book Tour

November 23, 2017 - 6:42 pm No Comments

I am glad to be part of The Rest Will Come book tour.  A horror written by Christina Bergling. Today we are going hear from the author herself on what it is like being a women in horror.

Being a Woman in Horror
Christina Bergling

Ghostface: Do you like scary movies?
Sidney Prescott: What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can’t act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting. (Scream, 1996)

Scream was the first horror movie I ever saw, my real introduction to what would become a horror obsession. And this dumb death scene fodder model that Scream mocked was the first female horror archetype. I am just glad I entered the genre when that stereotype was beginning to be challenged.
Traditionally, in the slasher-driven heyday of horror, women served very few purposes. They were eye candy who later became part of the body count, or they were the final girl. Just like the character of color was almost guaranteed to not survive the storyline, if not even the opening kill.
Horror has undoubtedly evolved from these more restrictive roots; however, I would contest that horror is still seen as a bit of a boys’ club. I have known multiple female horror authors who have elected to write under a pseudonym or their initials because the unspoken understanding is that audience does not take female horror authors seriously and male horror authors sell better. I chose to take my chances as Christina.
When I tell people I am a horror author, the reaction is almost always interesting. A slight gasp, maybe a cringe or grimace. Most often, it is followed with the question, “Why?”
I can appreciate the mainstream confusion as to why one would want to mire oneself in a genre dedicated to the terrible and horrendous. Why would one choose to fill their mind with suffering? (I have written about this before.) Yet the question does seem to be at least partially motivated by my gender. Why would a woman want to fixate on such topics?
I think some people assume that women are more sensitive and the majority of the gender shy away from the upsetting and the grotesque. I can definitely affirm that I, personally and as an individual, am overly sensitive; however, I would argue that that heightened emotional state makes me better at crafting horror. Horror is about fear, and fear is an emotion. Who better to manufacture fear than someone fluent in emotional evocation and experience?
I have also encountered the expectation that I should be uncomfortable broaching certain topics or crossing unspoken social lines. I should shy away from the truly traumatizing. I should refrain and fluff, maybe even pretty up the topics. I have been critiqued for being able to write about rape, for going into extensive detail on torture (dubbed torture porn), for creating stories where bad things happen to children. As if the estrogen in my bloodstream should make me allergic to such extreme topics.
Again, I consider my relationship to these more taboo ideas (even in the horror genre) to be a strength. As a woman, rape scares me. The ideas of abduction and torture keep me locking my doors. As a mother, the idea of anything bad happening to a child utterly terrifies me. When I am trying to scare people, inevitably I must start with my own fears.
And let’s not get into the trolls. The avalanche of unsolicited penis pictures that grace my author Facebook inbox. The comments that I must like it rough since I’m into horror. The way anything I do professionally is somehow sexualized.
I think women in horror are expected to be gentler, tamer. I think the mainstream culture holds some of the unfortunate echoes of the “softer sex” idea. I do not think we should be soft or gentle or tame. Instead, I think we have a unique opportunity to bring something new to the genre. Something more than being stalked by a serial killer. Something more than running up the stairs when we should be running out the front door. Something more than bringing breasts and a body count.
Regardless of gender, everyone’s life experiences are unique. Everyone’s fears are individual amalgamations of physiological composition and life events. Obviously, people with similar gender identities will have more congruent life experiences. My fears are monsters that crawled up from my bones and fed and grew off the byproducts of everything that has happened to me. Many of those influences were framed and shaped by being a woman.
The best way to vary the horror genre, to truly expand the content, and to develop more diverse stories is to be comprised of a deeper pool of creators. More voices, more perspectives. New horrors we have never imagined.
Being a woman in horror is challenging when you are consistently underestimated or dismissed based on the stereotypes and expectations socially assigned to your gender. I am not arguing that this is the universal experience, but I am saying that it is something I have encountered more than once as I fumble my way through both this craft, and this genre.
We need to branch out from the tired narrative of a relentless killer who feeds his homicidal lust by executing teenage women classified as whores. We need more female voices in the conversation. We need more non-binary voices, more voices from people of color (put simply: more voices) in the conversation. Every additional perspective broadens and deepens the genre, unlocking an unfathomable amount of fear for sport.
Christina Bergling

http://christinabergling.com

http://facebook.com/chrstnabergling

https://twitter.com/ChrstnaBergling
http://chrstnaberglingfierypen.wordpress.com

http://goodreads.com/author/show/11032481.Christina_Bergling

http://pinterest.com/chrstnabergling

http://instagram.com/fierypen/

http://amazon.com/author/christinabergling

 

Join me tomorrow when I will be reviewing The Rest will Come.

 

 

 

 

Immersion by Colleen Nye

November 18, 2017 - 10:23 pm No Comments

Immersion by Colleen Nye
Published by Blue Deco Publishing on 25th November 2017
268 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies


VR is very popular in a lot of households, whether it be used via your mobile phone or game console. In my house it is used to kill zombies or swim in the ocean, but what if the VR system was harming people. Seren lived in a time when VR was taking over people’s lives, they were the must have item. People were killing for them and crime was rife in most major cities. Due to Seren losing her parents at an early age, she was brought up by her grandma, but on her return from London, she came back to her life in danger. A chance meeting with Chase her schoolgirl crush takes her on a cloak and dagger adventure.
Having put her life on hold to look after her grandmother, Seren was a bit of a loner, her only true friend was Aaric who lived in London. She never did anything risky and was very headstrong. Chase had known Seren since school, she was one of the only people not to judge him. He had terrible parents and due to them had a horrific upbringing.
From the start the author described a world of woe and you could understand why people were drawn to the VRs. When Seren and Chase hooked up I was surprised as this was out of character for Seren, however the author with their back story explained their connection. The story is compelling, as you follow Seren on her dangerous adventure. The more I read, the more I could not believe how much Seren could go through physically and mentally. When I thought I was on the right track and was positive what was happening next, the author threw curveball that took the story down another direction
This book ticks many genre boxes and whilst it will appeal to Sci-fi and dystopian lovers, Thriller lovers will also like this book. A stand-alone novel which kept me reading into the night.

Timothy Other: The Boy who Climbed Marzipan Mountain by L Sydney Abel

November 17, 2017 - 10:02 pm No Comments

Timothy Other: The Boy who Climbed Marzipan Mountain by L Sydney Abel
Published by Speaking Volumes on 5th February 2016
325 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

When Timothy was left on the doorstep of Dreams and Hope Orphanage, a young baby in a wooden box, no one could imagine that 12 years on he would go on an adventure that would change so many lives.
Even though Timothy was abandoned and lived as an orphan, he had a good life, cuddles when he wanted and the most amazing pudding. He was growing up to be an amazing young man and even when events caused his life to worsen, he still was a caring child. However, the story was also about the other characters all had their own story to tell and the little details like how the children got their names, made this story more interesting. As the story progressed so did Timothy’s adventure, with the help of his new friends, he finds out more of his past and the true meaning of friendship. But where he found love, he also found danger as he was a wanted boy.
This book is perfect for any age, the fantasy element will capture children and adult’s imagination. The action is family friendly making this a book that you can read to your little ones. Once you start this book you will not want to put it down, as you want to know what happens to Timothy. The writing style was descriptive and when Timothy arrived at the Marzipan mountain, you could just picture him looking at in awe. Throughout the book I was imaging the characters voices especially when Timothy met Edwin and Leopold. There are some great comedy moments which children and adult will enjoy, and I did have a few laughs to myself. Whilst I have read some of this author’s work before and saw the great reviews for this book, I was still pleasantly surprised, how good it was and that is was for any age group If you are looking for a fun, adventurous read then this is the book for you, I hope there will be more of Timothy’s adventures