Posts Tagged ‘Flame Tree Press’

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

May 15, 2019 - 5:31 am 1 Comment

When I read the blurb “Years before either becomes a literary legend, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde must overcome their disdain for one another to battle the Black Bishop, a madman wielding supernatural forces to bend the British Empire to his will” I knew I had to be on the blog tour for Stoker’s Wilde written by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Published by Flame Tree Press and will be out on 30th May 2019

384 pages

Even if you are not a horror lover, you would have heard of Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde. Two successful and popular authors, but where did they get their ideas for their most famous books. This story will hopefully explain all this and more.

As soon as you start reading this book, you notice that the story is told using correspondence, journal and diary entries and even an interview to tell Stoker and Wilde’s adventure. This was a new way for me to read a story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story flowed smoothly and as some scenes were written from a few characters perspective, you get the whole story. Some of my favourite scenes were reading Stoker and Wilde’s journal entries and I did have a snigger to myself reading the entries when they were bitching about each other. In fact, at times you can really tell just how much they despised each other.

From the first page, you are taken on a supernatural adventure where you come across werewolves, visions and nests of vampires. The subject matter was well researched and as I was reading the book I would google every new character I came across, to see if they had any connection to Stoker and Wilde. There are hints to some of their popular stories throughout this book and I loved how these were linked to the hunt for the Black Bishop. The descriptiveness of the scenery had me feeling that I was there, watching the performances at the theatre or following them as they were hunting for vampires.

This was a fast-paced read with some unexpected twists and whilst I read it fairly quickly, I did not want it to end. I hope that the authors will write a sequel as I would love to see where Stoker and Wilde end up. This is a must-read for Horror lovers 

Meet the authors

 Steven Hopstaken was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spent his formative years watching and reading science fiction and horror. He has a degree in journalism from Northern Michigan University and spends his free time travelling; writing screenplays, short stories and novels; and practising photography. Melissa Prusi Melissa Prusi was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (often mistaken for Canada), and studied video and film production at Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan. She’s been a video editor, a semi-professional film reviewer, a three-time champion on the quiz show Jeopardy!, and a Guinness world record holder (1990 edition, for directing the longest live television show). They met in a college screenwriting class and married three years later. They spent a brief time in Los Angeles, where they both worked for Warner Bros. television. They eventually ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they love the arts scene but dread the winters. While they both currently make a living as website content managers, they have sold two screenplays, which have been lost to development hell. They’ve indulged their fascination with Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde through trips to Dublin and London to research their lives and visit sites mentioned in Stoker’s Wilde. They live in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with their two cats. If they’re not writing, you can usually find them at a movie, local theater production, improv show or pub quiz.

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz

May 8, 2019 - 5:17 am 1 Comment

My turn on the blog tour for House of Skin

Myles Carver is dead. Myles’s wife, Annabel, is dead too, but she is also waiting, lying in her grave in the woods. For nearly half a century she was responsible for a nightmarish reign of terror, and she’s not prepared to stop now. She is hungry to live again…and her unsuspecting nephew, Paul, will be the key.

House of Skin by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 9th May 2019

304 pages

When Paul inherited a large estate from his estranged uncle, the thing was that he had no idea why his family didn’t talk about him. Paul was the black sheep of family forced to go into the family business whilst all he wanted to do was become a writer. Once he moves into Watermere, his uncle’s estate, he knew it was the change he needed. As soon as he is there, he is up against prejudice and as you get further into the story, you get an understanding why the town does not like the Carver family. To add to his problems, men are disappearing from the town.

Sheriff Sam Barlow knew Myles Carver personally and Librarian Julia Merrow had her own secrets, that she did not want anyone finding out. Inserted throughout the story was the back stories of Annabel and Myles which gave you a clear picture who and what was occurring in the house. As Paul was trying to write, his work in progress adds to the mystery of the house   

Written in 3rd person POV enables you to get to know the handful of characters in fine detail as each one had their own story to tell on how Myles Carver ruined their lives. There are graphic scenes throughout this story, which adds to the sense that something evil is occurring in the house. One of my favourite scenes was what happened to Emily in the ballroom. I love reading books that has me on tender hooks, as I am turning the pages waiting for something to figurally jump out at me and give me a fright and this book ticked the box.

This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more of their work

When Paul inherited a large estate from his estranged uncle, the thing was that he had no idea why his family didn’t talk about him. Paul was the black sheep of family forced to go into the family business whilst all he wanted to do was become a writer. Once he moves into Watermere, his uncle’s estate, he knew it was the change he needed. As soon as he is there, he is up against prejudice and as you get further into the story, you get an understanding of why the town does not like the Carver family. To add to his problems, men are disappearing from the town.
Sheriff Sam Barlow knew Myles Carver personally and Librarian Julia Merrow had her own secrets, that she did not want anyone finding out. Inserted throughout the story was the back stories of Annabel and Myles which gave you a clear picture who and what was occurring in the house. As Paul was trying to write, his work in progress adds to the mystery of the house
Written in 3rd person POV enables you to get to know the handful of characters in fine detail as each one had their own story to tell on how Myles Carver ruined their lives. There are graphic scenes throughout this story, which adds to the sense that something evil is occurring in the house. One of my favourite scenes was what happened to Emily in the ballroom. I love reading books that have me on tenterhooks, as I am turning the pages waiting for something to figurally jump out at me and give me a fright and this book ticked the box.
This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more of his work

 Meet the author:

Jonathan Janz grew up between a dark forest and a graveyard, which explains everything. Brian Keene named his debut novel The Sorrows “the best horror novel of 2012.” The Library Journal deemed his follow-up, House of Skin, “reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story” Since then Jonathan’s work has been lauded by writers like Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Bryan Smith, and Ronald Kelly. Novels like The Nightmare Girl, Wolf Land, Savage Species, and Dust Devils prompted Thunderstorm Books to sign Jonathan to an eleven-book deal and to give him his own imprint, Jonathan Janz’s Shadow Side. His novel Children of the Dark received a starred review in Booklist and was chosen by their board as one of the Top Ten Horror Books of the Year (August 2015-September 2016). Children of the Dark will soon be translated into German and has been championed by the Library Journal, the School Library Journal, and Cemetery Dance. In early 2017, his novel Exorcist Falls was released to critical acclaim. Jonathan’s primary interests are his wonderful wife and his three amazing children, and though he realizes that every author’s wife and children are wonderful and amazing, in this case the cliché happens to be true.

You can learn more about Janz at http://www.jonathanjanz.com.

The Dark Game (Fiction Without Frontiers) by Jonathan Janz

April 14, 2019 - 6:50 am 2 Comments

Its my turn on the blog tour for The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz. As soon as I read the blurb I knew that I wanted to take part.

The Dark Game (Fiction Without Frontiers) by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 11th April 2019

352 pages

10 authors have been selected to attend a retreat and enter a writing competition. Run by renowned Roderick Wells, they will get his expertise and the winner would get 3 million dollars and publishing deal. But is the prize worth more than their lives?

As soon as you start reading, you have the sense that there is something going on that the authors are not aware of.  Being left to walk in on foot, segregating the group to force conflict, they are all on edge before they start the competition.

Whilst each author had their own reasons to enter the competition, they were all in it for the fame and fortune. As you read, you are introduced to each character in detail and you soon realise that they each have a dark secret. Every character was different, although at the start they were all being supportive of each other, as the competition became more cutthroat, it was no surprise that their true characteristics came out and if you are like me, you will be quick to pick your favourite. As this is a writing retreat, snippets of the authors’ work in progress are inserted throughout the main story and I enjoyed reading these snippets. However, they are important to the story. It was also another way to show the difference between each author and how they interpret horror.

Roderick Wells was a narcissistic character who from the start inflicted his power over the authors. He enjoyed publicly humiliating them in front of their peers and was like a cat playing with a mouse, toying with their emotions. The changes to Wells and the mansion became more noticeable as the eliminations continue.

Whilst there are quite a few characters involved in this story, this was an easy book to follow and there was no confusion with the characters the further you go into the book. I had heard of this author, but this was the first book that I have read and I am so glad that I did.  The author’s detailed writing enables you to imagine the creepiness of the forest and the dangers that await, the graphic scenes reinforcing the danger. The story was fast paced as you want to know who survives. As I was reading this I was reminiscing about when I  watched Harper’s Island and spent the whole time trying to guess who was going to be next.  

If you enjoy reading books with eeriness and suspense, then pick up this book.