Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Things in Ditches by Jimmy Olsen

"A murder mystery novel. The story of Phillip "Dutch" Cleland, a man with a hidden past and a future about to explode in his face. A seemingly average man whose love for two women drives him to such extremes that deception, even murder and suicide are not longer unthinkable.
When a lovely corpse is discovered near Dutch's home town, the nearby ditches begin to yield a harvest of secrets, none of them comforting for Dutch. Soon he is forced to flee for his life, before his past and the police slip a noose around his neck. Things In Ditches is peopled with small town characters that are so humorous and eccentric, their oddball antics enliven every paragraph and page. A reader can't help but be reeled in by the strange citizens of Willow River, until soon discovering they're really not so different from all of us and Dutch's story is the oldest story on earth; good and evil, betrayal and laughter. And finally, the power of love and friendship, forging one man's determination to overcome all odds, even death."

Lots of things can be found in ditches...bottles, cans, keys.. oh and then there is Vicky. Vicky was found dead in a ditch near the beginning of the story, but before we even get that far we meet her murderer. So why is this described as a murder mystery you ask? We have the body we have the murderer, case closed right? Wrong. Revealed through flashbacks we are told a highly entertaining and sometimes funny tale of just how and why Vicky's life ended naked in a ditch though that was not the end of her travels since she did take a detour on the way to the morgue...
Meanwhile her murderer struggles with thoughts of suicide before deciding to go on the run. I don't want to give away too much, but expect some plot twists even though you may not see them coming.
I received a complimentary copy for review.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Granny - By Brendan O'Carroll

The New York Times Book Review praised Brendan O'Carroll's first novel, The Mammy, as " unpretentious and satisfying as a home-cooked meal...with a delicious dessert of an ending." With the forthcoming second book in the trilogy, The Chisellers, and a movie about The Mammy (entitled Agnes Browne) on the horizon, the world is discovering O'Carroll's uniquely Irish blend of warmth and grittiness, comedy and pathos, as he elevates the lives of ordinary working-class Dublin people--and one extraordinary family--into tales that are small in size but epic in emotion. With the final installment, The Granny, our comedic and lovable heroine, Agnes Browne, has a French lover, six children in their twenties--including one in prison--and a wee grandchild of her own. But the world is spinning fast for Agnes--especially considering that her lover wants her to become "a sexual animal" and that her family's far-flung fortune is beyond her control. The members of the Browne family split up to make it in the world on their own until a tragedy brings the brood back together again--and love keeps them that way forever.

I put off reading this for quite a while. Only because I didn't feel ready to say goodbye. The final book in the Agnes Browne series, The Granny finds Agnes in middle age, her children grown and flown the nest. It is both lighthearted and bitter sweet as are the previous books. Sprinkled generously with humor through out. All good things must come to an end but I miss you already Agnes Browne.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Devil You Know by Adrian Lilly

The Devil You Know is most definitely a story about Julie. You will not be allowed to forget this. The author goes to great pains to make sure you remember her name. In fact her name appears a full 1,746 times in the book. Julie raised, Julie saw, Julie pushed, Julie heaved, Julie felt, Julie refused, Julie Julie Julie! No I did not count them. By the time I was 10% through the book I was put off by the number of sentences that begin with the word Julie, and typed it into the kindle's "search this document" feature. While I did enjoy the story itself it was a bit distracting that so many sentences began with Julie. I felt that it dragged on longer than it needed to It also may be better suited to the young adult section. I received a free copy for review.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Third Floor by C. Dennis Moore

The Third Floor
THEIR NEW HOME IS OUT TO GET THEM Welcome to Angel Hill, Missouri, a town that shot blood from the ground at its own groundbreaking. There are only two roads in or out of town, and everything within those borders is subject to the whims of reality. Those who grew up here are immune to the town's peculiarities. But Jack and Liz have just moved here, and for their young son, Joey, it's almost like coming home again. As the Kitches start settling into their new home, a large abandoned house in need of a lot of TLC, Angel Hill welcomes them the only way it knows how. Footsteps in the middle of the night. Voices on the phone. Their big empty house wasn't so empty after all. There's a presence, and it's growing stronger. And angrier. DOES MADNESS LIVE ON AFTER DEATH? A hulking figure stalks the halls while childlike voices whisper in mourning. And there's something unexplainable happening to Joey. His hair is shorter now, and his eyes . . . they didn't used to be that color, did they? And that birthmark on his neck looks more like a scar every day. Jack doesn't want to believe his own eyes, but for Liz the threat is all too real, and it's closing in. From the invisible shapes under the sheets, the eyes she feels on her constantly, and the banging coming from the third floor . . . is that something trying to get in? Or something wanting out? Welcome to Angel Hill.

The Third Floor by C. Dennis Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love a good ghost story then this is a must read. The Third Floor is the best haunted house story I have had the pleasure to read in quite some time. In fact the entire town has a long history of strange and creepy occurrences which adds nicely to the spooky atmosphere of the story. Also includes an additional short story at the end which I would rate 5 stars as well.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Soul Hostage - Evil Takes A Backseat by Jeffrey Littorno

"Thomas and Joey have known a great deal of trouble in their lives. Through it all, they have been able to count on each another.

But everything starts to change when they meet Louis Stoaffer. Stoaffer spins an engaging tale of betrayal and downfall. For assisting the old man in getting his revenge upon a scheming wife and a treacherous business partner, Thomas and Joey will be rewarded with the means of making their dreams come true.
However, as the trio travels south to carry out Stoaffer's plan, the promised slice of heaven goes south as well. Nothing is as simple as it first appeared. Dreams become nightmares. Demons within and without must be confronted.

The final question is how far Thomas will go in order to save himself. Read this novel of paranormal horror to learn the answer"

What starts off as just another ordinary day for best friends Joey and Thomas (ordinary when you're a criminal that is) takes an unexpected turn when they grab a hostage who claims he can lead them to a score so big they'll never have to pull another robbery. Well as they say, what sounds too good to be true usually is, and this claim was no exception. Something is just not quite right about this hostage from the very beginning, and then it gets worse from there. A very enjoyable story with an ending I nearly didn't see coming until I was 80% finished with the book.
I received a complimentary copy to review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tales of the Strange and Grim - Andrew Hall

"What if you could freeze time itself with a click of your fingers? Or held a bright bottle of juice in your hand that promised eternal youth? These are tales of the strange and grim, where cakes come to life and monsters lurk in the inky dark. Find out how a mild-mannered writer deals with a murderous alien, and what England would look like with a thoroughly modern tyrant on the throne. Delve into weird worlds where reality gets skewed at every turn – if not skewered completely. You'll never look at a blender the same way again"

Tales of the Strange and Grim certainly lives up to it's name. These short stories are most definitely strange, and definitely grim, although my favorite of the bunch "Peace of Cake" had a happier ending than most. As with most books of short stories some stand out and others are less impressive. In addition to Peace of Cake, I very much enjoyed "Tabitha" "The Feathered Man" and "Time Apart" You can't go wrong for the price, and I will be on the look out for more from this author.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Four Corners Dark - William McNally

Out in the darkness, the demons and horrors of our imagination become all too real. Of those brave enough to leave the light and plunge into the world’s dark corners, none come back unchanged. Some don’t come back at all. Four Corners Dark offers up four very different tales of places where the darkness lingers, tempting you to step into the unknown.
In these tales by storyteller William McNally, a group of Mexican immigrants place their trust in the wrong coyote, or human smuggler, only to find their very souls at risk. A huckster with the ability to escape trouble by jumping realities discovers he may have made one jump too many. Two proud new homeowners find out too late they share their property with the ghost of a vengeful witch, and one man’s love for his son leads to a decision that changes both their destinies.
It’s easy to be brave in the light, protected by our warm, comforting electric light bulbs or the warmth of the sun. Only in the darkness do we discover the limits of our courage. Step out of the light, and into the stories of Four Corners Dark

Four Corners Dark contains 4 short stories and most definitely saves the best for last. If able to rate them separately I would have given 5 stars to the last story "The Spinning Wheel" Which reminded me of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This way Comes complete with mysterious carnival. It was my favorite.

The first 2 stories Engine Eighteen and Return to Nowhere were just ok. I felt that the endings could have been better resolved. The third story The Raven Mocker, was the longest of the 3 and although it was better than the first 2 stories It seemed a little stiff and some of the dialogue seemed unnatural. A bit of editing could have made this story flow along better. All in all not a bad book.
I was given a complimentary copy for review

Monday, April 29, 2013

Vegan Zombie Apocalypse -by Wol-vriey

I don’t know where to start. I thought I had pretty much seen it all and read it all when it comes to the zombie genre. I was wrong. Welcome to a world where zombies live on potatoes grown in human flesh, humans cannibalize those who have had their potatoes harvested, and sex as you know it is a thing of the past, but don’t forget your jar of condom worms in case you get lucky. Not for the easily offended, the faint of heart or those with a weak stomach. The gore and gross out factor is broken up by occasional humor. You won’t know whether to laugh or vomit. If you are a fan of the bizarre, or if you want a change of pace from your usual zombie fare, this is for you. I guarantee you have never seen zombies like these before.
I was given a free copy by the author for review.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Best New Zombie Tales Volume 1

Includes Amazing Fiction by:

WHC Grand Master Award Winner, Ray Garton
New York Times Best Seller, Jonathan Maberry
Bram Stoker Award Winner, Kealan Patrick Burke
Bram Stoker Award Nominee, Jeff Strand
Edgar Award, Bram Stoker Award Nominee, Bev Vincent
Micro Award Finalist, Robert Swartwood
Emmy Award Nominee, Harry Shannon
British Fantasy Awards Nominee, Gary Mcmahon
Bram Stoker Award Winner, Kim Paffenroth
And so much more…

Creepy, scary, and sometimes funny, these stories are all quite enjoyable but if I had to choose favorites I would say that the Ray Garton story "Zombie Love" and Jonathan Maberry's "Pegleg and Paddy save the world" were the best of the bunch.