Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Johnny Lonesome" by Philip A. McClimon & Chris Sapp (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Johnny Lonesome
Bay City Chronicles #1
by Philip A. McClimon and Chris Sapp

Genre: Superhero Darkness

* * * * *

The merry disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The jolly review: I had to shelve this book in order to complete the R2R books I had received before it, but all that did was heighten my anticipation! I didn't feel relief that I had it tucked safely away and waiting for its turn. I felt fidgety to get started and dig my teeth in, and I am not a very patient woman... 

Previous experience with Mr. McClimon's work promised this book was going to be one hell of a ride and I was not to be disappointed. Johhny Lonesome isn't your typical reluctant superhero, but to be fair, he's been afflicted with his certain brand of heroism for nearly twenty years. That's a long damn time to put up with momentarily thankful victims and twisting, debilitating, sudden onset pain like Johnny's.

You see, Johnny gets these urges... Not that kind, fool! We're talking about the stabbing, vomit inducing kind; the sort of urges that make your head want to explode while your stomach cramps in agonizing fits until you've given in and followed the alarm bell to its source. There is no lead-up to this dance. Johnny either suffers horrible, unending pain or he gets himself to the scene of the impending crime to save the day. Understandably, his bedside manner sucks and his willingness to do good becomes all about the cessation of his own pain.

Until he meets Asher Hawkins. This guy is slimy, sickeningly rich, and slimy. He's a scumbag up to no good, our hero's premonitions confirm it's so, and Johnny aims to prove it.

With a colorful cast of characters, like Detectives Gallagher and Kameko, and super sexy reporter Michelle Rodriguez (not the actress), Johnny Lonesome is a must-read. If this review doesn't sell it to you, try this: Johnny started off as a screenplay and was a second rounder at the Austin Film Festival. How's that for creds?

Want to know more? Try Goodreads and Philip McClimon's webby, Chris Sapp's webby, and then get your butt to amazon and buy your own copy.

"What's In My Shorts" by Stan Morris (4 Stars)

* * * *
What's in My Shorts?
by Stan Morris

Genre: Mixed Short Story Anthology

* * * *

I was given this collection of shorts to read by the author and I waffled a lot over what my rating would be. There is a wide range of ideas here and the author gives a small explanation at the beginning of each short, which I always enjoy seeing. I do think that a cover update in the future would be largely beneficial and I was left wanting more on many of the stories, as they were like the Daisy Dukes of short stories (some only a page long), but the writing is skilled, even if one story in particular, the longest, greatly disturbed me!

My favorite story is called San, the Amphibian and I will tell you why: It's unique. It's refreshing. And it's FUN! San is of a race of amphibious beings that use slaves. In this case, a human girl. The author weaves a tale that expertly reminds you at every turn that this is not a human race. Through their attitude, by their chemical secretions, the way their snouts squish in... You won't want to miss San.

There is also a romantic tale of a chieftain and the princess he acquires that I really, really enjoyed, but it was New Friends that disturbed me and I won't go into detail or that would spoil it for the next reader, but I think you'll see why it affected me this way, as soon as you set your eyeballs to reading it.

Kudos, Stan Morris. For your uniqueness and your daring.

Have I interested you? I know have! See more at Goodreads and then check it out at Amazon.

Happy Holidays!


I hope you are all having a Happy New Year and that your Christmas, Hanukkah, *insert holiday here* were as beautiful and filled with love as mine. <3

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Draculas" by Jeff Strand, Jack Kilborn aka J.A. Konrath, Blake Crouch, F. Paul Wilson (5 Stars) ***Cntdwn2Jeff***

* * * * *
Draculas
by Jeff Strand, Jack Kilborn aka J.A. Konrath,
Blake Crouch, and F. Paul Wilson

Genre: Horror

* * * * *

I am reviewing this book as part of my Countdown to Jeff series, a lead-up to guest blogger Jeff Strand. "Draculas" is #2 in my series.

What happens when you take a disgustingly rich old man on death's doorstep with his hands on an artifact of the first vampire in creation? Would you know the answer if I told you that artifact was a skull with fangs intact? No? Really? Ok, I'll tell you! He bites himself with it! Glorious!

Mr. Mortimer Moorecook is delivered posthaste to the hospital in an effort to cease his convulsions, because that's what you do when an old man wants to live forever and brilliantly stabs himself in the neck with a mouthful of ancient teeth. It's only to be expected that Mortimer bites someone whilst in his throes, it's just a shame that he's now contagious and what he's got you don't want.

I first read this book shortly after it came out and to me it was like hitting the horror lover jackpot. It has horror movie written all over it. There are the survivors who just want to get the hell out of the hospital alive, you have a woman in labor, a killer clown, sacrifice, a creepy girl, gore, chills, laughs and special features for the die-hard fans. 

At the end of the book, you get to read all of the emails passed between these four horror geniuses as they wrote Draculas, and yes I did read them. All of them. What can I say, as a writer who writes with a friend, I've often wondered how other writers do it! Oh and did I mention, there are black and white sketches to go along with the story? Especially enlightening and gruesome if you're wondering like I did, just what these 'vampires' look like with all those insane teeth splitting their faces. =D

I don't think I need to say much more, other than that my favorite bloke in the book doesn't live, which blows, but hey. Someone's gotta be a hero.

Want to read it RIGHT NOW? You better believe you do! Run, crawl or fly over to amazon and pick up your own copy, and stay tuned for the next installment in the Countdown to Jeff.

"Division of the Marked" by March McCarron (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Division of the Marked
Book #1, The Marked Series
by March McCarron

Genre: Fantasy

* * * * *

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I have to say it. Fantasy can be hard to do. If your story's setting forces you to research a town or city, or it's history, you likely have to worry about stepping on a native's toes. You might goof up how many miles it takes to get to the town hall from the town line, and you better believe someone will notice. If you've never visited that perfect setting but you're positive you've done all the research you could possibly do before you start to hate it, you can still manage to screw up the climate on December 1st, 2002 in the middle of downtown. When this happens, well, making up your own darn world just might sound pretty sweet.

...Until you realize that you have to MAKE UP YOUR OWN DARN WORLD. People, clothing, cultures, religions, city- and landscapes, environmental factors, and even food sources. It can be helluva tricky but March McCarron really pulled this off in her book series, The Marked.

On the day of Da Un Marcu, 50 boys and girls aged 14 years will be Marked. A red symbol will appear on their neck like a tattoo and they will be taken; taken into a whole new life where they will become a part of an order known as the Chisanta. Once the child passes a rigorous, often violent test, they join one of two halves of the Chisanta. The fiery and passionate Chiona or the calmer, internal Cosanta.

A sweetly innocent romance starts right away between two of the Marked children on their way to the Temple where they will be tested. They are completely different, Bray a girl who has lost her parents and was suffered to live with an abusive uncle, and Yarrow, the loved son of a general store owner with a gaggle of brothers and sisters.

Many strong, lasting friendships are developed (I especially like Peer!), some fading away as the division between their two groups separates them, but ten years later they will all be thrust together again to try and solve a murder that will have long reaching consequences that will test their skills, their powers, and their friendships.

I reaaaaally look forward to the next book in this series and when you see how it ends, so will you!

Want to learn more? Check out this title on Goodreads and then hop on over to amazon to pick up your own copy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Blech!, two special Geek moments, and a crap ton of (these)

Blech!
I feel just blech!
Really. If there was any time I would show you the spoon, now would be it. (ref. spoon theory)

 Lately I just can't seem to get a break from being in pain. I'm back to hardly able to stand up, let alone hobble anywhere, so this means I'm spending way too much freakin' time trying to prop up in bed with a gazillion pillows, 3 dogs, 1 cat and a tablet-thank-god (actually, thank the husband). The doctors (the many of them) are getting to the point where it's all about the pain management. Pool therapy is awesome if you can get carried to the car and not cry the 30 minutes to the appointment.

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Wolf Hunt" by Jeff Strand (5 Stars) ***Cntdwn2Jeff***

* * * * *
Wolf Hunt
by Jeff Strand

Genre: Horror

* * * * *

I am reviewing this book as part of my lead-up to guest blogger Jeff Strand! "Wolf Hunt" is #1 in my series, a Countdown to Jeff.

Their names are George and Lou and they've been hired to do a job. A delivery job. Because that's what they do. They pick things up and then they deliver said things. Money... thin, pasty men in cages who might be a werewolf...

George and Lou are a team. They're best friends, they're thugs for hire and they're good enough that they can make their own rules. They don't do anything that involves kids and they won't commit murder, because they have standards. Transporting a man in a cage doesn't break their rules so they accept. As one might imagine, it's the worst mistake of their careers, let alone their lives.

Meet Ivan the werewolf. He says he isn't and he says it loudly and he doesn't appear to be afraid of his captors. He's not too keen on the scientist he's supposed to be handed over to, however, and he's pretty good at running his mouth until his transporters want to kill him out of sheer frustration.

But it's not all fun and games! It seems that dogs have a real problem with Ivan around. A suicidal, homicidal aggression that affects the smallest dog to the largest; dogs just want to kill when Ivan is near and no amount of trauma will stop them. This is how our thugs with heart save, and unwittingly take on, another passenger who can't decide what's what in this hilariously dark thrill ride that turns two professional goons into heroes when they try to recapture the psychotic Ivan who really is a werewolf with a thirst for murder!

Want your own copy? Of course you do! Run, crawl or fly over to amazon and get one for yourself and stay tuned for the next installment of Countdown to Jeff, leading up to the howdy-do of our soon-to-be guest blogger, Jeff Strand.

Jeff Strand is Coming!

The Gleefully Macabre man himself!
It is with tickled, fan girl delight that I inform the world (that is, anyone who will listen) of my first ever guest poster here at Sister Sinister Speaks. The extremely talented horror writer, Jeff Strand, will be guest posting here early next year. That's in, like, just a few months!! The geek in me probably won't be able to stifle my excitement. In fact, I know I won't so I have devised a way to brag about it at a minimum of twice a month until it happens. I am calling it my Countdown to Jeff series. Clever, eh?

Every month I will post a review of two of Jeff Strand's books. If you know me or have read my post on Reviewing, you know that I am a big lover of this author's works, so this won't be a hardship, I promise you. We're going to start with my favorite book of his to date, "Wolf Hunt", a story about a couple of thugs who get more than they bargained for in the back of their delivery vehicle.

With Mr. Strand's unique brand of humor and imaginative horror, you will definitely want to check him out if you haven't already, and if you've not heard of him, now is your chance! Check out my Countdown to Jeff series and then ask yourself - "Jeff Strand, where have you been all my life?"

Can't wait? Want to know more NOW? Then visit Mr. Horror at Goodreads, Amazon, and his website to get into his self-styled and accurately described world of the gleefully macabre.

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Automatic Woman" by Nathan Yocum (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Automatic Woman
by Nathan Yocum

Genre: Steampunk Mystery Noir

* * * * *

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review and WOW. This read like a seedy, back alley mystery to me, full of Steampunk goodness!

The main man whose Point Of View we follow not only has an epic name but an epic voice. Jacob "Jolly" Fellows tells his tale to a recording device held by the metro police of 1888 London. He's under arrest and he's telling it like it is and exactly as it happened to him.

Which is? What happened to Jolly, our rotund steam engine of a man? He's something of a detective, a thief-catcher, working for a Firm who hires him and his thugly ways to track down a ... an automatic ballerina?! That's right! He's seen her, the Swan Princess, and her fellow automaton dancers. The private joy of their creator. And he's seen her do something horrible. Something like murder.

Now Jolly has to find the rogue machine, clear his name, and stop getting hurt in the process! He has heads to bash, a prostitute to fall for, and a bunch of animal mask wearing murderers to reveal.


Sounds awesome? Check it out at Goodreads and then pick up your own copy at amazon.

"Surviving the Fog - Kathy's Recollections" by Stan Morris (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Surviving the Fog - Kathy's Recollections
Surviving the Fog #2
by Stan Morris

Genre: Survival/Apocalypse-Dystopian

* * * * *

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and the first thing I noticed was that this was a parallel story from the point of view of one of the characters in a previous book, "Surviving the Fog". I was greatly impressed that I did not need to read the first book in order to enjoy Kathy's Recollections, and from what I understand, this book delved deeper into relationships, characters, and the Fog itself.

The story is about a group of kids sent off to summer camp, but not just any summer camp. This retreat's theme is Abstinence and Safe Sex. It really is. Once you get past that, however, you start seeing how it's about so much more than that. The camp councilors want to teach the kids about respect for self and others. I'm guessing their methods wouldn't have been nearly as effective as the life and death struggles that become the real teachers once the Fog traps the campers on the mountain. 

Alone. With no adults. A dwindling food supply. And other survivors.

Kathy's Recollections is a big book. You won't finish this one in a single sitting! It contains some violence, which is unavoidable in a realistic tale of survival, as well as valuable lesson learning, relationship building, and heartwarming coming togethers. If you like survival stories, you won't want to miss this one!

Want to learn more? Visit Goodreads and then amazon to buy your own copy! Want to start with book #1? Find it HERE for free!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Writing on the Wall" by Tracey Ward (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Writing on the Wall
Book #1, Survival Series
by Tracey Ward

Genre: Dystopian/Zombies!/YA Romance

* * * * *

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I am delighted to be able to give Writing on the Wall 5 stars. And on Thanksgiving, no less!

Joss has been on her own for 6 years. She's watched everyone she ever cared about die tragically in a world decimated by an outbreak that turned human beings into actual zombies. She's done pretty good for herself, living by a survivor's code that has kept her alive - including not getting attached, not hooking up with other survivors, and not helping people in need.

Until Ryan.

Everything is upside down, all because of him. Her hard shell is cracking and she's in more danger than she's ever been before. From wolves, from gangs, from the Colonies. The zombies were the least of these worries until one of the Colonies falls. Now they're everywhere again and Joss has made herself vulnerable by writing on a wall to a boy she shouldn't care about and that's when it happens.

...I'm not going to tell you what happens, you're going to have to read it for yourself and have a blast doing it! Once you pick it up, you won't want to put it down!!


Check it out at Goodreads and then get your own at amazon.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Rogue Hunter: Dark Space" by Kevis Hendrickson (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Rogue Hunter: Dark Space
Book #2, Rogue Hunter Series
by Kevis Hendrickson

Genre: Sci-fi/Urban Fantasy in Space!
* * * * *

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I also read and reviewed the first book in this series, Inquest, which you can find HERE.

We join our favorite deep space bounty hunter, Zyra Zanr, soon after the events in the first book, Inquest. In an ironic twist, she's been captured by a team of bounty hunters who want to turn her in for a hefty profit with not a care for the inevitable outcome Zyra will face- certain gruesome death. But it's not going to be easy turning this mark in. Especially after a violent beat-down that will seal the fate of every man and woman on board the dilapidated ship, Lilith.

This adventure takes place entirely in space. It's a tale of revenge and therefore is much darker and nastier than the first book as we get a look at the kind of experiences that Zyra faces and how she struggles to survive. You'll get to see how each decision, past and present, has a consequence and how every choice changes her.

You don't have to read the first book to enjoy this one, I think, but it will help to get an understanding of some of the references that lead up to Zyra's capture (and the intense hatred by one of her captors).

I would highly recommend this book to lovers of sci-fi, urban fantasy, and overall readers of a dark, well-written novel.

Want to know more? Check it out on Goodreads and then scoop up your own copy at amazon. Like music with your read? Try out this soundtrack specifically created for Rogue Hunter: Inquest - Details at the author's website. (I have the soundtrack and it's a-mazing! I gave the soundtrack 5 stars at amazon - see it HERE.)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

"TATS" by James S. Hoch (3 Stars)

* * * 
TATS
by James S. Hoch

Genre: Horror

* * * 

Ye Olde Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Dr. Burk Franks is a dermatologist with a big problem. He tried to help the wrong person.

Her name is Riley and she got a bad tattoo. A really bad tattoo. She's desperate for Burk to remove the mistake, but it's not the design she's willing to carve out of her own flesh, it's the ink used to do it.

So begins a harrowing dive into the unknown. Street kids, gang bangers and unfortunate victims become the guinea pigs for human trials of a chemical agent that turns the recipients into giggling, murderous psychotics with the ability to infiltrate the minds of others, often with catastrophic, head exploding results.

The purpose? Weaponization, of course!

My copy of "TATS" has some formatting errors and a couple of instances of wrong names used, and at times it felt like some of the personalities didn't have distinct voices. I also got to wondering if the author loves Aliens as much as I do, because I caught no less than 2 phrases Bill Paxton made famous in that movie, hmmmm.

You'll find lots of cursing (which doesn't bother me any and I felt fit the atmosphere- I only mention because the author kindly warned me so I will extend his thoughtful gesture to you, the buyer/reader), decapitation (what's a little beheading among friends?), super strong and super psycho teens (and a really nasty cockfighter named Razor), ineffective peace keepers, and a whole lot of erotic tattoo rubbing.

The concept of this story is definitely not something I have seen before and I look forward to reading more of what this author has to offer. So saddle up, but stay away from the 'special sauce'. ;)

Would you like to learn more? Check out "Tats" at Goodreads and then get a copy of your own at amazon.com.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Faust 2.0" by Michael Brookes (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Faust 2.0
Morton & Mitchell #1
by Michael Brookes

Genre: Horror
* * * * *

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and here it is. This book was brilliant. Ok, ok, so sure, I may not have understood half the technical jargon used but it sounded plausible to the point where I had little trouble believing that the damage caused could really happen. That was enough for me.

In Faust 2.0, an intelligence (I won't say what) is wielding the internet like a claymore and no one is safe! You can't hide from technology. It's everywhere, everyone uses it and this intelligence is manipulating people and circumstances, fabricating lies and instigating acts of terror, all through internet connectivity. And of course, by preying on the greed and pain of human beings.

It has a plan. The selections have been made. It is granting desires in exchange for a favor. A favor within the power of the individual to grant, to be named at a later date...

Michael Brookes has done an excellent job with this book, laying bare the weaknesses of the people involved in this story. We see vulnerability, fear, sacrifice and sin; and we see how easily we can be destroyed, with just a few key strokes and the will to do it.

That's pretty scary if you ask me.


If you'd like to learn more, check out "Faust 2.0" at goodreads or the author's website, and then you can buy your own copy at amazon!

"The Strong Brain" by Nathan Yocum (4 Stars)

* * * *
The Strong Brain
by Nathan Yocum

Genre: Horror

* * * *

I received a copy of "The Strong Brain" for review and I was at first drawn in by the cover art, which looks like a dime store comic. Very cool approach. Next, I was engrossed in the stirring imagery the author painted on every page, not always an easy task when so much of what's going on is happening in the minds of the characters.

Simon Craig is drinking himself to death; he has a mind that shuts out nothing. His world is a nightmare of drug abuse, psych wards, and alcoholism - not great when you're also passing as a private detective. But when he takes a case that is more than he thought it was, things quickly spiral out of his control altogether.

Enter Damsel. She's an assassin but not by her choosing. She's a puppet with no memories of her past before she became so, and her life is a violent, psychotic episode. When she's not on a mission of death dealing, she's trapped in a mental prison of torture and abuse.

When these two unfortunate souls come together, they find themselves on the run from Damsel's puppeteer. A man with a mind unlike anything Simon has experienced before.

Want to learn more? Check it out at Goodreads and then pick up your own copy at amazon today!

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Pallitine Rising" by Roderick Davidson (4 Stars)

* * * *
Pallitine Rising
Book #1, Pallitine's Path
by Roderick Davidson

Genre: Fantasy
* * * *

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I really love the cover art, first of all! Very striking.

The book begins with an encounter, a fight for life between four Pallitines (an Order of noble Knights) and a fire-spitting wyrm, where the outcome figures greatly later on. Then next we meet Taryn, a girl living at the bottom of the barrel in the worst part of the city until she flees and runs into a Pallitine who will offer her the chance to become so much more.

Sometimes the story jumps ahead in weeks or years, which I can appreciate though it can be a little jarring, as Taryn learns how to become a Pallitine. Trust is hard for her to give and she must suffer through injury and betrayal on her journey to becoming vetted, with intrigue and loss close to hand.

Roderick Davidson did a fantastic job keeping my attention, which isn't easy for me when it comes to fantasy books these days, and I am greatly looking forward to more from him in the future!


Find it on Goodreads and then buy your copy on amazon today!

Monday, November 11, 2013

"A Note Below" by Andrew Butcher (4 Stars)

* * * *
A Note Below
A Lansin Island Short Story
by Andrew Butcher

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

* * * *

I received a copy of this short story along with the first two books in the series, A Death Displaced and A Body Displaced.

This was a good old fashioned ghost story set in the Lansin Island 'verse, about a family man whose life takes a strange turn when his dog starts hiding at the top of their lighthouse home. Readers of the series will get to visit with an 'old' friend, who may or not be able to help skeptic Gavin Locke.

The ending was sweet and sad and I can't tell you more than that - you'll have to get your own copy! =D

You can find out more at Goodreads, or just pick it up for yourself at Amazon. It's FREE!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"H.E.L.L. Nicole's Odyssey" by Philip A. McClimon (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Nicole's Odyssey
A Journey Through the Zombie Apocalypse
The H.E.L.L. Series
(Human Extinction Level Loss)
by Philip A. McClimon

Genre: Zombies!

* * * * *

The author gave me a free copy of this book and I had to review it, it just deserves it! I had read for review the novella "H.E.L.L. The Last Stand of Gary Sykes" and was thrilled with the story and the dialogue, a humorous horror about a skinny nerd working in a power station who just happens to be at work when the zombies hit the world. Though written after "Nicole's Odyssey", "Gary Sykes" is the prequel but does not have to be read first in order to love Nicole and her Journey through the Apocalypse.

Nicole has a poor relationship with her father, if you can call it even that, but since zombies have pretty much ruined everything, she decides to take a road trip to find him. As with all things zombie, things are never easy and Nicole thinks she might be hallucinating when she raids a Home Improvement Center and finds a clerk at the register. But she's not. It's just Sam, and Sam has a bug problem...

With a beautiful, updated cover and a sequel on the way, you just have to read Nicole's Odyssey. I don't think you will regret it.

Pick up your own copy at amazon and then check out the author's blog.

"An Odd Quartet" by Michael Brookes (5 Stars)

* * * * *
An Odd Quartet
by Michael Brookes

Genre: Horror

* * * * *
I received a copy of this book of 4 short stories in exchange for my honest review and because they are brief, I won't give away much, but I will say that most of them are different ideas than I have seen before and I really liked that, but my favorite story among this collection is titled "Forced Entry".

One of my all-time favorite movies is Aliens, my favorite scene where the marines are making their way towards the colony of red life signs and you hear their chatter over the comms. This story was all dialogue and you'd think that wouldn't work, but oh it did, it really did! I want the author to write a full-length novel based on this idea. I want him to expand this short, or develop an entirely new story, but I want lots of dialogue, lots of fear, and I want it soon. Please? =D

"Forced Entry" alone gets my 5 stars but the collection as a whole is a great taste of what Michael Brookes can do.

Want to learn more? Find it on Goodreads.com and then pick up your own copy at amazon today!

Friday, November 8, 2013

"The Cult of Me" by Michael Brookes (4 Stars)

* * * *
The Cult of Me
Book #1, The Third Path Trilogy
by Michael Brookes

Genre: Paranormal Horror/Psychological Thriller

* * * *

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and wow, this book was seriously disturbing! If you're a fan of reading about messed up minds, this one is for you!

Author Michael Brookes takes us for a ride through the eyes of a killer, but not just any killer. Willfully imprisoned, this murderer is planning a last stand, a way to go out big and sensational. He has a plan and a metaphysical way of seeing it through. Only, he didn't bank on having any opposition he couldn't overcome with the powers of his unusual mind.

 There is more in store for the prisoner than he ever imagined. Will he accept an unbelievable offer or laugh at it and let the world come crashing down? It's hard to predict when you are following a lead character you can't relate to and aren't exactly rooting for, but it kept you reading because you just have to see what happens next.

"The Cult of Me" was definitely different and executed with skill, though one more edit would have been great to get rid of some of those lingering words and ill-placed or forgotten commas, just to give it a better flow. Regardless, you won't find another book like it, I think, and you certainly won't be expecting the ending! At least, I didn't.

Want to know more? Find this book on Goodreads and then go to Amazon to get a copy of your own!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What's Next in Reviews? Coming Up!

I thought I'd drop a line to let readers and authors know what books I currently have on my plate for reviews! Coming up this month, are the following titles (in no particular order - when I read them, I try to go by who delivered their book to me first! If multiple titles are given, I may put aside a second in favor of another on my list so I can evenly spread the love around =D):

"The Cult of Me" by Michael Brookes
"Faust 2.0" by Michael Brookes
"An Odd Quartet" by Michael Brookes
"Pallitine Rising" by Roderick Davidson
"The Strong Brain" by Nathan L. Yocum
"Writing on the Wall" by Tracey Ward
"Rogue Hunter: Dark Space" (Book 2 of the Rogue Hunter Series) by Kevis Hendrickson
"Ark" by Mark Dunstan
"A Note Below" (A Lansin Island short) by Andrew Butcher
"Tats" by James S. Hoch
 "H.E.L.L. Nicole's Odyssey" by Philip A. McClimon


If you have a book you'd like me to review, I'd be happy to do it - if you don't mind that it may not happen until the end of the month, or the beginning of December. =)

Want to know what I'm reading for review (or just plain reading!), you can befriend me on Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Tent City" by Kelly Van Hull (5 Stars)

 * * * * *
Tent City
Book #1, Tent City series
by Kelly Van Hull

Genre: YA/Post Apocalyptic/Dystopia

* * * * *

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I was so hooked, I finished it in one night! I just could not put it down! I don't usually like present tense but this was so well done and the characters were alive and believable. I even cried a few times.

We follow Dani, a 17 year old girl who has survived a plague, lost her brother and now has to go on the run. Worse, she has to take her 5 year old little brother with her. Luckily, her best friend is willing to accompany, and we all know best friends make everything better!

The trio don't get to their destination without a couple of mishaps, meeting a stranger in the right place at the right time, and when they do finally make it to their destination, they couldn't be more surprised. Or suspicious.

Things aren't what they seem in this book and you'll be itching for the next in the series, as Dani and friends must find and save one of their own.


If you'd like to learn more, check out "Tent City" at goodreads and then head over to amazon to pick up a copy for yourself! I think you'll enjoy it. =)

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Rogue Hunter: Inquest" by Kevis Hendrickson (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Rogue Hunter: Inquest
Book #1, Rogue Hunter series
by Kevis Hendrickson

Genre: Sci-fi/Space Opera

* * * * *
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and it must be said before I even get started... Super awesome cover!

Kevis Hendrickson delivered an A+ book in a genre that doesn't seem to get a lot of love compared to some of the others. I haven't read a really good science fiction book in awhile and this one mixes in a little romance with an almost urban fantasy heroine feel to it.

The book features bounty hunter Zyra Zanr, a woman in conflict and looking for a way out. Unfortunately, her choices have landed her in some serious hot water and she's on trial for freeing a prisoner she knows only too well. We stay with her while she makes her case, jumping back in time to see how it all went wrong, learning about Zyra and what drives her until you're rooting for her til the end!

Rogue Hunter: Inquest is a re-telling of the author's previous Rogue Hunter books, introducing you to a younger Zyra Zanr. You don't have to have any previous knowledge of this series to understand or enjoy this re-imagining, so climb aboard and prepare for a trip!

Want to learn more about this book? Find it HERE on goodreads and then pick up your own copy at amazon! I hear there's even a soundtrack available for purchase to go along with the book... hmm...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Red Dust: The Fall" by Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell (3 Stars)

* * *
Red Dust: The Fall
Red Dust Omnibus
by Ben Dixon and Sam Campbell

Genre: Zombie Western

 * * *
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review, so here it is!

"Red Dust: The Fall" contains three short stories set in the 19th century wild west America. There is a plague a-foot and we start the journey with Masterson, a mountain man searching for a missing party of settlers lost during the long winter months. Masterson is able to locate an abandoned journal in the snowy mountains, a diary of events written by a member of the group he is trying to find.

Next, we follow a mysterious loner named Griffin, as he rides into a dusty town where there are two factions at war, and one of them is herding zombies for his own personal revenge.

In the third story, we saddle up with a Pony Express rider on a mission he will stop at nothing to complete. This story was the best in my opinion, but it also was the choppiest. Each encounter was short and to the point and I feel would have been better served as a full-length novel, or a novella at the least, allowing each scenario far more time for fleshing out. The concept was awesome and deserves a showcase. I'd love to see the authors expand on this idea and tell Isaac's story fully.

Collectively, there were quite a few errors that would benefit from another edit but the ideas, concepts, and overall story-telling were very well written and exciting, but I just had this feeling as if I was missing something. Each tale felt too rushed and like I was excluded from important details, as if each short was a highly condensed peek at a larger novel, which I would love to see done in the future!

That being said, you had me at zombie western.

Want to learn more? Find it HERE on goodreads or pick up your own copy today at amazon!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Where Did the Reviews Go?

No, aliens did not take me away and zombies did not force me into hiding! I did have to take a break from reading, unfortunately, due to some pretty important things going on in my life. Made it really hard to focus on reading and after I made it halfway through a book without having a clue what was going on, I had to set aside the books until things calmed down and I could do these books justice.

The time is now. Onward!

Monday, October 21, 2013

"13 British Horror Stories" by Rayne Hall (5 Stars)

* * * * *
13 British Horror Stories
by Rayne Hall

Genre: Horror

* * * * *
Just in time for Halloween! This collection of short stories was masterfully written. The author has incredible insight into what spooks, creeps, and thrills, with a true talent for setting the atmosphere.

In this book, she has included illustrations to go with each story, black and white and brilliantly fitting the mood.

If you'd like to read this collection, pick up your copy at amazon HERE. You can also find them included in Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall.

Have a safe Halloween, boils and ghouls!

"Six Scary Tales - Volumes I, II, III" by Rayne Hall (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Six Scary Tales, Volumes 1, 2, 3
by Rayne Hall

Genre: Horror

* * * * *

I received these three books in exchange for my honest review. As I have just recently finished Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall, I already was well acquainted with the short stories in these 3 collections, so they are fresh in my mind and this gives me an opportunity to pick a story from each to talk about.

Unlike with Thirty Scary Tales, there isn't the addition at the end of each short sharing the author's personal experiences that were the impetus of each story. Nonetheless, all of these tales were masterfully written. And so many of them remind us that what goes around, comes around.

In Volume 1, I had two favorites, "Double Rainbows" and "The Black Boar". One of them was a hearty helping of getting what's coming to 'im, while the other is about being careful what you wish for.There is another story in this collection called "Burning" that was especially hard to read. You'll know what I mean when you read it for yourself.

In Volume 2, my favorite is "Black Karma", a tail of redemption with a twist. I love the superstitious, religious, cultural belief that inspired this short and it made me crave a full length novel based upon it. Maybe the author is listening...?

In Volume 3, "The Colour of Dishonour" stood out for me, a story of guilt and how it can eat you alive. It's also a story of greed and how it can destroy. This is one man whose blood on his hands cannot be hidden.

If you'd like to purchase these great reads for yourself, you can find them on amazon. Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3.

Good reading!

"Thirty Scary Tales" by Rayne Hall (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Thirty Scary Tales
by Rayne Hall

Genre: Horror
* * * * *
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and was very pleased that I did. I don't generally read many short story anthologies unless I've been reading related work by the author; they often seem too short to me and don't always wrap up the tale in a way I'm happy with. I'd seen a few teasers of Rayne Hall's work before and decided this was a great opportunity to give her a shot.

As the author states in her introduction, fear is personal. What might scare one person may not even get a thrill out of the next. I admit that I haven't been scared by a book in ages (save anxiety you feel when you worry a character you like will be offed). Probably I read too many horror stories! That is why I take my hat (if I wore one) off to the author for giving me a sweaty chill when I read "The Bridge Chamber". The claustrophobic in me imagined this a little too well!

Rayne Hall's grasp of relating atmosphere is superb and I really fancied the small additions at the end of each short story, giving you a little insight into where her ideas came from for each. This lady sounds like she's lived a colorful life, to the reader's benefit for sure.

If you'd like to read this collection, you can pick up your own copy at amazon or learn more about it at goodreads.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"H.E.L.L. Substation: The Last Stand of Gary Sykes" by Philip A. McClimon (5 Stars)

* * * * *
H.E.L.L. Substation: The Last Stand of Gary Sykes
Book 1 in the H.E.L.L. series
by Philip A. McClimon

Genre: Zombies!
* * * * *
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I give it a delicious 5 stars! First of all, things go down almost right away, which I love. Second, the realization of what's coming happens in a place I can't remember reading as a location in other books - a power station. Third, and what really set the mood for me, was the dialogue. I found it to be entertaining without losing believability.

Gary Sykes is a nerd. We meet him whilst he is engrossed at work in his Dungeons & Dragons, a blast from the past for me! He's working his shift with Beverly, a clerk who is holding down two jobs since her husband's disabling injury, and two knuckle-dragger engineers named Reggie and Mack. They think it's same-old, same-old but Beverly can't reach 9-1-1 to report an accident and when their manager, Jason Johnson arrives... things start to get real.

This book wasn't long but it sure was sweet and Philip A. McClimon has earned himself another fan!

If you'd like to see why I enjoyed it so much, find out more at Goodreads or pick up your own copy at amazon. Have fun!

"A Touch of Evil" by C.T. Adams, Cathy Clamp (2 Stars)

* *
A Touch of Evil
Book #1, The Thrall series
 by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp

Genre: Urban Fantasy
 * *
Oh I so hate giving bad reviews, so I'll start with the good. First, I liked the idea of the Thrall. It was a different take on vampires, making them not vampires at all, which was fine by me. And I did think the story was pretty well written, but I bought it as an advertised paranormal romance and I really didn't get that at all. Yes, there was a guy, but... I didn't feel any romance and it certainly wasn't central to the story. In fact, it probably could have cut out the guy (a werewolf fireman) altogether and it wouldn't have made much difference.

I'd label this an urban fantasy (a genre I greatly adore), but not a paranormal romance (which was why I bought it) and sadly, it didn't excite me to read more. Hopefully, it was just a slow start. The publisher misrepresenting the beginning of a series that could have a lot of potential was a big turn off for me because I kept looking for the romance. Maybe if I'd gone into it with a different expectation, it might have earned one more star. =(

**I was not asked for my review, but I gave it!

Learn more about this book at Goodreads and find it on amazon.

"The Sity" by Curran Geist (4 Stars)

* * * *
The Sity
Book #1, The Sity series
by Curran Geist

Genre: Dystopian/Sci-fi

* * * *
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and my initial feel for the story was intrigue with a dose of disorientation. I really was drawn to the grit and dirt and the concept of a human race reduced to ashes beneath the oppressive weight of an alien species. A repulsive, depraved alien species. It seems that the aliens have enslaved humans for their brutal entertainment and no homo sapien is safe. If you can find any still alive inside the Sity.

We meet Victor first, a beaten down shell of a boy with no memories, put on display for the alien Kuljik. The action happens fast as Victor's memory sparks, just enough to give him the strength to escape his captivity. He soon joins Carina, a girl who also has no memory of her past but seems to share a mysterious power with Victor. Together they will struggle against injustice, abuse, and oppression. They will meet others, search for truth, and seek revenge.

My issue with the book was that it did a lot of switching around, from time and space to inner dialogue, to memory sequences and dreams. I found it a little confusing at times, especially in the first handful of chapters. Hang in there though. It's worth it!

"The Sity" is a deeply thought provoking horror, a science fiction page-turner that I wouldn't recommend to young readers about a future I wouldn't wish on any sentient race.

To learn more, check it out at Goodreads and then pick up your copy at amazon.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

"Born of Oak and Silver" by Marie McKean (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Born of Oak and Silver
Book #1, The Caradoc Chronicles
by Marie McKean

Genre: Fantasy
* * * * *

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review and I have to say, WOW. This is a fantasy that begins in the 1900s in Strasbourg, on the border between France and Germany. We get a little background first, just a sweet treat, and then we meet our main protagonist, a boy named Daine.

The author brings the reader along, from Daine's birth on, chronicling his life as a happy boy with simple, humble, loving parents and an adopted grandfather, onward through the lessons he learns into his adulthood. I don't want to say much more (Druids! Fae! Tragedy!), as it really would be giving too much away, I feel, but this was a magical and tragic tale that doesn't complete with the end of the book. It looks like a sequel will be had, and it needs it! I don't believe we're done with Daine yet!

This book truly does deserve every point of its 5 stars.

If you'd like to purchase your own copy, and you do, visit amazon or the author's webpage, and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"The Vicious Deep" by Zoraida Córdova (5 Stars)

* * * * *
The Vicious Deep
Book #1, The Vicious Deep Series
by Zoraida Córdova

Genre: YA Mythology

 * * * * *

"The Vicious Deep" is one of those books you can't put down. The author is a woman writing from the POV of a teenage boy who turns into, much to his dismay, a merman (or mer dude, as Tristan prefers to be called), and she pulls it off beautifully! You could absolutely believe a teenage boy is telling his story and that was a big part of the magic of this book for me. Add in mythology, humor, some romance and you have a glowing winner in my humble opinion.

Buy your copy today at amazon!

**I was not asked to review this book, but I just had to. =D

"A Body Displaced" by Andrew Butcher (5 Stars)

* * * * *
A Body Displaced
Book #2, Lansin Island series
by Andrew Butcher

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

* * * * *

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and here it is. I LOVED, loved, really loved this book. This is the second book in the Lansin Island series, A Death Displaced being the first, and as much as I enjoyed the first book, I got hung up on a few details. I did NOT have that problem with this book.

We rejoin our characters, Nick and Juliet, less than a year after the events from Book 1 to find that they have both been dealing with things in very different ways. Nick has moved on with life, gotten back together with an old girlfriend, and come to terms with what he can do. Juliet hasn't been as healthy, falling apart where Nick did not as she tries to come to terms with her own abilities and some shocking new discoveries.

Things quickly spiral out of control and mayhem comes knocking once again at their front doors! It seems that Nick and Juliet can't get away from each other as their lives collide for another thrill ride, taking you, the reader, with them.

Pick up your copy of A Body Displaced at amazon, and read my review of Book 1, A Death Displaced and start the journey from the beginning! You can also learn more by visiting the author's website.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What-up!

Wow, so when I started this blog, I didn't expect that I would be reviewing books, or using this blog to post them. I'm finding it's a great way to meet people and to keep this blog active. However, I don't want to turn the blog into just another review site and I don't want to *make* another blog just to post reviews on. What's more, I'm not posting big, novella-length, in-depth reviews like other book reviewers so I'm going to keep my blog as is. A place I can put down my thoughts as well as post some reviews.

Why review books at all? Because reviews are really important to authors and I want to help out where I can. Hopefully when I start seeking reviews actively, I'll get the same kindness. =) Some of my reviews were asked for, some not, and I make a note in either case in each review that I post here, to my blog.

I do think that I will revise my blog to make it easier to find my reviews versus my personal what-up posts. Just not sure yet how I'm going to do that. Thinking I might do something cute and rate my books using crows instead of stars. *grins* And I know I need to do a banner, just need to grab a few minutes to whip one up.

What's cool tho, is that I'm writing nearly every day and Agent B and I have been getting a lot done and expect to meet our self-imposed December deadline for publishing our "love in the time of zombies" novel, our third self-published book. However we are doing this one right. We're hiring an editor and are in the process of working with a professional book cover designer so that we can also make available print copies. Very exciting!

I've also made the commitment to review another 10 books so my reading schedule is FULL right now, yay! I will be posting 2 more reviews tomorrow, on Andrew Butcher's second book in his Lansin Island series and the first book of the Vicious Deep series by Zoraida Cordova.

On a personal note, in two weeks my hubby-pie goes on vacation and we pick up our youngest daughter's service dog and Halloween is approaching. Busy but in a fun way. That's how it should be. =D

Cheers!

"The Last Alive" by H.L. Wampler (4 Stars)

* * * *
The Last Alive
by H.L. Wampler

Genre: ZOMBIES!

* * * *
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and my initial thoughts upon opening it were that I was going to have to dock a star for lack of formatting. On my tablet's kindle reader, there was zero formatting, as if the publisher uploaded a .txt version of the manuscript. I didn't want this to affect my overall review so I wrote the author and let her know there was an issue, to which she immediately contacted her publisher and gifted me a revised copy, which I was thrilled about, both for the quick response and the updated book. Star NOT removed! =D

The book itself takes off right from the start, with the main protagonist and heroine, Emma, whose sister is dying in the hospital. Said sister is pronounced and Emma, confused and in shock, finds herself suddenly and horribly running for her life. All thanks to her sister miraculously waking from the dead and biting a nurse.

Emma bumps into a young doctor named Nathan, who is understandably slow to believe that Emma's sister could possibly be undead, and joins Emma on her mad dash to freedom.

The Last Alive alternates between Emma and Nathan's escape (and budding attraction), to the present time -where Emma and her best friend Meaghan leave the relative safety of the compound they have lived in for the last few years, in order to find and rescue a missing Nathan.

Want to know what happens? You bet you do- pick up a copy and find out!

You can read more about The Last Alive at Goodreads, or buy a copy, print or kindle ready, at amazon.

Friday, October 11, 2013

"Tangled Tides" by Karen Amanda Hooper (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Tangled Tides
Book #1, The Sea Monster Memoirs
by Karen Amanda Hooper

Genre: YA/Mythology/Paranormal Romance

* * * * *

I'd been looking for a mermaid book for awhile and was really pleased with Tangled Tides, a fun and magical dip into many mythological creatures. Sometimes it went a little off the deep end with the fantastical but the author does state she is a big fan of Disney so that explains why! I'm giving it 5 stars because it was a great bit of escapism with romance and conflict, and I look forward to the next book in the series.

**I was not asked by the author to review this book, I just wanted to! It's hard to find a good mermaid book, so maybe some other mermaid fans will appreciate my little thumbs-up. =D