Posts Tagged ‘Anthology’

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

15781503_10154124499976905_5872163296473703986_n

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.

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

 

 

Fight Like a Girl edited by Roz Clarke and Joanne Hall

October 30, 2016 - 11:46 am No Comments

Fight Like a Girl edited by Roz Clarke and Joanne Hall

Authors- Roz Clarke, Kelda Crich, KT Davies, Dolly Garland, KR Green, Joanne Hall, Julia Knight, Kim Larkin-Smith, Juliet McKenna, Lou Morgan, Gale Sebold, Sophie E Tallis, Fran Terminiello, Danie Ware and Nadine West

Published by Kristell Ink, Grimbold Books on 6th March 2016

249 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

28524816

This book has a good selection of stories for fantasy and Sci-Fi lovers, each story set in different land or time, but one thing in common, each story had a woman that was not afraid to kick some ass. Every woman had a story to tell whether they were a sword for hire, a mother, a soldier or just fighting to survive, they had to act on their wits and they were there to prove that there is nothing wrong in fighting like a girl.

So not to go on for ever I am going to review the stories that really grabbed my attention.

The Coyote by KR Green: Set in dystopian Brighton, Kai is a young girl with a very good sense of hearing. This talent had helped through many a scrape. A member of the Circlet, Kai, is a highly trained fighter and is on a mission to try and bring peace to the Buddhist community. Throughout, this short story was full of action, with Kai relying on her hearing to get the mission done, this made it an intense read.

Vocho’s Night out by Julia Knight: Vocho and Kacha are brother and sister, working for the guild, they are hired to protect a mysterious cargo. After a failed attempt to steal the cargo, they work together to find the real reason why they were hired. Like most siblings they are in competition with each other to be the best and as both are experienced sword fighters this does get interesting. I found this story to be a fun read, and the ending was comical. This has been a good introduction to the Duellists trilogy which I now want to read.

Fire and Ash by Gaie Sebold: Riven is a soldier who is suffering with PTSD. The last of the Dancers, a renowned troop she lost all her colleagues in one epic battle. Not wanting to go on any more with her life, she prepares to die until a ring changes her mind. Whilst reading this story, I felt really sorry for Riven with everything she went through, but whilst on this journey her character changes to determination, she gets stronger and you are willing her to survive and to learn to live.

A quick mention about the cover, when I saw this I had to smile to myself as when I was little girl I used to have a book of paper dolls to dress up and I wish that my dolls had outfits like these on the cover.

I must be honest: I had not read anything before by these authors and I have kept asking myself why not.  Each story was well written and celebrates women. Now every time I hear you fight like a girl, I will know that it is a compliment as if I or any other girl fights like the girls in these stories then they will be strong, resourceful and not take any nonsense.

A great collection of stories that will keep your interest from the first word

The Unforgiven Anthology by J.L. Clayton,  R.L. Weeks,  K.L. Humphreys,  Becca Moree,  R.B. Wood, and Steven Evans 

October 30, 2016 - 8:16 am No Comments

The Unforgiven Anthology by J.L. Clayton, R.L. Weeks,  K.L. Humphreys,  Becca Moree,  R.B. Wood, and Steven Evans

Published 30th  October 2016

125 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

32605231

The anthology consists of 6 short dark stories.

 

Seeing Red by JL Clayton: If you have every read Carrie then you will understand Challis’s life. One horrific event changed Challis’s for ever but when she meets Natalya, her life completely changed. Whilst a short story Challis character develops from a meek and mild to strong and determined in just a couple of pages. This story gives scope to a series and I for one would love to read it.

Twisted Insanity by RL Weeks: Jacob has been stuck in a psychiatric unit for 10 years after being charged with murder. Convincing the doctors, he is now sane, Jacob is released into the outside world. His first stop is to see his daughter and ex-wife, but when he sees them things are not how he planned he decided to take action. The twists the author puts into this story, makes it a page turner. The mind games played on Gale were priceless. The ending was unexpected, a great read.

Truth or Dare, by K.L. Humphreys: When a woman goes missing after finding a severed hand, The Missing Persons Unit, knows they have not got long to save her. Becca cannot believe who the madman is. This story introduces you to a new police team who from the start really bond to find the serial killer. Although I was surprised who the serial killer was, I enjoyed who the team got to the reason of why he did it. This story leads nicely to a series and I would like to know more about the unit.

Hell House, by Becca Moree: Erin decides to celebrate Halloween differently by visiting the Carnival of darkness. But what she was watching was it real or make believe. This was one creepy story, the scenes in the hell house were so descriptive your felt as you are following Erin’s journey.  I would not be entering that Hell House if I had all the money in the world.

Poison Pen, by R.B.Wood: Marty was a struggling author who was battling his wife and literacy agent until he made a deal with a foreign stranger and received a mysterious pen. I loved the idea of having this pen and at the beginning you do feel sorry for Marty, however thanks to the twist the author gives this story you hope that Marty gets his just desert.

White Wedding: Reckoning, by Steven Evans: Jess is about to go into an arranged marriage, set up by her rich abusive father. His only interests are his wealth and making a good impression. Jess’s only friend is Jen her doll that she has had since she was 8 years old. Jen hears all her problems and sees all her tears and hearing Jess pleas for help, decides to inflict revenge. Every little girl had a doll that she would tell her secrets to but if Chucky was a girl then it would be Jen, the revenge inflicted was brutal but poetic. I was backing Jen all the way and even when the acts were done she always made sure her best friend was safe and protected. You even get a HEA.  Another great short story by this author.

Although I have read other stories written by these authors I was still surprised at the quality of the stories. Every story kept my interest and left me wanting to read more. I love dark horror so the graphic scenes did not affect me, in fact these scenes made the stories. Another brilliant anthology from the minds of 6 great authors.

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw

October 15, 2016 - 6:34 pm No Comments

Green and Pleasant Land (Great British Horror 1) edited by Steve J. Shaw: Authors: Jasper Bark, A.K. Benedict, Ray Cluley, James Everington, Rich Hawkins, V.H. Leslie, Laura Mauro, Adam Millard, David Moody, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Barbie Wilde

Published by Black Shuck Books on 24th September 2016

275 Pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

31579905

11 stories all set in Britain. Each story set in a different part of Britain, each with its own horrors.

Hermaness by VH Leslie: A couple going on a hike, their relationship on the rocks (no pun intended) and the oppressing fog. Throughout this story, you could sense that something was going happen, the way the author described the scenery you could imagine walking across the clifftop. I completely underestimated the ending.

Meat for the Field by Rich Hawkins: Many times I have driven through a small village and wonder what secrets the community are hiding. This story is about one such village. Everyone is excited about the up-coming festival except Gregor, the keeper of the cornfield. The author kept the mystery of the festival right to end of this story, building up the suspense and Gregor’s torment.

Strange as Angels by Laura Mauro: What do you do when you find a strange flying creature, this was the dilemma that Frankie had. Frankie had used Jimmy as a crutch through most of her adult life, but caring for this creature made her a stronger person. She began to realise just the type of person Jimmy was and that she could stand on her own two feet. I loved the ending of this story and would like to read more of Frankie after the event.

The Castlemarch Man by Ray Cluley: Charlie was a treasure hunter, but not your metal detector type, he uses GPS co-ordinates to find the trinkets. This story is about Charlie going back to Wales a year after the event, but what event we don’t find out till the end. The author mentions the lead up to the event throughout the story and although you know something has happened to Charlie’s wife Lyndsey, you don’t find out till the end. The Castlemarch Man reminded me of an urban myth, whilst you know he does not exist, there is always that small doubt in the back of your mind.

Ostrich by David Moody: A story about a woman who although having everything in life, is not happy. This story reminded me of an episode of the TV series Tales of the Unexpected and it was apt that the episode I was thinking about was mentioned in the story. You could sense her unhappiness with the obsessive nature of her husband and his lawn. I loved that at the end she found happiness in her new surroundings.

Blue Eyes by Barbie Wilde: I loved this story and the dilemma that Gazza had, when he came across the most beautiful woman with amazing blue eyes. Although you knew that he had already made up his mind to do the act, the ending was a surprise and I must be honest, I found the ending really funny and was laughing way after I had finished the story.

A Glimpse of Red by James Everington: I started off thinking this story was about Beyza and Altan and their life in witness protection. The further I got into this story I started doubting myself, was Beyza having a nervous breakdown, did Altan get taken to stop her testifying. The story was intriguing and even after I had finished the story, I was still thinking about it. This story left my emotions confused as on one hand I felt sorry for her as she had lost her child but then I would think that she was the cause.

Mr Denning Sings by Simon Kurt Unsworth: A Sunday morning church service, an unusual setting for a horror story. Mr Denning enjoyed his Sunday worship, but this Sunday is was disturbed by a mystical creature and a cough. The story was written with a lot of detail and it felt you were at the service hearing the cough. I can imagine what happened to Mr Denning at the end but I would love to read more.

He waits on the Upland by Adam Millard: A main concern of any farmer, is the safety of their livestock, but when the sheep on Graham’s farm gets mutilated he is obsessed in tracking down the culprit. On top of this his wife Jenny is ill, adding to the stress. Whilst reading this story you could feel Graham’s anxiety and although he had little patient with his wife, he was worried about her. The ending was unexpected and I don’t know who was more surprised Graham or I.

Misericord by AK Benedict: Isabelle has spent her whole career studying carvings in churches and with her fiancée Katie spent one afternoon looking at carvings, in quite an old church. That was until something terrible happens.  When I have been in an old church I have been curious about the carvings on display and I loved the way the author incorporated these to tell the story. It kept my interest to the end as I thought that the reverend knew more than what she was letting on, she felt like she was a big cat stalking her prey. The ending made my skin crawl as I have never liked flying ants and this story just enforced that feeling.

Quiet Places by Jasper Bark: We first come across Sally caring for the village folk that are all comatosed. Going back to when they moved into the village, Sally hoped that it would help David open up, but when they come across The Beast, things take a turn for the worse. Running through the story is a creepy voice which is known as Hettie of the Hedgerow. Researching the family history and the local folklore Sally finds out that the Beast is the fault of an ancestor. Whilst reading the scenes in the forest I had goosebumps and you could sense that it was leading up to a final showdown. The suspense carried throughout the story, but even I could not predict the outcome. You could feel the desperation in Sally and the need to help David and his dark moods. For me Hettie was more horrific than the beast as it certainly knew how to play Sally

This book is a great read and congratulations to Steve Shaw for picking 11 great authors. Each story is so different and I loved every single one. I hope there will be 2nd book in the future.