Posts Tagged ‘vampire’

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney

May 21, 2018 - 5:35 am No Comments

My turn for the book tour for Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney. Learn more about book and my review of a vampire in Liverpool.

Scouse Gothic by Ian McKinney
Published by YouCaxton Publications on 2nd October 2015
200 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Melville was a vampire, but if you walked past him in the street, you would not know. Living in Liverpool, trying to stay “teetotal” he lived an unassuming life, but his past is trying to catch up with him.
I have read quite a few stories about vampires and they all have one thing in common. They are strong beings trying to inforce their power either by killing each other or by turning their victims. Melville was different, a quiet man who just wanted to live his life. To make his life more complicated, he had fell off the wagon, had a body to dispose of and had a new love interest. Added to the story is Lathom a retired hitman turned antique dealer, Kelly, a man with no morals with a past of his own, Peter, recently bereaved who talks to an angel, Catherine, a woman out for revenge and Sheryl, the larger than life love interest.
Reading this story you can tell that it was well plotted with only a handful of characters their stories were interlinked and each character you learn about in detail. Reading a story about an immortal, there is a lot of life history and throughout you get to know more about Melville and to say he lived an eventful life is an understatement. There was always something happening which kept me turning the pages to find out what was coming next. Kelly has some of the bloodiest scenes and there was one of the most unique ways of escaping that I have read. Scattered throughout there are some funny moments thanks to Frank the pigeon come angel and I laughed out loud when he described religion to different chains of fast food restaurants.
The author takes the vampire myths and throws them out the window and it was a refreshing change to read something different, even down to the way Melville was turned. Liverpool is a place I have never visited, however with the details in the book Ian McKinney is an ambassador for the city full of history.
With its mixture of historical, thriller and vampires it makes it attractive to a vast amount of readers. Finishing on a cliff hanger and a box of chocolates, this was a great start to a series which has got me hooked

19 Abercromby Square: Owned by the Chavasse Family and previously the Confederate banker Priorleau 

Now from the man himself

SCOUSE GOTHIC: Facts and Fiction
When reading fiction, I’ve always found it more believable if it’s based on fact, whether that is a real event, or even a real place. Consequently, when I began writing SCOUSE GOTHIC, I was determined that all the events would take place in actual locations.
Although I was born and bred in Liverpool I hadn’t lived in the city for many years. However, a combination of events meant that I had access to a new apartment in the city centre for a few months. It was during this time that I wrote the majority of SCOUSE GOTHIC.
While spending weekends there, I began to explore the city, and was constantly surprised by how much it had changed – but also, by how much of it was totally unchanged from my youth. Many of the old buildings had survived redevelopment and many had found new uses. As I walked through the streets I imagined my vampire, Melville walking the same streets and remembering his past lives in the city.
The apartment I was using was high up in a new development and overlooking Chavasse Park. I’d spend many hours looking out over the city, trying to imagine how Melville would feel, watching people in the park far below. Would he feel unconnected to them and their lives? After all, he is always an outsider, unable to put down permanent roots or have long-term relationships. How do you explain not growing older? Or the occasional missing person? No doubt he would watch individuals in the park and think them insignificant and their lives worthless. Perhaps considering them not as human beings, but prey – fresh blood to feed his addiction.
As the book progressed, I introduced more characters who all had their own personal relationship with the city. In each case I began to develop their character by walking in their shoes. Each location was recorded on a map which I reproduced in the book. I also took photographs as an aide-memoir when writing scenes at a later date. I’ve since posted these on the ‘Scouse Gothic Books’ page on Facebook, so that readers who are unfamiliar with Liverpool can see the actual locations used in the books.
I discovered that many of the buildings that Melville would have known from his previous visits to Liverpool in 1862 and 1914 have now found others uses: a church is now a bar; a dock is now a tourist attraction etc. This gave me the opportunity to explore Liverpool’s past, alongside that of Melville’s.
It started with the park I stared down on from my apartment, Chavasse Park. Why was it called that? I found out that it’s named after Noel Chavasse, a local hero from the First World War. (He was a Doctor who won the VC twice, the second posthumously) I imagined that Melville would have known him and served with him, called him a friend. Which is why he refers to it as ‘Noel’s Park’, and that in turn triggers a memory about the King’s Liverpool Regiment and 1914.
I then discovered that at that time, the Chavasse family lived in a house in Abercromby Square, and that had originally been owned by a man called Priorleau. In 1862, Priorleau was the banker for a Confederate conspiracy to secretly build warships in Liverpool to fight in the American Civil War. This led me to the story of a Confederate warship called the Florida and another story from Melville’s past.
As I walked the streets, I’d see a date on a building and wonder what it used to be? The more I delved into the history of Liverpool, the more strange coincidences I discovered. It was as though every building had a secret it was hiding. Just like my characters in SCOUSE GOTHIC, who each appear one thing to the outside world, but who are all something else entirely. Something much darker and much more complex.
Perhaps Liverpool had ceased to be merely a location for my characters to inhabit, but a character in its own right?
Which is fact and which fiction? I’ll leave that to my readers to decide.

Bad Reputation by Lily Luchesi

April 5, 2018 - 5:17 pm No Comments

Bad Reputation by Lily Luchesi
Published by Vamptasy on 31st March 2018
56 pages
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Bree Carson is a vampire. From the moment she was turned she vowed to wipe out evil. She now spent her time hunting criminals, human or supernatural she was not fussed. Humans and supernaturals live together in a sort of harmony, but the new mayor was happy and vowed to wipe out every non-human. However when the Mayor needed help, she went against her beliefs and asked Bree to help in a life or death situation.
This is a standalone story which I hope leads to a series. It has a feel of her Paranormal Detective series and Bree has the same qualities as Angelica Cross. She is confident in her abilities and whilst she spends the majority of the time killing targets who deserve it, there is a softer side to her. As the story progresses we get to find out her links with the Mayor, as how Bree came to lose her family.
As it is a novella it is a quick read, and I was amazed how much the author put in the story. There is action and tension throughout. If you have never read anything from this author than Bad Reputation is a good book to start with.

Reign Drops (The Bloodborne Series Book1) by C Patt

December 1, 2016 - 9:41 pm No Comments

Reign Drops (The Bloodborne Series Book1) by C Patt

Published 27th June 2016

114 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

30799453

Dalia is Mayan, and was brought up by catholic missionaries. When the Mayan calendar ended, Dalia knew she had to go home to her tribe. Dalia’s and her sisters were Mantan, thy had inherited a gift that could save her tribe from what history had described as a monster. Whilst Ana her eldest sister is performing a ceremony she goes missing and Dalia is drawn to a magical amulet, not knowing what magic it would give her. Add to this, is a mysterious man, who in a past visions helps the tribe against the pixan or as we would call them vampires.

Dalia was an interested character as to the western world she was archaic, not having many personal belonging and loving the simple life, but to her tribe she was very westernised, wearing trainers and trousers and speaking English. Although she did not really believe in the prophecy she stepped up to the task when she knew that her sister was in trouble. At the start of the story, I found Dalia quite naïve but after she got the amulet, she grew braver and more independent.

The mysterious man known to the tribe as Lohil is Carrick. I am not going to say much about him as it was a surprise to find out who he was. All I will say is there an instant attraction between him and Dalia.

This story has a well-balanced blend of history and fantasy and not knowing much about the Mayan tribe, I found this an interested read. The story flowed well and the action was building as the story progressed. What was nice was it did not finish on a cliff hanger but the ending left enough questions unanswered to make me want to read book 2. I want to know if Carrick makes another appearance. A good read.

Natural Born Predators and House of Wax: 2 short vampire stories by Bree Pierce

October 31, 2016 - 8:58 pm No Comments

Natural Born Predators by Bree Pierce

Published 20th September 2016

51 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

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This short story is a remake of Beauty and the Beast. Frey, (the beast) is a God who has a gift of controlling the weather, but losing the love of his life turned him into a depressing scary beast. Bell (Beauty) is a vampire hunter. She meets Frey when she rescues her father who went to his castle to ask for help with the growing population of vampires. The instance they meet Frey is a changed man and the story of how Beauty tamed the Beast is told.

I enjoyed this reading this story and because it is a short story it is a quick read. Bell was a strong girl and although young was very mature for her age. She did not realise the hold that she had over Frey as she had only used to her beauty to lure vampires out to kill. I enjoyed how she reacted when Frey gave her some new weapons and it reminding me of a child on Christmas Day, she proved herself whilst battling the vampires and stood up to the chauvinistic hunters that protected the village.

Frey is portrayed as a ferocious beast but when he meets Bell, acts more like a lost little boy. Although he knows she is protecting her village he does not want her to put her life in danger and the little gifts he gives are not just to show his love but to also protect her.

The is a great short story and would love to read more about Bell as she would sure to have many more adventures

 

House of Wax by Bree Pierce

Published 12th April 2016

48 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

30130819

When vampires try taking over a small village, they are dispatched in a very creative way. Jump forward 100 years and they have escaped, it is left to Odin Blacksaint the original hero’s great grandson to save the day.

Odin did not believe in myths and folklore and did not even know how to fight, but what I did enjoy is how even with all the doubt he still stepped up to try and save the village learning about his ancestors in the process.

Maelstrom was your typical evil vampire who wanted to seek revenge. Surprisingly my favourite character in the book was Naiad a young nun who was turned by Maelstrom. She showed kindness from the start and stood up to evil. The ending has left it open for another book and I would love to read more about Naiad.