Posts Tagged ‘Vampires’

Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz

July 15, 2019 - 5:06 am No Comments

It is 1885 in the wilds of New Mexico and Cody Wilson and Willet Black are bent on revenge after their loved ones are slaughtered by a group of traveling actors, but neither of them suspects what they’re really up against. For the actors are vampires. Their thirst for human blood is insatiable. The two must battle the vampires—alone—or die trying.

Dust Devils by Jonathan Janz

Published by Flame Tree Press on 27th June 2019

304 pages

This is the third book that I have read by this author, so I knew I would be in for a great tale and I wasn’t disappointed.

Cody Wilson was a man on a mission. After seeing his wife murdered by a group of travelling actors, he knew he must seek revenge. He was a man with a conscious and even though he wanted revenge, he knew what type a woman his wife was and as we follow him on this journey, his inner voice is battling with him.

We first come across Cody as he watches the actors eat their latest kill, nothing wrong with that but it wasn’t an animal. From that moment I knew I was in for an exciting read. Whilst you are not aware that the actors are vampires, you get the feeling straight away that there is something supernatural about them and I did wonder whether Cody was a bit mad to confront them. This story grabs you and I found I could not put it down until I had finished it.

When the actors went full vampire, the scenes were graphic and descriptive and you could instantly tell that there would be few survivors, but at these times my heart was in my mouth as I wondered whether Cody would survive and if so, how he would get out of the mess he was in. It was made even more intense when you find out that a young boy was involved and he was in danger.

As it was set in the wild west, it seemed more exciting as there were no modern weaponry and transport to get them out of a fix. Trying to escape an evil entity just by an old horse seemed more exciting than jumping in a car. For some strange reason whilst I was reading this, I kept thinking of Red Dead Redemption as the descriptive scenes of the land reminded me of this game.

I am so glad that I have read this book and if you love horror,  good vs evil and vampires to be vampires than this is a story for you. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.    

The Immortal Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

June 1, 2019 - 7:17 pm No Comments

The Immortal Muse by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

Published by Cricket Publishing on 31st March 2019

307 pages

Following on from The Devil and the Muse, the Allegiance are preparing for one final battle with Kenan. Not knowing when he will attack, they try and plan ahead. Gabriel and Coco are having issues due to Coco’s vision. To add to their problems, one of Dr Sabine Fiore’s colleagues witnessed a young girl commit suicide, watched over by a sinister stranger.

After you have read the earlier books in the series and have quite a few unanswered questions, The Immortal Muse tied up this series perfectly. As the majority of the characters are supernatural beings, they have lived a long life, so there is a lot more historical contents in the story and I loved being transported to another era. However, this does explain the reason why Kenan became so evil. The mystery of the young girl, enabled the team to investigate and even though they were busy trying to find ways to kill Kenan, it enforced the view that the Allegiance were for fighting for the good and whether the victims were immortal or mortal, they still were there for them.   

This read at a lot faster pace than the other two and I know I am strange but I enjoyed that not everything ran smoothly as it made it feel more intense. It also gives you a chance to know more about Gabriel. Whether the scenes were set in the past or in the modern world, it was well researched and descriptive, it felt that you were there. The love of art comes across as you can tell the author’s passion for this subject.

This was the final book in the series and whilst I am sorry to see it end, I thought that the ending was a perfect finish to the Creative series

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.