Thursday, 31 October 2013

Throwback Thursday #8

This Meme is hosted by Melissa at My World in Words and Pages. Go to her blog and join us!

I blog about great looking new releases, new books sent to me for read and review, book reviews of what I've read and features about exciting new authors to try.

But what about all the books that are already on my TBR, waiting for me to read them? Don't they deserve a mention and a chance to be highlighted? Yes they do!

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I will take the time to tell you about some of the books that have been on my shelves for a while and maybe a few of you will add them to your wishlists/tbrs. If you have read them, why not leave a comment to tell me what you thought of it-but no spoilers please! This week I have chosen three more books to tempt you with. 

They'll chase you.

They'll rip you open.

They'll feed on you . . .

When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician — every adult — fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry.

Only children under fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive.

Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city — down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground — the grown-ups lie in wait.

But can they make it there — alive?

The classic ultra-splatter roadtrip in the spirit of Natural Born Killers and The Devil's Rejects. Roxie is the goth girl of your dreams. There's just one problem- she's batshit crazy and has a fetish for murder. After a petty insult at a gas station, she goes on a murder spree, hunting down those that pissed her off. But she's not the only monster on the road. There are others out there killing and raping. And everyone's headed to the same beach house. A desolate vacation getaway with no neighbors and no one to hear the screams. Deadite Press is proud to bring back Bryan Smith's nasty novel of murder, torture, and the darkest side of human nature-The Killing Kind
For ten years Kal Hakala has been the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation's top man, the longest surviving agent in its blood-soaked history. The World At Large has no idea that The World Under exists. And its vampires, demons, zombies, and mythic monsters are growing increasingly restless. In all Kal's time with the Bureau, there has been no case he couldn't crack, no monster he couldn't kill. Then a plague of zombies comes to Denver, along with a vicious serial killer dubbed The Organ Donor.A childhood encounter with a legendary monster has left Kal with an endless supply of rage and hatred for all things Supernatural. But now the target is on his forehead, and the Un-Dead don't die easy. The Bureau has a few aces of its own-a few magicians, a cyber-ghost. Unfortunately Kal is a perennial loner ... And the World Under is wise to his tricks.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #6

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper at

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

The Count is VERY grumpy when he adds books to his wishlist because he wants them NOW! So which book is he so keen to get a hold of this week? Well I like the sound of this one and it has a nice cover, which is always a good thing! The down side is that there might be the 'I hate you loads' storyline between the male and female which can sometimes spoil a book. Fingers crossed it won't!

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

The Unseen book blitz

Book & Author Details:

The Unseen by J.L. Bryan
Publication date: October 31st 2013
Genres: Horror

Cassidy is a young tattoo artist living in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. She’s always suffered terrible nightmares, and sometimes the hideous creatures seem to follow her out of her dreams and into her waking life, though she’s the only one who can see them. Drugs and alcohol can blot them out, but never entirely chase them away.

When a demonic cult begins to take control of the people in her life, including her younger brother, Cassidy discovers that the unseen world of monsters is very real. She can no longer avoid it. To protect those she loves, she must accept her own hidden supernatural talents and face the forces of evil before the sinister cult achieves its twisted goals and casts the world into darkness.

Purchase links are not yet available but will be found here come release day:

The glass moved across the alphabet to the word YES in the upper left corner of the poster, scraping up glue and glitter from a sparkly red pentagram along the way. 
Who’s doing that? Are you doing that?” Reese asked Tamila, who shook her head, her wide eyes fixed on the board.
Hello? Are you a spirit?” Barb asked.
The glass slid half an inch, then right back into place. YES again.
Who are you?” Barb asked. “I mean, to whom do we have the pleasure of speaking?”
The wineglass lay still for a moment, then vibrated and hummed as if someone had plinked it with a fingernail. The glass slid over the alphabet.
Cassidy felt her heart racing. She hadn’t expected it to work at all, and it was starting to freak her out. She wished they hadn’t turned off the lights.
The wine glass smeared its way across the board, its entire rim glowing green now. It stopped at the letter N, and didn’t move again until Barb said the letter aloud. It stopped again on the I.
N...I...” Barb said.
Nipple?” Reese suggested.
The glass continued on to the B, then H...A...and then it stopped on Z.
N-I-B-H-A-Z,” Barb said.
It’s just nonsense,” Cassidy said.
The wineglass jerked under their fingers, then flew to the word NO, dragging their fingers with it.
Who’s doing that?” Reese asked. “Is it you, Cassidy? Barb? It’s you, isn’t it, Barb? You big Goth girl.”
Sh,” Barb said. “Nib...haz? Is that right?”
The wineglass zipped over to YES.
What does that mean?” Cassidy asked.
The wineglass spelled out N...A...M...E.
Your name is Nibhaz?”
Sounds like a demon’s name to me,” Tamila said in a soft voice.
Pfft, shut up,” Reese told her. “Like you would know.”
Do you have a message for someone here, Nibhaz?” Barb asked.
For who?” Barb asked.
Cassidy felt her blood turn cold.
Oh, shit, for Cassidy?” Reese asked.
Nibhaz, what is your message for Cassidy?” Barb asked.
The four girls watched as the glass crept back and forth along the top row of text. D...I...E...
Die? It’s telling her to die?” Tamila gasped.
Sh, it’s not done yet,” Barb told her.
Yeah, it’s not done yet,” Reese echoed, her eyes fixated on the glass.
Cassidy shivered, trying to think of any non-scary word that started with “die.”
Diesel?” Cassidy asked in a shaky voice. She expected someone to laugh at her, but nobody did.
The glass moved back to the letter D.
Died,” Barb said. “He’s saying he died, I think. He’s a ghost.”
The glass whipped over to the word NO, then returned to the letter D.

The Unseen by J.L. Bryan has a special release price of 99 cents through Halloween.  See his website for details and links:

J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on the English Renaissance and the Romantic period. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He enjoys remixing elements of paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, horror and science fiction into new kinds of stories.

He is the author of The Paranormals series (starting with Jenny Pox), The Songs of Magic series, Nomad, and other books. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, his son John, and some dogs and cats.

Twitter: @jlbryanbooks

Demon-Summoning Do’s and Don’ts

So you’ve cast a circle and you’re ready to bring an infernal spirit into your home for a visit. Or are you? Summoning demons takes care and consideration—it’s nothing to jam in between doing the dishes and catching the new episode of Walking Dead.

These simple tips will help you put together an exciting evocation, without all the messy embarrassment of getting your soul ripped from your flesh and devoured.

DO offer a blood sacrifice. Your guest has traveled across endless darkness from the lower pits of Hell and will be expecting a snack. Chicken or lizard blood will do nicely for a lesser spirit. For an archdemon, you’ll want to sacrifice a human being instead—anything less is considered rude. Virgins are still preferred, but no longer expected by more modern demons. Finally, an activity you can do with that annoying neighbor you’ve always wanted to eliminate from the earth!

DON’T call up the wrong kind of demon. Incubi and succubi will arrive with certain expectations, because these unholy hornballs only have one thing on their evil minds at all times. If you’re not ready for a swingers’ sabbat, avoid them. If you do summon them, you’re going to need a little more protection that the typical enchanted circle provides—the beasties get around. Also avoid gluttony demons, because these corpulent creatures not only look like disgusting mountains of flab with enormous mouths, they’ll also destroy your snack bar and leave an unpleasant flatulent odor that takes weeks to remove from your carpet.

DO be polite. Powerful demons resent being summoned by mere mortals, but minding your manners can go a long way towards creating a more pleasant evening. When you say, “I bind thee and summon thee, foul Mephistopheles!” and the enraged horned demon appears in a flash of fire and brimstone, don’t forget to add, “Thank you!”

DON’T expect them to bring wine or a hot dish. Again, they’ve come a long way and can’t be expected to carry host gifts up from the abyss. Also, demon food tends to be rotten and vermin-infested, so how badly did you really want that casserole, anyway?

DO remember to take pictures! Remember, the only reason to do anything extraordinary in life is so you can brag to your friends on Facebook. A picture of you and Beelzebub with his host of flesh-eating flies will totally shut up that one friend who’s always bragging about the time she met Colin Farrell on an airplane.

DON’T forget to banish! If you don’t send that demon right back to Hell when you’re done, it may move onto your couch and stay there for months. Demons don’t pay rent, they don’t do chores, and they never, ever give up control of the remote. They will, however, watch home shopping channels twenty-four hours a day and max out your credit card to ordering useless knickknacks. They won’t take subtle hints to go home, either, no matter how many you drop—you have to order them out. Exercise your right to excorsize!

Following this list is sure to make your demonic encounter a more successful one! When you summon horrific spirits from the fiery underworld into your living room, you don’t want it to ruin the rest of your weekend.

Wasteland Cover Reveal


Wasteland by Lindsay Leggett
(Flight #2)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Wasteland, the next book in the FLIGHT trilogy, takes place a few months after the ending of book one.

Trapped in a cell and experimented on, Piper Madden’s only hope is remembering Asher. Then, Elder Corp President Rupert Elder gives her new orders: to be a leader in a war against the Harpies. Without a choice, Piper must obey Rupert’s commands or suffer from paralyzing and painful Nanomachines. But the war is just beginning, and Asher has gone missing. The resistance is slowly building, and the upcoming war will be larger and bloodier than anything seen since the Devastation that ruined the earth. Throughout all of this, Piper remembers the time before she ran to Ichton, when David was alive and her hope in Elder Corp was still strong.

Nearly every writer struggles to put together information about themselves, perhaps because we’re so used to detailing the lives and ways of others. For the most part I am a writer, editor, photographer, and all-around artist living in the wilds north of Toronto, Ontario. I thrive on the juxtaposition of beauty and grit, enjoy urban crawls, indie everything, and time well-spent in the woods.

Author Links:

Featured Author: Claire C Riley(Breakwater Harbor books)

Claire C Riley, is a mother first, a wife second, but a writer at heart.

Claire likes to break boundaries with her writing, incorporating an old school style of horror and romance. Sexy and dark. (Think Bram Stokers Dracula, but for the 21st century!)

Claire is a mother to three amazing little girls who hold her heart. She hopes to make them proud, and show them that if you work hard and believe in yourself... then, as Cinderella once said... dreams really do come true.

She is an avid book collector and has a great zombie apocalypse plan in place thanks to a questionnaire she asked her readers to fill in for on her blog!

Claire is currently working on the sequel to Limerence and also a dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novel called- Odium.

She actively encourages reader participation on her blog and author Facebook page, with questionnaires, quizzes, and fan art. So get in touch!

Where can I find Claire? 

It's better to die by the gun than die by the dead.

Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.
Now, she lives behind the walls.

The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.

Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.

An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.

Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.

Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.
Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.

And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten

Where can I buy this book? 

My review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Review updated May 2014*

Before you read this book, remember to take a look at 'Life after after: Nina's story', the prequel. It is available in the anthology Fusion by Breakwaterharbor books. Well worth a read!

Nina survived the zombie outbreak to find sanctuary within the walls of a man made 'city', but life there became a nightmare. Now Nina is facing up to the freedom and danger outside those walls with the zombies and the danger from other survivors.

I liked the idea of the sanctuary being built by survivors to keep zombies out so they can live in safety but we get hints at the start that life behind those walls was far from safe. Nina and Emily are now having to take their chances away from this place and try to survive with the zombies. Neither of them are smart or super-skilled, they make bad decisions, they get into trouble, they get lucky. It is realistic and it is how you would imagine a normal person trying to survive when being sent out into a world of zombies with few or no survival skills. I liked the action scenes at the house, the garage and in the forest which all showed a bit of imagination but also felt as if could actually happen. Nina's new home, for example, was a great idea(don't want to spoil it!) and I had hoped to see a bit more of it and adventures in the hub. The zombie scenes were well written, there was plenty action and tension and a bit of zombie gore, and the story moved along at a good pace for me. This book had a lot of great and fresh new ideas in it which had me excited when I picked it up.

The problem was that I didn't like Nina much in this book. I didn't like the way she was continually moaning about her new friends, people who had rescued her, fed her, gave her a safe place to live. She was ungrateful, mean, rude and whining, all qualities that I hate in my main character. She viewed everything as a personal insult and it got on my nerves after a while. She could be really nasty to Emily at times, making her cry, making her feel useless. Bullying a child to make herself feel like the Big I Am for a few minutes did not endear Nina to me and I found I didn't care if the zombies got her at that point! I know this attitude is because she has suffered a lot since we last saw her but I still found her a bit annoying!

I wasn't really into the romance and the whole love triangle thing didn't really interest me. I was more interested in the zombie story which at times took a bit of a back seat to Nina's love life. I'm not a great fan of this falling in love with a total stranger in books especially during an apocalypse but that is just me! This is something I'm not keen on in most books I read so its not a reflection on this book. I'm an action not romance girl!

The idea of the Forgotten interested me when they first turned up in the forest and I was looking forward to a battle with them and the survivors, especially as the raid on the hub was supposed to be about getting weapons to defend their home from invaders as well as supplies. But that story was abandoned with everyone suddenly fleeing with few supplies which was a shame. Nobody even seemed prepared for a quick getaway, which was surprising given how organised Duncan was! They had been hunted by these people for months yet no supplies were hidden nearby in case of a quick exit or relocation. Why were supplies not hidden ready in the boathouse? A back up place to hide across the lake with a few essentials? For a group of smart survivors I felt their exit strategy was a bit half assed, and the sudden end of the forest adventure was a tiny bit disappointing. Still these are just niggles and don't take away from the story. And it did lead to a really good scene in the fields. 

I would maybe have liked to have seen more of the most interesting characters-Duncan and Britta, and a lot less of the annoying Crunch. I'd have liked a few more zombie encounters and maybe a battle in the forest with the enemy, but that's just because I love zombies and always want to see more of them. It might have been nice to find out a bit more about what happened to Nina in her 3 years behind the walls, maybe through a flashback or nightmare or two. Now as I edit this review I think that the reason we didn't see what happened to Nina behind the walls is because history could be repeating itself in book two. Not saying anything more!

Overall the concept was excellent, the ideas were new and interesting, the zombies were the shambling traditional ones that I love, the dangerous situations were exciting, and the action was tension filled. 5 stars for the zombie bits so I would recommend zombie fans to take a look at it as I feel the writer puts together a realistic and often gripping book. If you also like a bit of romance thrown in, this book could really appeal to you. 

note: I edited this review to give clarity to why I had a few plot issues as I don't feel I explained it very well first time round, and it sounded a bit harsh on the author which was not my intention!

star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

Life Ever After: Nina's Story(Odium prequel). Appears in the Fusion anthology.

My review:
Nina and Ben are on the verge of divorce when the zombie apocalypse comes. When their plan to stay safe in their house fails, they must make a run for it to try and reach safety. 4 stars for this story!

Really enjoyed this story! I felt that this was a very realistic look at how an ordinary couple would deal with a sudden zombie outbreak. Do we stay at home and wait for help or risk a road trip to get to the country? What do we take? What do we need? Can the zombies get in? It made me think about what I would want to do in that situation. Nina and Ben are nicely developed through their interaction with each other before the zombies arrive, and during the crisis itself and both are likable characters. The zombie incidents are nicely written with plenty tension and a little bit of gore to keep horror fans happy! 

Where can I buy this book? 

One man’s obsession will destroy her world.

Mia loves her fiancé Oliver, however after a chance encounter with his new employer Mr Breckt-the mysterious new owner of The Island, her thoughts are constantly consumed with the handsome and powerful stranger. But there is much more to her fixation of him than she realises.

Mr Breckt is a hundred year old vampire, and he isn't used to being told no.

He could take her at any time, but his ego insists that she wants him of her own freewill. With his obsession spiralling out of control, he finds her body, her mind, and most importantly her blood continuously calling to him, and the more she fights him, the more he wants her. Could his own narcissism be his downfall?

Mia finds herself at the centre of a struggle that she can’t resist nor understand. Caught between life and death, hope and fear, love and lust. Ultimately, she will have to make a sacrifice that will affect everyone. But no matter what choices are made, Mia could still lose.

Limerence is a dark story of love, lust, and obsession.

Where can I buy this book? 

Featured Author: Mike Lee(Breakwater Harbor books)

Mike Lee lives and works in Denver, Colorado, as a psychotherapist. He started writing letters to the editor in local newspapers shortly after graduate school, and was pleasantly surprised when they occasionally were run as guest columns. Later, he was solicited to write articles on psychology for a woman's magazine in Bulgaria. He began writing fiction in 2010, and found he enjoyed it. Now he writes fiction whenever his private psychology practice affords him the time. He can be reached at, and is always happy to hear from readers. The dog in the photo is his good friend and constant companion, Dotty.

Where can I find Mike? 

Captain Vince Lombard, G-Marine company commander, is tasked with tracking down a stray ship. The Alliance Military Ship StarFire has gone silent, and previous attempts to locate her have resulted in the loss of more ships. After two previous wars with xenospecies humanity bumped into while expanding into space, no one knows what might be the cause of StarFire's missing in action status. And internal politics between Fleet command and the Galactic Marine Corps might mean that, unless something is done, humanity may get the news it's at war with yet another new race about the time they show up to attack one of the human systems in the sector.

A prequel to the book "Fey," this story is a novelization of the story Vince related to Blondie in the previous book, which many readers requested. I'm happy to accomodate my readers by providing this novel-length version of that story.

Where can I buy this book? 

The Fey; a race of tiny creatures, humanoid in general appearance (size notwithstanding,) but possessing wings, and the ability to fly… as well as some other strange things. They are the fairies of legends and folk tails, and they disappeared from human history, long, long ago.
The fate of the Fey has always been tied to the fate of humanity, but they have been content to stay in the background for ages, without worry that human-kind is destined to continue on into the foreseeable future. Humanity has forgotten their very existence, as well as their role in the destiny of both races.
But now, after the better part of two millennia, one of the Fey pops up again, and in the most unlikely place: Many millions of miles away from Old Earth, on a space station that serves as a gambling casino.
A decorated war-hero, Vince Lombard, Major, Galactic Marine Corps (retired,) is now a professional gambler, traveling from casino to casino, working an old trade, and making a living as he works his way back towards Old Earth. The space station casino is just one more stop along the way, until he finds himself at the center of a brewing storm, as humans and aliens alike begin to see the potential uses a fairy can be put to. It's not just that everybody wants one. Everybody wants THIS one, and it won't be easy to find a path through the problems ahead, keeping his new Fey friend out of the hands of the government, and the aliens, alike. But an old veteran like Vince has a few tricks up his sleeve, still. Could that be why the fairy came to him?
Fairies are capable of things that humans have no explanation for. But they can't do everything, and sometimes, even a fairy needs a hand. Who better than a Galactic Marine to help, when some good old human ingenuity is called for? Maybe Vince has found a friend for life, in his Fey companion. If he can save her life, that is.
"Fey" is a sometimes-whimsical, fun, and light fantasy/sci-fi adventure story.

Where can I buy this book?

Horkers are thieves, but they are thieves with a code. Trained from birth in the skills of Misdirection, Sleight of hand, and Confidence, as well as the Ten Laws of Horking, one such horker, Spivver MacAnders, is working his way through life with his skills. When Spiv comes across the aftermath of a heinous crime, he is drawn into a commitment to deliver an ancient artifact to a wizard. But the realm he must travel through to accomplish this has already been invaded by the army of a another powerful wizard, who seeks that artifact for himself! It will be no easy task, but a secretive and skilled Horker may be the perfect messenger to send on such a mission. It will take all of Spiv's skill and ingenuity, if he is to be successful!

Where can I buy this book? 

Featured Author: Ivan Amberlake(Breakwater Harbor books)

An urban fantasy writer, an avid beta-reader, proofreader and editor who enjoys reading fantasy, crime and thriller books.

I love active protagonists who get into a lot of trouble on their way to the truth, and never give up whatever happens to them.

I love watching action movies like The Matrix, Harry Potters and have a soft spot for sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory.

"The Beholder" is my debut paranormal fantasy novel. This is what Joe Kovacs, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of "Ginger the Gangster Cat", said about it: 'THE BEHOLDER is a tight and fast-paced thriller combining the crawling claustrophobia of Stephen King's "It" and the exciting arcane symbol-hunting of Dan Brown's "Celestine Prophecy"'

A HarperCollins editor said in their review of The Beholder: "[Amberlake] shows a real passion for language in his descriptions.

Where can I find Ivan? 

Worlds of Light and Darkness are about to clash. And Jason will be in the thick of it.

In Asunción, Minsk and Sydney, people die under mysterious circumstances. Each branded with an arcane sign, they are pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When more people are missing, with similar signs appearing in and around their homes, Jason, an average New Yorker, realizes the victims are a riddle addressed to him.

He is the final piece.

Emily appears, the most beautiful woman with extraordinary powers and startling amber eyes, and tells Jason that powers dormant within him are about to wake. In the world of Light- and Darksighted, he is the only person who can prevent Darkness from enslaving the world. He is the Beholder whose advent has been awaited for many years.

Setting out on a journey with Emily, Jason discovers many improbable things like Sight, Soulfusion, the Hall of Refuge, but the greatest surprise arrives the moment he sees Emily and finds real love. 

My review: 
This book was unlike anything I have read before. It has subtle elements of urban fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction and thriller. It is impossible to decide where it fits and for that reason I think it should have a wide appeal. You don't have to be a big fan of any of these genres to enjoy the ride and that is pretty unique..I think I'd go 3.5 stars on this one if I could.

Jason's violent nightmares are causing him physical and mental pain and his world is turned upside when he discovers that he is gifted in the paranormal way. Being the key to survival against the dark shadows that seek to destroy him and humanity is scary when he doesn't even know his own powers. Trying to protect his friends and learn from the girl he is falling for complicates his life even further as he tries to help his allies fight their deadly enemy.

So what was good about it? Firstly, the language use is excellent-I cannot believe that the author does not have English as his first language! That is quite a gift to have and I was seriously impressed by it. The use of words is perfect for the plot and each situation. There are flowing descriptions that aren't too complicated, world building without huge info dumps, simple storytelling that carries you along and a plot that is always moving forward. The story is totally different featuring battles between gifted individuals using light and dark energy as weapons, which was a clever concept and worked well. The characters are all interesting but there is no attempt to tell you everything about them. I'm guessing that will happen over the course of the series. The love story part never detracts from the main plot and there are no sex scenes. Nice to see a lack of swearing as well.

I found it a little difficult to follow a couple of bits where energy was being described but I don't think that was down to the author, more down to my brain going blank when I'm presented with the science stuff! I never was a science nerd and it's a reason I struggle with science fiction. I think most readers will follow it much better than I did, to be honest. For me, there could perhaps have been a bit less about his feelings for Emily (and her frequently mentioned amber eyes), though to be fair, their relationship is mentioned in the book description and it is a minor niggle.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I recommend it to fans of pretty much every genre! 

Where can I buy this book?

Callum Blackwell thinks his life can’t get any worse. But he’s wrong.

Callum is haunted by the dead. The only thing that keeps them away is a diary he has found in the basement of his house.

After he moves to a godforsaken town of Olden Cross, the haunting stops. But one day Callum and his friend Nathan find something terrible.

And then the dead reappear.

Callum’s existence turns into a living hell. Boys and girls Callum’s age start disappearing, and when Callum least expects it, his diary goes missing. 

My review:
Callum is constantly pursued by the ghosts of the dead and the only way to stop them from getting him is to write about them in a strange old diary that he found. In the new quiet town that he lives in, ghosts leave him alone-until the day his friend Nathan shows him something strange in the woods. Now the ghosts of dead children are haunting him day and night and kids from his school are going missing, and Callum is the only one who can solve the mystery.

This was a creepy paranormal story with the 'don't go into the woods' warning to it. The plot was a bit different, which is always a good thing and not easy to do with a paranormal theme. The author's descriptive work is excellent, and you can see exactly what he wants you to see through Callum's eyes, right now to the colours fading from life every time the ghosts are coming. One thing that I have noticed about this author is that his word use is always perfect. The descriptions of the world he is building are always new, not a tired cliche that you have seen in countless other books, and it always seems to fit just right into the story. There is plenty detail about Callum's ghost problems and the diary to let you know what is going on but enough enough to bore the reader. I felt there was a nice balance.

Callum is quite likeable and I felt sorry for him because his sister treats him with such contempt, and the school bully seems to be picking on him for no reason. Nathan is the fun friend who tries to look out for Callum so you warm to him despite his appearance being brief. I didn't feel much of a connection to his other friends, other than Vivian as the book progresses, but it wasn't too vital for the story. Gloria was my favourite character though.

I did have a couple of minor plot niggles. I wanted to see a bit more of Gloria and her back story as she was the one who really fascinated me. I felt that she was a bit underused when she seemed so important to the story. I would have liked the scene in the library to have been longer and more detailed, giving us more about the previous missing kids. I also wish the attack at the school had been longer, along with the big finale. I guess I wanted more of these bits because they were the bits of the book that I liked the best. But these niggles are more about what I wanted to see in the book, and no reflection on the author's writing.

This book should appeal to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story, a creepy horror story or ghost story. I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5. 

Where can I buy this book? 
Featuring gripping Independent authors from around the world, FUSION is the first collection of short works published by Breakwater Harbor Books. Contributing heart-pumping tales of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Crime are seven stories that will thrill you, rivet you and some will even make you sleep with the light on. Authors from across a wide variety of genres, Dee Harrison, Ivan Amberlake, Claire C. Riley, Scott J. Toney, Mindy Haig, Cara Goldthorpe and C.M.T. Stibbe. 

Where can I buy this book? 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Dream Slayer book blast

The Dream Slayer
Jill Cooper
(The Dream Slayer #1)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

When your dreams come true, sometimes you get more than you bargained for...

Natalie Johnson has always dreamed she’s someone else; calm, beautiful, in control. A chosen warrior with a maniacal arch nemesis and a dreamy boyfriend, the type that can make your knees melt and your heart quiver.

Real life is much different. She’s tormented by a bully and endures the sharp tongue of her father, but finds solace in her dreams.

When her bully ends up dead, de ja vu from a dream hits her hard as everything around her begins to fall apart. Whatever killed Sarah in her dreams is now in reality, hunting her from the shadows. And it wants her dead.

Somehow as the lines between reality and nightmare blur, Natalie must discover hidden strength to pull her friends and family back from the brink of madness.
Demon Royale
Jill Cooper
(The Dream Slayer #2)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Since becoming employed by a supernatural protection agency, Natalie Johnson's life has been more interesting than ever. While most teens are working on their summer tans, Natalie works on slaughtering the undead lurking just outside her town's borders.

The workload takes more than just a toll on her love life, it dampens her spirit and her health, as the town is plagued by a mysterious murderer intent on stealing the residents' souls. Natalie's investigation is hampered by her declining health and the sicker she gets, the more inadequate she feels.

Guilt over her inability to act, weighs heavily on Natalie's shoulders during a time when her strength is needed more than ever. As some of those closest to her begin to lose faith, she must make the hardest stand yet to save the soul of the one person she can always count on:

The Slayer.
Dawning Apocalypse
Jill Cooper
(The Dream Slayer #3)
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Protection, murder, deception....

No one can know Natalie works for a supernatural protection agency and is charged with protecting Meadow’s Creek from vampires. But as their numbers swell, their presence doesn't go unnoticed throwing her town under the microscope from the local government and the FBI.

Natalie’s job is pushed even further into the shadows where she must dodge the police, concerned citizens and even her own parents.

Meanwhile a deadly plague grips the town and Natalie suspects it’s more than just a hacking cough. While the stress of working overtime erodes her relationships she will race against time, illness, to face a familiar enemy, save an old friend, and stop an undead seize that wants nothing more than to suck Meadow’s Creek dry.
"Behind the backdrop of the moonlight she saw a human form moving, shadowing the movement of several officers on the west side of the building.
Bob’s still here.” Natalie used their keyword for vampires since the media had dubbed the ‘serial killer’ Pinhole Bob thanks to the marks left on the victims’ necks. “He’s on the move.”
Her ear cleared of static. “Be careful,” Charles Buckle, her guide and old mentor said with a stern sharpness to his voice. She didn’t have a cover story if she got caught and the last thing she needed right now was having her parents awoken in the middle of the night by the police.
Natalie managed to skirt closer by ducking car to car. She reached down and gathered some small pebbles, but they were big enough to do what she needed them to do.
Reaching her arm back, Natalie propelled them toward the police cruisers and then ducked down low, her back against the tires and her knees bent to hide her frame. The flashlights from the officers changed direction and their footsteps moved to investigate the noise.
Natalie used that time to move around the side of the car and duck behind the other side of the apartment building. Using a drain pipe, she climbed the side of the house like she was Miss Piggy in the Great Muppet Caper, only with more skill and more comfortable shoes, and launched herself onto the roof.
She sailed through the air, her legs extended and the soles of her boots collided with the chest of a fangy vampire, his eyes glowing yellow like the rodent he was. His back crunched against the roof and Natalie rolled onto her feet, reaching inside her pocket and retrieving her wooden stake.
 She gave it a spin for bravado and took an offensive stance. The vampire launched an attack, swinging his mighty claws, but his eyes flashed recognition.
He stopped. Recoiling away, he hissed a warning.
Finish it.” Natalie taunted. “I’m just a girl. Come here and take me on.”
All vampires fought to the death, but not this one. He ran like he was afraid, like he was acting on more than just instinct. “Hey!” Natalie called and lunged; grabbing the hem of his jacket and yanking him backwards.
He growled, his nose against hers. There was no fight in him at all. He was the most non-vampire vampire she had ever fought. When Natalie pushed the wooden stake into his chest, it was too anticlimactic. Like the battle had to be fierce to be won, but he just dissolved.
Into a black puddle, like they always did.
And then there were a dozen small lights shining on her.
 Crap, Natalie thought and dove to the ground, rolling against the flat roof. Voices ran out from downstairs. “Someone is on the roof!”

Author of the YA Dream Slayer series, Jill loves to blend horror, comedy, the supernatural, and love, through her novels. A fan of genre blending, her work strives to cross boundries, but most of all strives to entertain.

She loves soft cuddly cats, warm blankets, and paranormal romances.

Jill resides in Massachusetts, is constantly renovating her home that she shares with her husband, young daughter, and two skittish cats.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Book Review: Fusion by Breakwater Harbor Books

Bear with me as I do a review of each of the books:
Dee Harrison-The Sliver of Abilon:
Junah the Mirrorsmith seeks out fragments of mirrors to be safely destroyed before these slivers infect humans causing death or madness. A plague occurs in Abilon and he goes to investigate. 3 stars!

I'm not a huge fan of this style of fantasy-scifi but I did enjoy this story. It's tough to develop character in a short story but Junah was likable and his quest to stop the plague and find the slivers of contaminated mirrors that came through the planet gateways to infect people was an interesting concept and not one that I had seen before, which is always nice! The side characters that we meet on his journey are all interesting in their own ways and add to the story. It's hard to say much without giving away the story but I liked the way the plot moved on. If anything, perhaps I'd have liked it to be a bit longer just to get some more action and tension into it. I would certainly look at more by this author, and would maybe look at any other books set in this world.

Ivan Amberlake-Diary of the Gone:
A social misfit who is haunted by the dead has to investigate when students at his school start to go missing, with only his diary to protect him. 3 stars!

Full review here:

Claire C. Riley-Life Ever After:
Nina and Ben are on the verge of divorce when the zombie apocalypse comes. When their plan to stay safe in their house fails, they must make a run for it to try and reach safety. 4 stars!

Really enjoyed this story! I felt that this was a very realistic look at how an ordinary couple would deal with a sudden zombie outbreak. Do we stay at home and wait for help or risk a road trip to get to the country? What do we take? What do we need? Can the zombies get in? It made me think about what I would want to do in that situation. Nina and Ben are nicely developed through their interaction with each other before the zombies arrive, and during the crisis itself and both are likable characters. The zombie incidents are nicely written with plenty tension and a little bit of gore to keep horror fans happy! This was the best story in the book and a prequel to zombie novel Odium.

Scott J. Toney-Novafall:
The essence of dead planets once invited into the human body give the host great powers but using the powers drains their life away bit by bit. 1 star.

I found this story very confusing and not to my taste at all. It starts with a man called Ineal and we get a bit about his back story as he crashes down to a planet with the alien essence. Then we never hear of him again. A man appears later called Ivanus with no back story. I wondered if the author during a new draft had decided to change the name of the character and forgot to do a complete edit. Then there was the jumping back and forward between present and past which was not always clear. I didn't like the way it was written, described or structured and gave up halfway through it.

Mindy Haig-Cybilla:
A man falls in love with a muse who is trapped in another dimension and goes on a quest to deem himself worthy to rescue her. 3 stars!

This was the surprise of the book for me. I'm not a romance type person and that is what the blurb sounded like but it was so much more than that. Our hero is obsessed with his muse who can only visit him for limited times before returning to where she is captive. Other men have tried and failed to complete a mythological quest to find and claim her. The quest was fascinating, testing him in different ways and I was caught up in the story. Beautifully written, well developed.

Cara Goldthorpe-Capturing Perfection:
A greedy man marries a talented artist and forces her to draw things for him to pass off as his own to make him rich. 2 stars.

I just never got into this story at all. There was nothing wrong with the way the story was written-it just wasn't my thing. I'm not interested in art or painting and I'm not interested in love stories so I didn't expect this to be a favourite!

C.M.T. Stibbe-Until the Ninth hour:
The reign of a serial child killer is brought to a halt by the police but there are a few more shocks in store. 3 stars!

I liked this story. The characters are well developed and the plot is excellent. We find out about the last moments of a serial killer's victim from the killer, which is chilling and we get a tension filled side story developing as we follow the victim's father going to confront the man who took his daughter. Chilling, sad, touching all the same time! Very well written and will look out for more work in this genre by the author.

Overall I enjoyed this anthology and will look at further releases from Breakwater Harbor books.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png