Posts Tagged ‘Novella’

The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett

April 23, 2019 - 8:24 am 1 Comment

My turn has come on The Pale Ones blog tour, written by a new to me author Bartholomew Bennett. Here are my thoughts…….

The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett

Published by Inkandescent on 17th October 2018

98 pages

One thing my daughter and I love doing together is going around charity shops, “rescuing” abandoned books. To buy a book that you have been looking for ages, opening it up, reading the dedication in the book, wondering why they gave it away. A train ticket falls out, Where had the previous owner travelled to? When did they read the book?   

As I was reading this story, I did feel sorry for the protagonist. I had a sense he led a lonely life and his only enjoyment was finding his next fortune. Written in 1st person POV, you follow the protagonist as he tries and makes a living selling secondhand books.  On one of his bargain hunts, he runs into Harris, a book dealer with a secret, who takes him on one of his buying trips around Yorkshire. Harris was a strange character, was he a supernatural or was he just eccentric. There were unanswered questions, but it made me fill in the gaps and make my own opinion on Harris. The journey round Yorkshire has you wondering what Harris is out to achieve.     

Even after the journey, his life was not a happy one, trying to rebuild his life after another tragic event hits him. The characters they meet on their journey, are the type you would bump into in your regular life and I can guarantee that you could walk into any charity shop in the country and bump into one the ladies serving you.

Whilst there are no graphic scenes, there is that hunch that something is going to happen, it’s the feeling that there is a presence in the shadows just loitering in your peripheral vision.

This is a book that I will re-read as I am sure that If I read it again, I will come up with completely different views on Harris and his reasons behind collecting unforgotten books. I am sure that other readers will come up with their own ideas of what the pale ones are. This will be a good book to read in a book club so everyone could share their own opinions.    

Bartholomew Bennett was born in Leicester to an American father and English mother. Since childhood he has been a dedicated reader of all manner of books, but especially tales of the “horror”. He has a First Class Honours degree in Literature from the University of East Anglia and is a longstanding member of Leather Lane Writers Group. He has had various jobs: primarily software developer, but also tutor, nanny, data-entry clerk, call-centre rep, decorator and handy-man. He has also been known to dabble in online bookselling. Currently he lives in southeast London with his wife and two children. And in fact, some of the paper-packed rooms that feature in The Pale Ones bear a remarkable resemblance to locales in his own abode…   

Inkandescent are committed to voices underrepresented in mainstream publishing. Their first publication Threads – a deftly weft and delightfully warped tapestry of poetry and photography – was funded by Arts Council England and long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize, of which their second publication, AutoFellatio – James Maker’s memoir remastered with new chapters and never-seen photographs – was the inaugural winner.

The Lock: A CSI Eddie Collins Novella by Andrew Barrett

February 3, 2019 - 9:22 pm No Comments

The Lock: A CSI Eddie Collins Novella by Andrew Barrett

Published by The Ink Foundry on 13th January 2019

131 pages

Eddie Collins is a CSI, you know who they are. They get sent to suspected scenes of crime, look for evidence and document the scenes. When an elderly man is found dead in his home, he has to check it out to see if there was any sign of foul play. Everything looked ok until he finds an ancient key grasped in the deceased’s hand. Knowing he has to investigate, he searches around the house, although he wishes he hadn’t.

 Whilst I have not read any of this series, I took to Eddie straightaway. He was not a people person and had a quirky sense of humour, who else would walk around an unknown house in the dark, playing horror movies in his mind, waiting to be scared.

Written from Eddie’s POV, it is easy to follow him around whilst he was looking for clues. Added to this were memoirs from the deceased, helping explain what had happened in the house. Without giving anything away, I did not see any of it coming and was surprised with what had happened and it showed just how good Eddie was with deciphering the evidence.

It was a pleasant change to read a thriller that did not involve a police officer or private investigator. I enjoyed how the evidence was explained in layman’s terms and you do not need a good understanding of the science behind it.   

As this is a standalone novella in the series, I did not have to read to any of the previous books to know what was going on and I am going to check out the other books in the series. If you like your thrillers a bit on the dark side than pick up this book.   

Deviations from the Norm by Mark Allan Gunnells

January 28, 2019 - 8:56 pm No Comments

Early last week as part of LGBTQ+ month Ginger Nuts of Horror posted an interview with Mark Allan Gunnells. If you want to read more of the interview here it is


I was introduced to this author’s work when I read Where the Dead Go to Die in collaboration with Aaron Dries. Mark Allan Gunnells is one author that when a new book is released, I one-click straight away. Deviations from the Norm is the latest release

Deviations from the Norm by Mark Allan Gunnells

Published 22nd September 2018

302 pages

This book consists of three novellas of variant lengths, each one with a different theme and all three will draw you in.

The Unholy Eucharist is the longest of the novellas. When Peter, a stranger to Father Ryan wants to tell him his story, he didn’t believe what he was hearing.  Spanning over centuries this story tells the tale of the events leading up the 1st vampire and how he learnt to survive. With a well-known religious story as the backstory, I really enjoyed this novella. As the story progresses, you follow Peter on a journey that has its ups and downs, going from someone who everyone loved to a loathed creature. As I was reading this story I really felt for Peter as all he wanted to do was save a life. As it covers a long period of time, you appreciate how Peter had to adapt to the society he was living in, to protect his secret and others that he came into contact with. Having to learn to make his own decision from all the information and dramatic life-changing events thrown at him. The ending to this story was ingenious and has you wondering what would happen next.

Kronoz: Martin Garland had not had a good childhood, living with an alcoholic mom, he never knew who his father was and was too scared to ask. However, after one drinking session, his mom revealed a secret that would have an everlasting memory. Whilst his childhood wasn’t perfect, his adult life was a success. Throughout all his success, he had a burning desire to help his mom and Kronoz was invented. Martin was one of those characters that I took an instant like to, whilst he had a difficult upbringing, he never made excuses and always tried to be the best. The older he got, he always kept that ethos with whatever he was doing. The invention of time travel have you wondering what would you do in that situation and I could understand why it was done.     

The Price of Success is a story of two university friends who both studying English. Throughout their education, there was talk of a book collaboration and whilst they both dream of success as authors, only one gets what they think they want. Mat and Brad were complete opposites and as you read this story,  you realise how much their personality changes with the success that is given. When the deal is made with Mr Pyre, the twists that follow have you guessing where the story was taking you. The story reached a perfect ending, which I was pleased to read.

This is a good read for any horror or fantasy reader. The stories are short enough for you to read in one sitting as once you start one, you will not want to put it down. I am looking forward to what this author is going to bring out in 2019     

The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali

November 6, 2018 - 6:59 pm No Comments

The Devil’s Lieutenant by Shervin Jamali
Published 20th May 2016
145 pages

Michael had a great job, a loving wife and gorgeous son, but the world came crashing down when he walked in to his wife holding a gun. From that fatal moment you could find Michael at a bottom of a bottle. In steps Lucifer who makes a deal, capture my souls and free your family.
As a cop Michael was a good man, but after losing his family, he came resentful and bitter. Only finding solace in a bottle of whiskey, he didn’t want to live his life. The only time he became alive was when he was capturing the souls.
Throughout this story you find out all about Michael’s life, from the moment he met his wife to after her death. Whilst his story is not in chronological order, it is not confusing as each chapter is dated. This also helped break up Michael’s killing spree, so you were not hit by it all at once. The planning through the story made it flow seamless and you are drawn into Michael’s life.
Where there is the Devil, there is also God and his appearance was nothing like I imagined. There are some big reveals at the end and it will help you decide whether Michael had made the right decision to go into business with the Devil.
When you think the story stops, the author hits you with the epilogue, which takes the story in a different direction and will make you download the sequel Escape from Hell. At only 150 pages you will read this quickly. The warnings are on this book for a reason and there may be scenes that make shock some readers. But as a lover of dark fiction this was right up my street.

Blood Spell Lily Luchesi

August 10, 2018 - 8:53 pm No Comments

Blood Spell by Lily Luchesi
Published by Vamptasy Publishing and Encompass Ink on 8th August 2018

Bloodworth and Moonspell are the two remaining old magical families. Rivals for years and Tobias and Simon were keeping the tradition alive. But when a Nash Thornhill a third mage who got his powers by deceit and wanted to kill them both. They must work together to stay alive.
This was a quick read and from the first page you are drawn into a magical story about love and betrayal. With only a few characters the story concentrates on Tobias and Simon. They were complete opposites and whilst Tobias was bullied by Simon, he always had an attraction for him. Although Simon was confident when he was with his friends, he was submissive and timid when he was with Tobias. Tobias was in his element when he was making his potions or playing in the dungeons.
When the prophecy was revealed, you had a sense of failure for their relationship but as the story continues there is hope. When Thornhill sees his chance to defeat the mages, the story is built up to a thrilling final battle.
I have not read many M/M books, but I knew with this author that I would be in for a good read. This book will not be for everyone and is definitely an 18+ read. However, if you want a quick fantasy love story than this is the book for you. I read this book in an hour and my only complaint was that I wish it was longer. As for the other characters, I hope that the author develops a story about Amy, the half fae.

Out today