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The Symorians are an alien race whose home planet is inside the core of the sun. Four Symorians: Lenyx, Tryst, Kazi, and Milliken embark on a mission to save their people from extinction. It doesn’t take long before their vessel crash-lands on the planet Earth. Afterward, their troubles are just beginning. The Symorians get off on the wrong foot with the humans after accidentally killing one. Then they attempt to bridge an alliance between Symoria and Earth, but after another incident occurs, our alien friends have to fight for their survival.
I loved this story. It was the perfect blend of mystery, action, and sci-fi. The characters were believable, the plot line engrossing and every turn I took, there was a new twist, many of which put me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t get enough and once I’ve finished reading, I wished I’d taken my time. People of the Sun would definitely be one of the few books I wouldn’t mind re-reading.
Let’s get off topic for one brief second. For Star Trek fans (like myself), you know how viewers say the undertone meanings of the episodes mirror real life? For example, in the episode, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” there are two separate alien races, one has white on the left side and black on the right side, while the other race has the same colors vice versa. They’re killing each other even though they are exactly the same. They’re judgmental. Now, back to People of the Sun, Jason Parent does the same thing. He cleverly shines the light on mankind’s weaknesses. Humans tend to judge others by the color of their skins, by the mistakes we’ve made, by the class we were raised from, etc. Reading this story makes you think about what you do, what you say and how you react to certain circumstances.
People of the Sun isn’t just a science fiction novel. It’s not just a horror book. It’s also filled with plenty of action, adventure, and thought-provoking situations. It’s a very well-written novel, deserving of praise. In my opinion, I think just about anyone would enjoy this book. With the exception of Star Trek, I’m not a major fan of aliens. But I love the Symorians!
In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. The region offers an abundance of settings for his writing and many wonderful places in which to write them. He currently resides in Southeastern Massachusetts with his cuddly corgi named Calypso.
In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it’s harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he’s back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that’s another story.
When he’s not working, Jason likes to kayak, catch a movie, travel any place that will let him enter, and play just about any sport (except that ball tied to the pole thing where you basically just whack the ball until it twists in a knot or takes somebody’s head off – he misses the appeal). And read and write, of course. He does that too sometimes.
It’s very rare that I would be tempted to give any book more than a five-star rating. If I did do that, then Cory Barclay’s Devil in the Countryside would be one of the few. It’s 1588, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. It’s rumored to be the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg. Investigator Heinrich Franz is assigned to find the killer, seeking help wherever he can get it. A priest attempts to keep the peace amongst the townspeople, while he attempts to fight against the temptation of a young woman that could destroy his most basic beliefs. They find themselves wrapped in mysteries, steering through the political and religious landscape of the 16th century.
Devil in the Countryside was an extremely tightly written novel, keeping me on my toes the entire time I was reading. I did not want to put it down. The characters were three-dimensional and realistic…very memorable. In my minds-eye, the book played like a movie. I felt as though I was watching the scenes unfold so much, that at times, I had to remind myself that I was in the 21st century. I felt it was that good.
You’ll not only want to find out who—or what—is piling corpse after corpse, you’ll want to find out what secret these characters are withholding from everyone else. You’ll want to find out if they can force temptation out of their minds. You’ll want to find out everything you can about this book.
The story is action-packed from the second it begins until the ending, leaving the reader on the edge of their seat. There were times when the dialogue didn’t seem up to par with the time; however, that didn’t even matter. The scenes were painted beautifully. For readers that enjoy historical fiction, werewolf hunts, and murder, I recommend giving Devil in the Countryside a try. It’s a must-read!
As far back as he can remember, Cory Barclay has always loved the “big picture” questions. How much knowledge did humanity lose when the Library of Alexandria was burned down? Why has the concept of Heaven remained intact, in one form or another, throughout most of human history and how has it impacted life on Earth?
And even before that, when he first began writing stories in grade school, he’s been fascinated with histories and mysteries. Whether Norse mythology, the Dark Ages, or the conquests of great leaders, Cory’s been that kid who wants to know what’s shaped our world and write about it. Especially the great unsolved mysteries.
So Devil in the Countryside was a natural for him.
Born and raised in San Diego, he graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied Creative Writing and Modern Literary Studies. He’s also a songwriter and guitarist, and – no surprise – many of his songs explore the same topics he writes about – the great mysteries of our crazy world.
Devil in the Countryside is his second novel and he’s hard at work on its sequel.
A UK lady with a knack for helping young authors while creating her own series of books, Nicky Peacock.
Where do you hail from?
I come from a medium size town in the middle of England called Corby. It has a bit of a reputation as a place to live, but I love it. It’s close enough to beautiful wild countryside to appeal to my nature loving side and close enough to pretty decent shopping centers to appeal to my shopaholic side!
Who are the authors that most inspired you to become a writer, or that you think influence your writing style?
I think that most authors will influence your writing style – whether you want them to or not. Reading a broad range of genres and authors is a necessary part of writing. When I was younger, Poppy Z Brite was a big influence on my horror writing; somehow she made the grotesque beautiful. Anne Rice was definitely the writer that got me hooked on vampires and other monsters.
What’s your favorite word and why?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… as it’s really quite atrocious 😉
Things readers may want to know, hmm, are you married?
I’m currently single. I’m pretty happy with it, although I certainly wouldn’t turn down a gorgeous man with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates at my door! It’s quite a hard life being an author. Most of us still have to work full time jobs, you know if you want those luxuries in life like food and shelter! So, once you try to squeeze in writing and have some semblance of a social life, well dating can kind of feel like an after-thought. Also, I’ve had some pretty dismal dates recently: One guy burst into tears over his ex, another talked all night about his dogs, but by far the worst was the guy, who after learning I was an author, decided he wanted something to eat…at home. He just left!
How does working with young aspiring authors help your own writing?
Growing up in Corby, I didn’t have a mentor, or someone to look to, for my writing, so I decided that I would try to be that person for the next generation. Writing is hard, getting published is harder and being an author is the hardest of all. You have to not just produce work but have reasonable editing skills, marketing knowledge and time to spend on social media plus all the literary specific sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing. Having someone who has been there and done all that can help make those jobs easier and less time consuming so that a budding writer’s desire to tell a good story isn’t consumed in the fires of work.
Tell us about your two series with Evernight Teen, Battle of the Undead and The Twisted and The Brave.
Battle of the Undead is a vampires VS zombies YA urban fantasy set at the start of the zombie uprising. Vampires, fearing the loss of their food supply (us) start to make plans to protect uninfected humans.
The Twisted and the Brave is a YA series that twists the themes of classic children’s books into contemporary, violent thrillers with a supernatural edge.
Being two different animals, which do you enjoy writing more, the anthologies or novels?
LOL, I’m not above saying that I want to sell books and make some money, and that only really comes from novels. Anthologies are great for a quick fix. Short stories are, well short and there are plenty of publishers out there putting out call-outs that writers can answer, but they’re not going to help boost that bank balance! I do enjoy a good challenge for a short story, but right now I’m focusing on the longer fiction.
Tell us how you get included in so many anthologies. I know some don’t know how to go about getting involved.
The website Duotrope, although you need to pay for it now, is a great investment for writers. It’s a complete database of publisher call-outs for anthologies and magazines. The best advice I can give is to stick to genres that you feel you can write well and don’t take on too much. There are always deadlines for these and part of the trick is picking what you can realistically do, rather than what you wish you could do.
Where can we find your most recent work, and what is your next piece coming out?
It’s a race at the moment because I’m currently working on both the last book of the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the second in The Twisted and The Brave, The Assassin of Oz.
What’s your guilty pleasure movie that would surprise people, being that you are into the horror genre in writing?
Hmmmm, I do like a good superhero movie. I really enjoyed Deadpool and Antman, although they are quite acceptable within my genres. Although not a movie, at the moment I’m binge watching RuPaul’s Drag Race on Netflix – I love that show, it never fails to make me smile!
Thank you for having me on your site today, now I’ll sashay away…
Title: The Fireman Author: Joe Hill ISBN13: 978-0062200648 ASIN: B016P01YCQ Published: May 17th 2016 Pages: 768 Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Science-Fiction/ Action-Adventure
Sorry for being a bit scarce on the posts, but we’ve had some health problems in the family and although hopefully things are better, I’m still trying to catch up with everything. But I’ve managed to do a bit of reading and I thought I’d try and share some of those with you all.
Today’s novel is by an author I’m keeping watch for. I’ve mentioned before that I love horror (although I don’t read it all that often these days) and I’m a big fan of Stephen King. Well, if you haven’t met him yet, let me introduce you to the latest book by one of his sons, Joe Hill.
First, the description:
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Boxcomes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.
The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
Now, my review.
Thanks to Orion Publishing Group Gollancz and to Net Galley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
I have read three books by Joe Hill before, enjoyed them and I was excited when I saw his new novel on offer at Net Galley. In short, the book offers a post-apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by a fungus with a lyrical name, Draco incendia trychophyton (or Dragonscale for friends), that turns human beings into torches, and the adventures of a particular group of sufferers.
Joe Hill thanks both J. K. Rowling and his father, Stephen King, for the inspiration, and indeed that’s quite evident throughout the book, together with many references to a variety of pop-culture items: songs from musicals, songs from pop and rock groups (yes, there’s a fair amount of singing), hymns, foodstuffs, cars, TV cult series and books, many books. Those will, no doubt, enhance the reading experience of people in the know, although should not affect the understanding or enjoyment of the story for those who might not be fully conversant with all of them.
The story is told (mostly, apart from a few brief chapters) in third person from the point of view of Harper, a school nurse who volunteers to work in a hospital treating those affected when the school she worked at closes doors due to the spread of the infection and its terrible effects (the fungus makes people ignite, and with them, the things and beings around them. And it can set off a chain reaction of burners too). Unfortunately, she becomes infected and shortly after discovers that she’s pregnant. She also discovers that her perfect marriage to Jakob is anything but, and she ends up taking refuge at an old campsite where a group of affected individuals have discovered a way to control the illness. They welcome her into their congregation/community and although she finds it difficult to fit in at first, she becomes a member of the group, joining in the Bright (you need to read it to know what this means, but let’s say it’s a way of sharing and communicating that the younger generation refers to as social networking) and comes to love many of the residents. She also discovers things about herself she didn’t know, and of course, she meets the Fireman, John, and Englishman who seems to have learnt to control the Dragonscale much better than anybody else, and goes around driving an old fire truck and dressed in a fireman’s uniform. In a nod to Ray Bradbury, this Fireman controls fire and sets things alight, rather than putting fires out. He is a larger than life character, although we discover later in the books that he’s all too human.
As is the case in all crises, they seem to bring both the best and the worst in people, and if the point of view we follow puts readers in a sympathetic frame of mind towards Dragonscale sufferers, we gradually see that things are not black and white and not all is harmony. The congregation seems happy and a haven for people infected at first (indeed for a while it’s a case of those infected —at least the members of the group— appearing to be more humane and morally right than healthy individuals), but over time we discover that whilst the fungus seems to enjoy people’s connectedness and happy emotions, there are risks involved in channelling such power and following blindly what ends up looking scarily like a cult. There are thefts, accusations and resentments, and when two prisoners are rescued, terrible things happen and ugly behaviours rear their heads. There are many secrets, and although we might have our suspicions, by being inside of Harper’s head we only have access to her opinions and thoughts. She is curious and finds out some interesting first-hand information that helps us understand the illness (I loved some of the theories behind its spread, however fanciful they were), but she is also a human being with feelings and emotions. She doesn’t always make rational decisions and she is often wrong. And she wrongfoots us.
The characters are distinct and unique, the good, the bad, and the truly human. I liked and cared for Harper, who is a pretty special individual who comes into her own as the book advances and who indeed is one of the people who grow. She matures and becomes a hero. If her husband tells her he had expected her to be his inspiration, she finds a real family and a calling during her adventures. The Fireman is a fantastic character and I enjoyed the mystery around him at first, and also getting to know more of his circumstances. Many of the secondary characters are also memorable. Nick, the deaf boy who steals everybody’s heart; Allie, his sister, a totally believable teenager who deserves a book of her own; fantastic Renée with her love for books and her courage…
The books is beautifully written, the descriptions not overbearing but vivid and lyrical at times, the story moves along at good rhythm, with chapters that are more contemplative and share information (like the diary Harper reads), and others packed with intrigue, action and a healthy dose of fright. I thoroughly enjoyed it, although I did not find it truly scary (but that’s not necessarily a recommendation for general readers, as I love horror and don’t scare easy). With regards to its genre, I’ve read a few post-apocalyptic stories but I’m not a real buff. To give you some idea based on my previous reading, I’d say that Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is more contemplative, challenging, philosophical, and made me think more. The Dead Lands by Dylan Morgan (that is more sci-fi) is scarier and grittier but more interested in action and weaponry.
I had a look at the reviews and comments about the book to see if I could shed light or at least my own opinion on the matter. I saw that many people compared it negatively to King’s The Stand, but although I love Stephen King’s books, I have not read all of them and that one has escaped me so far, so I can’t comment on that (although the reviews made me want to read it. The Fireman is much shorter, though). So if you’ve read The Stand and loved it you might want to read the comments first. Of course, you might want to make your own mind up.
Some others didn’t find Harper’s romantic relationship (I’m trying not to reveal any spoilers here) realistic and they think it seems very sudden and as if come out of nowhere. On that subject I agree that there does not seem to be a big build-up or many hints as to the interest between the two, but there are some subtle indications that they are matching souls, and it’s true that at times of emotional turmoil when life might come to an end at any minute one might hold on to the little moments of joy (that without taking into account the interesting effects of the Dragonscale). The novel would have worked without the relationship, but for me it rounds it up.
I enjoyed it as a great yarn, with strong characters easy to root for (and others easy to hate) and great quality writing. I’m not sure it will beat all other post-apocalyptic stories for those who love the genre, but it’s a good read. I look forward to Joe Hill’s next book.
I mention in the review that I’ve read three of his books. These was before I started publishing my own books and I didn’t write detailed reviews, although I wholeheartedly recommend Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts (if you love ghosts and short-stories, some of them are masterpieces). I also read Horns that is a very quirky book (I prefer the other two but this one is perhaps more mainstream. I haven’t watched the movie with Daniel Radcliffe and can’t comment on how good or bad it is).
He’s written many more things and some of his stories appear in collections, so you might want to check his Amazon page where I got this from:
The author of the critically acclaimed Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts, Joe Hill is a two-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, and a past recipient of the Ray Bradbury Fellowship. His stories have appeared in a variety of journals and Year’s Best collections. He calls New England home.
By the way, when I checked his Twitter account it seems he’s in England with the Fireman, so you might want to keep an eye open for him.
Realistic Characterization: 4/5 Made Me Think: 4/5 Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5 Readability: 4.5/5 Recommended: 4/5 Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Demon Road (The Demon Road Trilogy, Book 1) Author: Derek Landy ISBN13: 978-0008156923 ASIN: B00UF812T0 Published: January 1st 2016 Harper Collins Pages: 512 Genre: Teen and YA Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Adventure
The epic new thriller begins.
The creator of the number one best-selling Skulduggery Pleasant series returns with the story of a girl on the run from everything she loves…and the monsters that await her.
For anyone who ever thought their parents were monster…Amber Lamont is a normal 16-year-old. Smart but insecure, she spends most of her time online, where she can avoid her beautiful, aloof parents and their weird friends.
But when a shocking encounter reveals a horrifying secret, Amber is forced to go on the run. Killer cars, vampires, undead serial killers and red skinned, horned demons – Amber hurtles from one threat to the next, revealing the terror woven into the very fabric of her life. As her parents close in behind her, Amber’s only chance rests with her fellow travellers, who are not at all what they appear to be….
Witty, action-packed and heart stoppingly thrilling, Demon Road will take you on an epic road trip across the supernatural landscape of America.
Body of review:
A road trip, a quest and a coming of age story to hell and back
Thanks to Net Galley and to Harper Collins Children’s Books for offering me a free copy of the novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
Demon Road is a coming of age novel of sorts. Amber, the protagonist, is sixteen and discovers that her parents, whom she’s always known weren’t exactly ordinary, are demons and so are their friends, and now she’s started turning too. Worse still, they’re determined to eat her to comply with the terms of a deal they made with the Shining Demon in exchange for power (not that they are particularly sorry about that). With the help of one of her parent’s friends, who’s decided the demonic lifestyle is no longer for her, Amber sets off on a journey to try and save herself by making her own deal. She travels in a car that’s not quite what it seems, with Milo, a bodyguard/chauffer that isn’t what he seems either. The novel follows them in their journey through the different stages of their trip, investigating the many clues, trying to find the one individual who might hold the secret to solving her problem.
Demon Road is also a road trip. The protagonist and her team (Milo and Glen, another character who’s also made a rather stupid deal and has ended up lumbered with a death mark) travel through the Demon Road of the title, a supernatural route linking strange beings, places and happenings, where everybody knows more than they say and people are never who they seem to be. The adventures Amber and her friends/associates (the relationships are open to interpretation) get into are fascinating and varied, going from towns haunted by supernatural serial killers, others with vampires gone out of control, a witch in love in the depths of a forest, winged creatures in New York, and lots of hiding and fighting. Any of the adventures they get involved in would make a great story in its own right and they ensure the plot keeps moving along at a good pace and never gets boring.
Demon Road is a quest. Amber makes a deal which results in her having to look for the only person who’s ever managed to trick the Shining Demon. Every stage of her quest brings her in contact with people, both human and supernatural beings, which have an impact on her and how she sees the world. She also has to come to terms with her new self and not all she learns is positive. As a hero (or heroine) she’s flawed. She can be compassionate and human, and the next minute act on impulse and hurt somebody. She can be quite clever at times and make stupid mistakes at others. She’s easy to anger and lacking in self-confidence but she can be magnificent. She’s not an immediately likeable character although her sense of humour and her capacity for self-reflection make her interesting. Like in all quests, the main character’s search becomes a search for her true self.
Because of all these things, and although the overall pace of the book is reasonably fast, it can feel uneven. It is composed of a number of set pieces interconnected by the trip resulting in a fair amount of telling rather than showing, as they always come upon places or events that have to be explained and grasped, and things slow down at that point and then accelerate when the action comes. Some of those episodes feel more rushed than others (for me the episode with the witch didn’t seem to quite fit in with the time allocated to it, and the bonding between the women and Amber seemed too fast, considering the amount of time they were together. On the other hand I loved the idea and the concept of that story) as if the clock counting down Amber’s time to complete her mission would speed up and slow down. Although it’s true that time is relative and the story is told from a subjective perspective…
The book is written in the third person although it follows Amber’s character and we get her insights and point of view. The writing is dynamic and easy and despite its length, the novel is a quick read.
We have very little information about most of the characters, although that’s in keeping with Amber’s point of view, and it helps us share her feelings, emotions, confusion and attempts at making sense of what’s going on. Milo and his relationship with his car is very intriguing and, at least for me, one of the big successes of the novel. We get some hints of his story but I get the feeling there’s much more to come. Glen might be a divisive one that some readers might love and others hate. I found him at times annoying but at others endearing. Although there are some characters that don’t seem to have any redeeming qualities, most of them are grey rather than black or white, and I thought that added to the complexity of the book and gave it a touch of realism.
There isn’t a love story (at least not so far) and although that might put some readers of the genre off, I didn’t mind so much. The ending is both an ending and it sets off the stage for the next chapter in the story.
In sum this is a novel that packs a lot of stories into a single book, with characters that are interesting if not immediately likeable, and although not perfect, it’s a great read. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Ratings: Realistic Characterization: 4/ 5 Made Me Think: 3.5/5 Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5 Readability: 4 /5 Recommended: 4.5/5 Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Title: Darkness Rising Author: Brian Moreland ASIN: B00Y05TVUG Published: September 1st 2015 Pages: 113 Genre: Horror
It’s all fun and games until…
Marty Weaver, an emotionally scarred poet, has been bullied his entire life. When he drives out to the lake to tell an old friend that he’s fallen in love with a girl named Jennifer, Marty encounters three sadistic killers who have some twisted games in store for him. But Marty has dark secrets of his own buried deep inside him. And tonight, when all the pain from the past is triggered, when those secrets are revealed, blood will flow and hell will rise.
Darkness Rising by Brian Moreland. Horror, poetry and redemption
I was given a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
I have read several books by Brian Moreland and loved them all.
Darkness Rising is the story of Marty, a young man with a difficult past (his father is a serial killer who killed his mother and six young women and he had to grow up suffering bullying and abuse), who has found in poetry a way to communicate his feelings and to quieten down the darkness inside. He has big plans, goals, and is in love with a young girl, Jennifer, whom he’s been teaching poetry. Unfortunately, a gang of two young men and young woman have chosen his favourite spot next to a lake to make snuff movies and dispose of the bodies, and he’s spotted there with terrible consequences. What happens next is only the beginning of the horror for Marty and what he becomes.
The story, like the previous novels written by Moreland I had read, is written with a great sense of suspense, and very visually. One can imagine the movie that could be made from the book (although sometimes it’s best not too, like when describing the artwork Marty’s father creates). This novel is more than a horror story, and it includes beautiful passages about art, the effects of creativity, first love, and redemption. Despite the extreme violence (and even the descriptions of the evil beings are lyrical and vividly accomplished) this is a coming of age and a young adult story, and an inspirational one too. Perhaps the moral of the story would not be to everybody’s taste, but the message is ultimately positive. Marty talks about going through purgatory and… he might have a point.
I like my horror stories to end up in a horrifying manner, but couldn’t help and root for Marty, who goes a long way and works hard to be the best he can and to prove that one can fight against fate and blood.
This is not a conventional horror story but I’d recommend it to people who like beautifully written dark fiction, stories about the nature of creativity and art, and do not fear treading where others wouldn’t dare.
Author: Jeanne Bannon Title: Today’s the Day File Size: 499 KB Print Length: 20 pages Publisher: Solstice Shadows (September 15, 2015) Publication Date: September 15, 2015 Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. Language: English ASIN: B014TJUWXC Text-to-Speech: Enabled Amazon:Kindle Pre-order: .99 Genres: Paranormal, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Short Story
I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review. The honest review follows.
John Galloway is a man. A man deep in a world so dark that you’re not quite sure what is real and what is not.
In Today’s the Day by International Bestselling Author Jeanne Bannon, the coping life of a policeman who has nothing to live for any longer is explored in a single day. Bannon gives you everything about John Galloway’s life in the constraints of a short story while you don’t even realize it.
Thriller, suspense, and paranormal or psychological? The truth is, I don’t know exactly what you might call it, perhaps all of them. Bannon takes you inside the mind and thoughts of officer Galloway as he tries to find a missing girl on Halloween. He’s the last man on the force who should go looking for little Trisha. But he’s also the best one available to do the job.
I don’t use the word riveting often, but I might throw it out here. I have to admit this isn’t my subject matter. But Jeanne Bannon handles the theme well, a theme that actually turns out a bit differently than I thought, and gives an ending you aren’t expecting, but makes sense.
Bannon touches on the emotions of a father who has lost—badly—and does so without going over the line to go for the cheap emotional tricks. Well done.
The book is well proofed and edited making for a full immersion into the story without being jerked out by the surprise typo or snafu of wording.
I would recommend this for audiences who are into the paranormal, somewhat horror genres. It’s a short story available for pre-order now, out on September 15, 2015.
Character Believability: 4 Flow and Pace: 4 Reader Engagement: 4 Reader Enrichment: 4 Reader Enjoyment: 4 Overall Rate: 4
Now go and pre-order by clicking hereor the book cover images.
Jeanne Bannon: I’ve worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, first as a freelance journalist, then as an in-house editor for LexisNexis Canada. I currently work as a freelance editor and writer and am represented by the Serendipity Literary Agency.
My debut novel, Invisible, is a young adult paranormal romance, published by Solstice Publishing and has been optioned for film. Invisible is an Amazon bestseller both domestically and internationally and continues to receive wonderful reviews.
Currently, I’m finishing up work on a paranormal thriller titled, Dark Angel.
Click herefor her website. And here for her Amazon Author Page and her other books such as Nowhere to Run. @JeanneBannon
About the Reviwer: Ronovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.
Take a woman with a relationship that is less than adequate, give her an inheritance, and her world will turn out just fine, right? You did read the title of the book?
Susan Runcan is the last of the Runcans. It’s an emotional time for her and like any good start to a book, she has a man in her life that doesn’t get it. So she decides to do what she wants to do, what she needs to do. Clear her grandfather’s name.
If it were that simple, I wouldn’t be writing a review. Throw in Egyptian artifacts, history, a spooky old house on a lake she inherits from her grandfather and a lot of suspicion and you now have the makings of something that gets to me. Now add vampires.
So I am not a big vampire reader type person, but when done as it is here, with humor, history, and hair raising moments, then I’m good to go. What the author does in this first of a trilogy is create a world for the reader to become comfortable in and walk around in. Or maybe not too comfortable? You begin with a little bit of who and why she is and then things get going. Then you wonder who to trust. Do you trust the nice old man next door?
And what’s with that crazy bite on Susan Runcan’s neck she got while checking out some old artifacts in storage? Hmm.
Does she clear her grandfather’s name? Or does she find out maybe things are true in ways she never expected. Or maybe true for a reason? But then, there are two books already out after this one. That’s right. You can read this one, love it, and then immediately get the next two. Now THAT’s satisfaction.
What kind of feel do you get from the book? You get suspense, mystery, and dark humor all rolled into a small space compacted with Egyptian history. A very, as others have said, cozy environment. By that I mean you get comfortable with the people you know. I hope this carries over to the next book in some way. She could have a long series here instead of just a trilogy. But and spread the word and maybe she’ll keep them going.
Title: The Uncanny Valley – Tales from a Lost Town Author: Gregory Miller Illustrator: John York Published: January6th 2014 by West Arcadia Press (first published May 27th 2011) ASIN: B00HQW3AHA http://authorgregorymiller.wordpress.com/ Pages: 141 Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Short Stories, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror
Welcome to the Uncanny Valley where a public broadcasting affiliate requested their listeners to submit essays about a ‘specific historical, ritualistic, or personal event’ that described the culture of their own hometown. What results is a horrifying collection of 33 eerie tales told by the residents of Uncanny Valley just as they were sent in to the contest. Some of these tales were just plain creepy and a couple were delightful and humorous in a ghoulish way. What remains to be seen is whether the town actually existed…
I loved the brevity of the stories and the fact that they were told in the words of the actual residents from all ages and occupations. Each story takes you on a personal journey of events that are spine-chilling and mind boggling. I loved reading this collection of adult ghost stories, which was the sort we would tell around a campfire when we were children.
My favorite story was “Mrs. Karswell’s Garden,” which was the tale of a supernatural garden that gave refuge to a brother and sister from a family that abused them physically and mentally. It was a poignant tale about transitioning into an adult.
I found this book on my usual search for free Kindle books on Amazon and was blown away by the writing and storytelling. If you are a fan of Ray Bradbury you will love the way the stories build off of one another bringing you to an unexpected end. Gregory Miller is adept at building suspense and drawing you along on a masterful journey of which you will never forget. I had some strange dreams for awhile after reading this book.
I do want to mention the illustrator, John York, whose drawings helped to illustrate the peculiar happenings in the book. Even with my Kindle paperwhite I was able to discern the terror and dread depicted on the faces of many of the town’s people. The drawings added a sinister flair and increased my enjoyment in the stories.
While reading,I was reminded how fragile life truly is and how there is magic present in our lives if we choose to look hard enough. There is a humanistic quality to each of these stories ranging from accounts of bullying, vengeance, a haunting, murder, and even vampires. The Uncanny Valley asks you to deal with your fears by taking the well-known in your life and molding it into something to be feared. Disturbing and creepy, you will love this book!
RATINGS Realistic Characterization: 4/5 Made Me Think: 3/5 Overall enjoyment: 4/5 Readability: 4/5 Recommended: 4/5 Overall Rating: 3.8
Buy it at:Amazon Format & Pricing: Paperback:$6.99 US Kindle:$.99 US