Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’

The Devil and the Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly (book 2 in the Creative Series)

May 19, 2019 - 6:01 pm No Comments

The Devil and the Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly (Book2 in the Creative Series)

Published by Cricket Publishing on 12th June 2017

284 pages

The immediate threat is over and happy to live in Italy with Gabriel and her family, Coco is getting more comfortable with her gifts. But when a concerned friend and her paintings highlighted the plight of teenage girls, Coco knows that the Allegiance has got to step in. However, with the team have to split up to cover two missions, things go from bad to worse.

Due to the majority of the characters already known to us, the book seemed to flow a lot quicker and the story was fast paced. Whilst Coco still had a major role to play, the story concentrated on some of the other characters and we learn a lot more about Pelayo, an El Salvadoran vampire and Sabine, a doctor who fights for the vulnerable. Also helping the Allegiance was a vampire with a surprising background. Whilst the main mission concentrates on the missing girls, Prudence has her own mission and it gives us the chance to meet some of her ancestors and learn more about her life. Whilst we know that Kenan is behind the trouble, the story goes further to explain why he is the way his.   

Due to the nature of the subject matter, this story came across a lot darker than book 1, but this just helps enforce just what Coco and company are up against. As I mentioned it was a faster pace due to the fact there was always something going on. The art still played a big part in the story and the picturesque descriptions of the paintings enable you to imagine them as you are reading.

A good addition to this fantasy series and I am looking forward to reading The Immortal Muse which came out on 31st March 2019

A Secret Muse (The Creative Series Book 1) by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

May 19, 2019 - 11:53 am No Comments

A Secret Muse (The Creative Series Book 1) by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Published by Cricket Publishing on 1st February 2016

300 pages

Coco Rhodes was happy with her life, an artist and teacher, she enjoyed her freedom. Her brother Chris was a member of a secret society The Allegiance, and whilst her family and friends were members, she wanted nothing to do with them. However, when her life was put in danger, she had no choice but to accept their protection. But could that be enough to save her from Kenan, one of the evilest vampires they have come across  

I liked Coco, she was happy to be herself, she was a free spirit, lost in her art and content with her own company. Even though her best friend and her brother were part of The Allegiance, she wanted nothing to do it, which showed how headstrong she was. Even after her accident, she was still stubborn and was literally forced into having additional protection. 

I enjoyed how the supernatural overlapped with the real world, regular humans were not aware that supernatural beings lived and worked with them. Only a few people knew about the Allegiance and this kept everyone safe. Due to the society being large, they’re quite a few characters in the story, but each one is relevant to the story and when we are introduced to them, parts of their backstory is revealed. As the story continues you soon come to realise how their lives interweave with each other and how they are connected in the future. There are various supernatural beings in this story, witches, vampires, to name but a few. All have an important role in the story.

This story was well researched and as some of the characters are vampires, the story spans over a long time period. Whilst I do not know anything about art, I enjoyed reading about the supernatural involvement used to create some of the most famous paintings. The scenic views of Italy and the places visited were described in fine detail and whether it is the 15th century or the modern day you feel like you are transported there. The pace would quicken with the action, making it more intense. The fight scenes were full on, but the characters would change from fighters to lovers in a few scenes, slowing the pace making it an enjoyable read.  

This is a book for adults and whether you are looking for those tall dark and brooding men or just a good fantasy read to start a new series than this is the story for you.  

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.

Moonlight Serenades by Thom Carnell

April 20, 2019 - 10:41 am No Comments

Moonlight Serenades by Thom Carnell

Published by Crossroad Press Macabre Ink on 19th May 2016

310 pages

One thing I enjoy is short stories, the chance to read a complete story whenever I can get the chance. With 17 different stories, I had plenty of choices. Before each short story, the author gives an insight into how the story was created and where they got their inspiration from. For this review I am going to mention my favourites.    

Opening up with Wedding Day: it’s a story about loss. As you read this, the main protagonist emotions are raw. You can sense just how much they are grieving as they reminisce. The ending was a fitting end

The Thirst: the story about a lone vampire trying to survive after a disaster has nearly wiped out their food supply. There was a sadness to this story, you are left wondering how the vampire will survive without human blood and what a lonely existence.

Clown Town: The longest of the short stories and the story connected to the cover. We follow Detective Bumbo and Inspector Garbo as they try and solve the murder of Angeletta Trivelino at the renowned night club Marceau’s. The story is a crime noir and as I was reading it, I was imagining it being played out on a black and white TV being narrated by a gravelly voiced actor. The little touches to this story added to the enjoyment, whether it was the style of the clown’s makeup or every now and again Garbo would squeeze his horn to emphasise an emotion. Running throughout the story was Bumbo’s love story and his own femme fatale. I would enjoy reading further stories involving Bumbo and Garbo.

Chirality: Hattie Caulfield was out on her daily treks across the mountains and comes across a missing child. This was an easy-going story as you follow Hattie. I loved the twist at the end.

The Politics of Dancing: As I have not read any of this author before, I had not come across Cleese. However, after reading this story, I do want to find out more about him. Working for MEST, he is like a clean-up/hit squad for the undead. A zombie terminator. A quick read with plenty of action.

I enjoyed this book and with its mixture of genres, it will appeal to more than horror fans. 

Savagery of the Rebel King (Thrones of Blood Book4) by Nancy Kilpatrick

April 8, 2019 - 8:03 pm No Comments

Savagery of the Rebel King (Thrones of Blood Book4) by Nancy Kilpatrick

Published by Crossroad Press on 1st February 2019

318 pages

With Queen Lamia and the Sapien Zaget still a threat, I knew that I needed to carry on with this series. As soon as I started reading this book, I was instantly transported back to the vampire world. Necros, the rebel king, was the leader of a small stronghold, a good distance from the other vampires. Not one to mix, he was not aware of the threat to his race. However, his life would change dramatically when he came across Guin, Sapien royalty, sent on her own mission by her grandma and former queen.

What I love about this series, is that in every book we are introduced to new characters who are important to the series and this book was no different. Necros was a ruler who treated the Sapiens as property, not one to show compassion. It was his way or else. Guin whilst dedicated to her mission, soon quickly realises how dire her situation was. The further you read into the book, the more you discover about Necros’ upbringing and understand why he finds it hard to trust. Guin, on the other hand, led a pampered life but found it hard to adjust after being brought to the stronghold. However, even though they had different backgrounds they were both really stubborn and every time they were together the scenes were full of tension. To break up the mood in the stronghold were vampire twin dwarves Grymmer and Grymmelle. With their wit and wisecracks, they managed to defuse the tension. I think they were my new favourite characters.

With so much going on with Necros and Guin, the author still managed to combine the other vampire royalty to the story and you soon find out what is going on with the rest of land and how dire the situation was for Sapiens and Vampires alike.

I finished this book in 1 day and all real life was put on hold as the story built up to a dramatic ending. I hope that book 5 in the works as I want to find out what happens to the vampire world. Like previous books, this story is for a mature audience due to the nature of some of the scenes. Although I will not look at a rose stem in the same light again. Another great addition to this series