Friday, 19 July 2013

Review Week - The Fruit of Thy Womb by Lori R Lopez

Lori R.Lopez writes differently. With a social message not so subtly hidden in the background, and flies with teeth, the light-yet-dark tale of THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB will without doubt keep you reading...

One of the themes of this story is to not wait for the world to be ending to start living. It's hot, and it's going to get a lot hotter when humans mutate into cannibalistic corpses. But that's not all; bugs are everywhere. In fact, bugs could be to blame in this worst-case scenario that may seem a bit close for comfort! Strap on your gas-mask while the pesticide flows. They're coming. Watch your back . . . and your front. Watch everything! 

Never have I been so torn by genre. So with the zombies and such, is it horror? Well, yes. But it's more than that. The beginning of the short gives us a confused protagonist, in a (not too distant) future.

It's hot.

It's clear that we have screwed up the environment. And the social commentary begins there. There are insects. Life is not pleasant as we know it. (The cover may have given away the zombie thing.)

The thing is, at no point does it feel like a horror story, and yet when ever you stop reading the horror sinks in. Perhaps I was more afraid of this future, than what Lopez puts in it.

Or maybe that was the point.

You should read this. It worthy of your investment to enjoy the read, but perhaps once you have read it, you might want to talk about it. It's implications.

And it's free. So go. Try. Enjoy. And let the fear of the future sink in....

It's here: Smashwords

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Review Week - More Than a Shadow by Toni Rakestraw

Warm, heart felt, tear-jerking. Wow.

Carrie Mitchell is the perfect size zero. Her life should be perfect, right? Not quite. Carrie has problems accepting her looks like so many others. Will she figure out a way to come out of the shadows and accept herself?

Firstly, I will just say from a personal note, that this is not my usual 'bag'. But I will never regret reading this. And I don't care who you are. Go and read it. Think about it. Think about you.

I don't usually read things that mean something. This does. It reads like a true story. It feels like a true story. It is quiet, and well paced. Written in the first person, it felt like the protagonist was sitting there, reading it to me. Telling me what happened. I felt like Carrie was telling me this over a coffee. It's well written. Warm.

I could relate to Carrie. Not me with my hairy, beery, beardness, of course, but I know someone it reminded me of.

I think we would all know someone.

And that makes it a good story. No scratch that.

It's a great story.

Rakestraw is clearly a talented and experienced writer--she shows pedigree in the work--it's hard to explain. Perhaps the word I should use is smooth. She writes smoothly. The words fall like caramel from a spoon. Don't be fooled, there are no peaks and troughs in this tale. It isn't full of surprises, and it doesn't have a sting in the tail. It is what it is. It is a haunting, slightly awesome, piece of literature.

It's here: Amazon US.

I recommend you check it out.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Review Week - The Face in the Mirror by Donald White

In a bold move, Donald White, a relatively new author on the scene, opens THE FACE IN THE MIRROR with a purposefully badly written scene. The work is about a writer, and the opening paragraph is a poorly written piece by that author. Does it pay off?

A short story of a ghostly seduction which drives a man to madness. David is a struggling writer, struggling to write erotica. But in the darkness of his room one night, a vision of beauty appears behind him in the mirror. Her name is Melanie and with her appearance comes a series of changes in David's life. But who is she? And why can she only be seen in the mirror? Is she a lover, or a dangerous apparition? Stare into the glass, and you will see the truth standing right behind you.

The immediate issue that can be gleaned by having such a first paragraph is that a potential reader may open Amazon's 'Look Inside' feature, read the first few lines and dismiss the story without realizing the intent of the opening. It's a brave move.

So, obviously I got through that, so what of it?

With it beginning with a writer struggling, I related. This writer is troubled whilst writing erotica. (Although I did think the inclusion of him going to watch a porn movie as a little strange. I don't think that's where erotica writers get their ideas from, and may not be impressed to think that others do. But I digress.) The frustration he feels is very real to me, as a writer. It is a well written frustration.

Once the 'mirror apparition' appears the story becomes a supernatural...well, story. It's listed under horror and ghosts. Ghosts it is, horror, not so much. It is however interesting, if not too short. 

It is unexplored. 

Whilst it holds together as a short, the roller-coaster ride the protagonist goes on could be longer, perhaps should be longer. I was left with questions that were not left plot threads, mind, but wonders about the world I was reading in. White as always closes the plot nicely. 

It is not a bad follow up to White's 'Lady Killer', but I feel that is a stronger story - and a better demonstration of what he can do.

You can find Face in the Mirror at Amazon US, or perhaps Lady Killer, if you haven't read it...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review Week - Only Forgotten by Chantal Noordeloos


I feel as fair warning that I should say that this tale tells of things that even the hardest of horror fanatic may shy away from...

..and it does it deliciously.

Zakerny was a bad man. As in truly, maliciously evil. Zakerny went to hell, obviously. But hell may not be what Zakerny thought all along. This is his tale...

I took a stab and guessed that this was going to be a horror. I was right. Very right.

Chantal Noordeloos is a relatively new author to me. I admit that this is the first story of hers I have reviewed. I didn't know she is a female freakin' Clive Barker.

I like horror (d'oh!) and ONLY FORGOTTEN is awesome. This is the writing that nightmares are bound with...Maybe even the nightmares of cenobites.

Taking us through a twisted flavor of Hell, introducing us to Lucifer, Noordeloos made my flesh crawl in the right places, made me want to smile in the wrong places, and the sheer style of the work made me hate myself for doing it.

This work should be read. It should be shared. But heed my words. It's not for children.

This work is new. It's fresh. Noordeloos shows here her amazing knack of making the reader relate to the wrong people. It made me uncomfortable in my chair. It's unusual.

It's creepy.

And it's free.

Get it at Smashwords. Get it now....

...And don't blame me for the nightmares...

Monday, 15 July 2013

Review Week - Ruination by Michael S. Gardner

I've read and reviewed Michael S. Gardner's work before. In Death in the Times of Madness I said that he had managed to create characters that you care about.

Well, he's done it again.

Everything is not what it seems, especially when the dead rise and stalk the living. 

When a depressed and lonely survivor stumbles across a desperate man in need of saving, he finds out that he is in for more than he expected. Sometimes life throws a curveball, and sometimes it's actually for the better.

But nothing lasts forever. 

What once was will never be again, and it all begins with a knock on the door.

Ruination is a short story set after the zombies walk, but in typical Gardner fashion you get the twists and the turns that you expect (or don't) and a brief, but very tangible, look into the lives of the people the story revolves around.

As always I will remain spoiler free, but be aware that this is not your usual zombie apocalypse. This one is in fact quite different.

The first thing that you'll notice about RUINATION is that - even in the first paragraph or two - the story is going to be heart breaking. You have Gardner to thank for that. He's always good at tugging the heart strings. And the second?

It's not going to be a pleasant ride.

Gardner is always good at that, too. 

In his own fantastic style, Michael S. Gardner has made RUINATION one of the most unique and well told zombie shorts you can get today. It delves into the dark sides of humanity. It will make you look at the person next to you with suspicion.

Go here: Amazon US

And buy now.

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Yep. It's here.

You'll weep. You'll laugh. You'll gasp in excitement.

Book 1 of The Devil's Hand is now available. Want to know more...?

Angela works at restoring the latest acquisition to the library.  The piece will no doubt garnish some interest from local dealers, and of course, turn a huge profit. She iss very good at her job, and she knows it. It is just a shame that her personal life was still such a shambles.
But the entrance of Mr. Marcel Petiot - a man who not only wants to help her make a profit, but also sweep her off her feet - changes everything. Permanently. 

Neither of them saw Darin in the shadows.

Angela certainly never saw Hell coming to earth.

When Marcel and Darin clash, Angela is dragged through the sulfur stench of Hades, has to fight for her life, and drinks wine. Lots of wine.

The Devil's Hand series is made of five short novella's, each telling it's own story, with a arcing story in the background. One that could end the world...

Available as an e-book from Amazon and Smashwords, CROSSING GUARD span dimensions and genre, taking you to Hell and back, with Dark Fantasy, Humor, and even a little romance.

And it's only 99c! Not even the cost of a cup of coffee!!

Buy now! From Smashwords, Amazon US, or Amazon UK!