Friday, August 18, 2017

Guest Post by Mark Allan Gunnells

Mark Allan Gunnells is a prolific author whose novella ASYLUM is currently featured.

ASYLUM

My review of the novella will be posted here, tomorrow (August 19). Meanwhile, enjoy Mark's guest post:

WHY I LOVE ZOMBIES

Zombie tales—be it in fiction, television, movies, even video games—has been hot for quite a while, and yet for all the fans of zombie stories, there is an equally vocal contingent of people who decry them. They say that zombie tales oversaturate the market and are actually killing horror. While I understand that certain types of stories aren’t for everyone, I am firmly in the camp of those that love a good zombie tale.

And the more traditional the better! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy when a storyteller employs a fresh and unexpected take on something familiar to the audience, but for me there’s something about the traditional, mindless zombie that just really appeals. I think there are several reasons for this.

First, other traditional horror monsters like vampires and even werewolves often have personality and a tortured quality that make them the focus of the story. That can be quite enjoyable (I’m a fan of all the classic monsters), but with the zombie being such a blank slate, it opens up the story to focus more on the protagonists, the human drama that comes from trying to survive something that cannot be reasoned with, that is driven purely by an instinct to kill. A lack of deeper motivation makes the zombie somehow more frightening.

As an extension of this point, the traditional zombie can often be used as a mere framework for telling very human stories. You get a band of disparate survivors together (trapped in a farmhouse or a mall or a bunker, or in the case of some of my work a gay club or a college dorm building), and then you can start to study group dynamics, personality conflicts, power struggles, bigotry, mental instability. This type of story paves the way for creating a microcosm of society in which you can deal with a lot of serious issues in an exciting and entertaining fashion.

What the late George Romero showed so powerfully in his own films was that zombie stories are perfect vehicles for social commentary that doesn’t become overly preachy. I can respect that, a story that engages as well as provokes thought and discussion.

>P> All of these things were in my mind when I sat down to write ASYLUM, my first real piece of zombie fiction. I went with a very traditional type of mindless zombie, and a familiar setup, having a group of characters trapped inside a gay club while the undead tried to force their way in. I used this as a springboard for a story about prejudice and self-loathing and insecurity and addiction, all wrapped up in what I think turned out to be a very entertaining piece of fiction. I was able to continue this in “Lunatics Running the Asylum,” a short story that picks up where the novella leaves off which is included in the new edition from Apex Publications.

I realize that just by nature of being a classic zombie tale, there are certain people out there that won’t even give ASYLUM a try, but as a writer I have to be true to my vision, my passions. I love zombie stories, and I’m happy to put my own stamp on the subgenre.

Mark Allan Gunnells loves to tell stories. He has since he was a kid, penning one-page tales that were Twilight Zone knockoffs. He likes to think he has gotten a little better since then. He loves reader feedback, and above all he loves telling stories. He lives in Greer, SC, with his husband Craig A. Metcalf.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

MASS HYSTERIA by Michael Patrick Hicks_Review

Mass HysteriaMass Hysteria by Michael Patrick Hicks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: MASS HYSTERIA by Michael Patrick Hicks

Over decades, humanity has worried about an apocalypse, constructing disparate possibilities: nuclear war, comets, asteroids, meteors, extraterrestrial invasions, even eclipses (as earlier generations feared). In the last several decades, we've also learned to fear chemical and biological warfare, and genetically engineered or naturally occurring pandemics. Don't forget our Sun's delivery of solar flares, electromagnetic pulses, and coronal mass ejections. It's enough to make a thinking person hide.

MASS HYSTERIA very neatly ties several possibilities into one implacable package, delivering the horror straight to Earth in a tide of meteor impacts. You can run, but not very far and not very fast. I say "implacable" and that is exactly the definition of this one-size-fits-all pandemic: first animals, next humans (who prove to be another species of animal after all--there is no human "high moral ground" here. Kindness, compassion, even family feeling, are eradicated in an instant, virulently and graphically so.)

MASS HYSTERIA (the title proves literally true, of many species) is contemporary science fiction coupled with extreme horror. It is not-not-NOT for the faint of heart. It is not for the easily-offended. If you are an animal lover, watch out. The world as we know it has become a massively ugly mess, and survival means strength, swiftness, and base instincts; even then, survival is not guaranteed. Every single living being is pitted against all others.

That said, I was tremendously excited for the opportunity to review MASS HYSTERIA. That excitement continued throughout the book and on to the ("Oh my! I can't believe it devolved to this!") end. The plotting stayed consistent throughout. So yes, I shouldn't have been startled at the ending. Author Michael Patrick Hicks transported me to a world where the old phrase "dog-eat-dog" can't begin to do justice. He made this new situation unending and plausible. May it never come to pass.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

BANNED/CHALLENGED BOOKS READATHON

check this out at Banned/Challenged Books Readathon at Book Dragon's Lair Read a book that has been "banned" or "challenged."

Check out the information at American Library Association

BANNED BOOKS WEEK

My Reading Goal:

IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote

SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut

TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller

Additional:

TROPIC OF CAPRICORN by Henry Miller

THE ANAIS NIN READER by Anais Nin

Sunday, August 6, 2017

THE RAINBOW VIRUS by Dennis Meredith_Review

The Rainbow VirusThe Rainbow Virus by Dennis Meredith


Review: THE RAINBOW VIRUS by Dennis Meredith

I was intrigued by the initial premise of this novel (a bio-engineered virus which alters skin pigmentation in various ethnicities) and then engrossed by the "big picture issues" presented. Biological warfare has long been an interest/concern of mine, as has the alteration of naturally occurring viruses and toxic chemicals to use in biological weaponry. It's one thing to worry about foreign governments utilizing bio-weapons; here is an individual scientist on the loose with vast capability.

Author Dennis Meredith keeps the pages turning, and leaves readers with much to ponder.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 28, 2017

BEHOLD: ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS_Review

BEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable WondersBEHOLD! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders by Doug Murano
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Release July 28

Review: BEHOLD: ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS (edited by Doug Murano)

Crystal Lake Publishing is an infallible go-to for exceptional "Dark Literature," and in BEHOLD, champion editor Doug Myrano curates an incredible line-up of outstanding authors who bring readers unforgettable stories. So powerful is the content offered herein that this reviewer highly recommends savouring one story per serving, as surely you will wish to fully revel in each entry, while it absorbs itself into your essence. Contained within are world-renowned authors, and authors who deserve wider recognition as well. Make this a collection you cherish.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

HIGH SUMMER READATHON July 17-30 (with Christmas in July Readathon)

2017 High Summer Readathon runs July 17-30.

This year includes a special, optional, Christmas in July Readathon, July 29-30.

For information and to sign up, see the post at

Sign Up

My goal: 20 books. Wrap-Up:

I read 13 books (4 nonfiction, 1 themed anthology, 8 novels).

Nonfiction:

THE WRONG MAN: THE FINAL VERDICT ON THE DR. SAM SHEPPARD MURDER CASE

HISTORY OF MONEY

HITLER: NAZI HISTORY

HISTORY OF AVIATION

Anthology: BEHOLD! ODDITIES, CURIOSITIES, AND UNDEFINABLE WONDERS

Novels:

GALACTIC POT-HEALER by Philip K. Dick

THE LATE SHOW by Michael Connelly

AFTERLIFE by Marcus Sakey

FINAL GIRLS by Riley Sager

FOXLOWE by Eleanor Wasserberg

WELCOME TO THE APOCALYPSE by D. L. Richardson

THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN by Charlie Donlea

THE CHALK MAN by C. J. Tudor

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review_ANTIOCH by Gregory Ness

Antioch (The Sword of Agrippa #1)Antioch by Gregory Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: ANTIOCH by Gregory Ness

ANTIOCH is a creatively imagined novel which interweaves near-future prediction with ancient history and metaphysics and technological advancement. In a very ugly near future not far enough from today, narrow-minded oligarchy rules. In cooperation with fundamentalist religion, science has been either shut down or driven underground. Many scientists have been killed outright or have died in mysterious freak events. What science and technology remain are dumbed down, satiating uneducated masses while avoiding moving forward and eschewing any advancement. Innovation is deleted, the near-future equivalent of burning at the stake. Woven into this plot is ancient Rome, definitely a harbinger. This is first in a series.


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Monday, May 29, 2017

SCIENCE FICTION READATHON!!

I'm thrilled to participate in the second annual Sci-Fi Summer Readathon, hosted by champion reader-blogger Michelle Miller at Summer Sci-fi Readathon Follow my Readathon progress at: June Sci-fi Readathon Shelf Readathon runs June -7. Rock your Sci-Fi love!

Day One Post

I haven't completed a book, but I have read portions of several. Last Sunday, in just a few hours time because I couldn't stop turning pages, I read NOMAD, Book 1 of the NOMAD Series by Matthew Mathers, a science fiction near-future apocalyptic thriller (and very terrifying). So I decided to read the next two books in the series (I don't yet own the newly-released Book 4) during Sci Fi Readathon (which I wish was two weeks or a month in duration {smile}. So on Day One I started SANCTUARY (Book 2).

I also started PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia Butler (included in the EARTHSEED Duology). Wow! Octavia Butler was a tremendously talented author. But reading this novel is seriously depressing; I keep reminding myself how much more despairing to live in the near-future Dystopiana Butler recounts. I plan to read both PARABLE OF THE SOWER and PARABLE OF THE TALENTS during this Readathon. I already know Butler's vast imagination will stretch my own.

I also began reading Jason M. Hough's THE DARWIN ELEVATOR, a futuristic sci fi thriller set in Australia (2283). This one has invisible aliens who built a space elevator and disappeared, a worldwide plague, “immunes,” and space smuggling (shades of C. J. Cherryh!). I plan to read both books in this Duology as well.

In addition, I expect to read (or at least to commence), Greg Bear's EON Series (LEGACY, EON, ETERNAL).

Day Two-Day Three Update:

Day Two, I completed SANCTUARY by Matthew Mather (Book Two in the NOMAD Series), and read a sci fi short story, PROJECT SNOW, by Cherita Smith.

Day Three I was on a roll, completing THE DARWIN ELEVATOR by Jason M. House (Dire Earth Duology #1), and reading THE DARWIN EFFECT by Mark Lukens, a super novel all around which will receive a glowing review. I started FALL OF ZONA NOX by Nicholas Woode-Smith. I also commenced DARWIN'S RADIO by Greg Bear, Book 1 in a duology (I will also be reading Book 2, DARWIN'S CHILDREN, during this readathon). Greg Bear is such an exceptional author, and his work exemplifies why I read science fiction. He is an intellect, extremely knowledgeable, a true Renaissance man. For instance, he demonstrates a vast breadth of knowledge in geopolitics, history (global, not just his native region), current events, languages, and of course, Science! He is fast becoming one of my favorite sci fi authors, along with Peter F. Hamilton.

Day Four-Five

Quality, not quantity, this time: 4 novels, 1 short story, so far. Yesterday I read a fantastic new release, Resurrection America by Jeff Gunhus, which is near future and science-based, small-scale engineered apocalypse. Great book.

WRAP UP:

I've read 5 novels plus one short story, all science fiction:

SANCTUARY

THE DARWIN ELEVATOR

THE DARWIN EFFECT

RESURRECTION AMERICA

DARWIN'S RADIO

and a short story, PROJECT SNOW.

I also read about 20% of DARWIN'S CHILDREN, the sequel to DARWIN'S RADIO.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Tour: SHIFT OF SHADOW AND SOUL by Hilary Thompson


This is the blog tour for author Hilary Thompson's new YA Epic Fantasy novel, organized by Itching for Books. Check out the awesome teasers and enter to win a hardcopy of the book. 

Release date: May 22nd 2017
Series: Soul Shifter #1
Publisher: Star Shadow Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Synopsis via Goodreads:
There are three kinds of magic in the world, and Corentine has the wrong one.

Long ago, the Restless King forced Corentine’s people into hiding as he scoured their blood for the SoulShifter. When Corentine learns she possesses some of the forbidden Shifter magic, she must hide her power or risk the same death her twin suffered.

Raised to trust no-one, she rejects the General’s son Sy, until she realizes his family secrets might be the key to unlocking hers. When his brother turns against them, they are forced to fight family to save what’s left of their home, or accept banishment to find a new future.

If Coren and Sy can’t convince their people to accept the light of Shifter magic, the growing Shadow will ruin everyone’s chance of freedom.

Travel this richly imagined world with a diverse cast that readers have compared to fantasy favorites like Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo.

Sulit Witch
Weshen Shifter
Umbren Shadow

When dark meets light, will all become Shadow?


The boy leaned closer. Coren risked another glance at his face, expecting to find the widened pupils, the swollen lips of desire and anticipation.
But it was worse than that.
He stared at her intently, gray-blue eyes narrowed and full lips slightly upturned in conquest.
Claim them with a kiss. The hunt’s opening speech echoed in her mind.
He pulled her closer, and she stopped moving entirely, going limp. Playing dead. He thought this was a game, like all the others did.
Then she allowed her lips turn up in a grim smile. It certainly was a game. The boy just didn’t realize that her rules were different, and he was about to lose.
Her tongue reached into the cavity of her cheek and retrieved the plump goshen berry hidden there. As his lips neared, Coren broke the berry against her teeth, bracing for the instant burn. Then, tongue searing, she shoved the pulp past his opened lips, preventing the claim.
He burst away, the shock of the acidic berry sending him stumbling backward, swiping drool from his slack jaw.
And she ran, darting around him and ignoring the pain and the blisters that were already bubbling and popping on her tongue and lips. Reaching the cliff, she hazarded a glance over her shoulder. He was tougher than expected, for he was crossing the plain too, moving quickly through the sandy grass.
“Stop!” he yelled hoarsely. Strangely, he was grinning widely, lips blackened with goshen juice and bright blood. Coren had no more ground left, but out of curiosity, she paused to watch as he approached. He walked softly now, as though she were a beast he was cornering. Perhaps he was a real hunter, after all.
Even so, the berries had stopped him, making the kiss forfeit. She could claim he hadn’t actually caught her.
“So…goshen berries?” he asked, wiping away more blood with the hem of his white shirt. “I must be the first hunter ever to receive that treatment.”
Coren’s brain nagged at her to escape, but something in his grin made her ask. “Why the first?”
“Because surely no one has ever caught you before. And I can’t imagine another girl willing to martyr her own lips just to avoid a small kiss.”
He was very close now: not quite near enough to grab her, but mere steps from it. She stepped back carefully, heels nearly hanging off the edge of the cliff.
“Nothing is small when it is against your will.” She watched his eyes widen as he processed the words, and then she bent her knees and pushed away from the earth, arcing back and out into the void, then straight as an arrow toward the water below. His shout was erased by the wind rushing past her ears, and then the water closed over her head with a crash.
Under the surface of the sun-warmed water, Coren somersaulted quickly and reversed directions. She surfaced only to locate the face of the cliff and gulp a breath, and she didn’t dare look up to see if he had spotted her. Ducking back under the waves, she stroked hard against the current, finally feeling rock. Her lungs throbbed as her head bobbed up again, but she was safely inside the hidden sanctuary.




About the Author
Hilary ThompsonHilary used to be such a practical girl. Then she let the stories out.
Now she creates worlds, people, and problems that are grounded in real life, if you accept that real life has magic around every turn.
Hilary was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But she was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so she's made a habit of taking a few roads on her own.
Now she teaches Creative Writing, English, and AP Literature, writes whenever and wherever she can, and reads as much as her eyes can handle. She plays superheroes and dress up games and reads books in bed with her own independent, willful children, and plays at homesteading and world traveling with her wonderful soulmate of a husband. She tends to ignore laundry and dirty dishes.







May 22nd ~
CBY Book Club
Mythical Books
Reading for the Stars and Moon
Book Lovers Life
The Mistress Novelette

May 23rd ~
YA Book Divas
My Book Addiction

May 24th ~
Jump Into Books
Sassy Book Lovers

May 25th ~
My Nook, Books & More
bookblogarama 
Rabbit Ears Book Blog

May 26th ~
Into the Abyss *Review
books are love









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Shift of Shadow and Soul (SoulShifter, #1)Shift of Shadow and Soul by Hilary Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of Shift of Shadow and Soul (SoulShifter #1)
by Hilary Thompson

A truly engaging YA epic fantasy with a heroine readers can be proud of, this novel introduces a world which has been divided and subdivided, most of which is ruled over by the megalomaniacal and always land-greedy Restless King, who governs according to his own lights and without mercy or justice involved. Corentine is a young girl living on the Weshen Isle, the “rejected” population, but she never lets her caste status overrule her own immensely strong will. Her desire above all is always freedom, and she refuses to submit to what others will for her or for her people.

SHIFT OF SHADOW AND SOUL is exciting and engrossing, and Hilary Thompson creates a world that is different, yet realistically possible, a world that inspires even non-fantasy lovers to enjoy this novel and the series to come.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

PEOPLE OF THE SUN by Jason Parent_Review

ed with hope and driven by fear, four would-be heroes are driven from their home planet in a desperate bid to save their civilization from extinction. But survival takes on a whole new meaning when a malfunction sends their ship plummeting toward Earth.

Surviving the crash is only the first obstacle on their path to salvation. The marooned aliens soon discover that Earth’s beautiful exterior masks an ugly foundation, a place inhabited by a warrior race that’s on a path toward self-destruction.

Brimming with action and intrigue, People of the Sun is sure to entice fans of dark fantasy and sci-fi thrillers such as Watchmen and I Am Number Four.

Jason Parent, Biography

In his head, Jason Parent lives in many places, but in the real world, he calls New England his home. Formerly from the Southeastern Massachusetts region, he recently moved to Rhode Island to be near his work.

In a prior life, Jason spent most of his time in front of a judge . . . as a civil litigator. When he finally tired of Latin phrases no one knew how to pronounce and explaining to people that real lawsuits are not started, tried and finalized within the 60-minute timeframe they see on TV (it's harassing the witness; no one throws vicious woodland creatures at them), he traded in his cheap suits for flip flops and designer stubble. The flops got repossessed the next day, and he's back in the legal field . . . sorta. But that's another story.

Praise for People of the Sun

"Jason Parent has penned a thought-provoking, gripping scifi thriller. This isn't your grandma's alien invasion. My own world stopped the moment I stepped into People of the Sun. Lovers of science fiction, horror and even super heroes will revel in this roller-coaster of a tale. A true must-read!" -Hunter Shea, author of We Are Always Watching and The Jersey Devil

“With his own indelible blend of tension and dark humor, Jason Parent’s latest page-turner reminds me of what you’d get if you crossed Isaac Asimov with Kurt Vonnegut. In addition to being fast-paced and wildly entertaining, Parent’s novel also offers the occasional flash of insight into the human (and not-so-human) condition, and displays Parent’s talent for turning a given genre on its head.” -Michael Meyerhofer, author of The Dragonkin Trilogy

Purchase Amazon
Available on other online retailers as well such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.

Want to Feature?
If you’re a book blogger or media site and would like to feature Jason Parent or review People of the Sun, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Review of PEOPLE OF THE SUN by Jason Parent Jason Parent has a vast imagination, demonstrated in everything he writes. In PEOPLE OF THE SUN he has given us a contemporary science fiction thriller demonstrating the fallibility of humans (as well as of “aliens.”) I couldn't help but be reminded of my beloved science fiction films of the 1950's, in which human narrowmindedness and inability to accept anything beyond received facts are thoroughly demonstrated. PEOPLE OF THE SUN focuses on a virtually new concept in science fiction, as the reader will discover in perusing this thriller. “Alien” meets “human” and discovers shared background, while most of humanity (in authority) either wants to destroy, or at least sweep the “problem” away and out of sight. Readers will come away from PEOPLE OF THE SUN with an intensified appreciation for “the other,” for scientific open-mindedness, and for the wonders of the universe. This novel is guaranteed to provoke thoughtfulness and contemplation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WORLDS BETWEEN MY TEETH by Tim Meyer_Review

Worlds Between My Teeth by Tim Meyer

Publicist/Marketing: Erin Al-Mehairi

Contact: hookofabook@hotmail.com

Follow along the tour with these hashtags:

#WorldsBetweenMyTeeth

#WBMT

#shorthorrorstories

Worlds Between My Teeth, Synopsis – Print Length: 218 pages

Publication Date: June 10, 2016

A dream you can't wake up from. A cruel game you never wished you played. An enormous shadow living beneath your lake. An invasion of your world.

Worlds Between My Teeth collects TWELVE short stories designed to keep you up past midnight. Strap in. Tim Meyer, author of IN THE HOUSE OF MIRRORS and SUNFALL: SEASON ONE, grants you access to the portals in his mind. Welcome to his WORLDS...

TRACK LISTING:  1. The Dream Eaters 2. The Lemures  3. The Cherry Collectors  4. Worlds Between My Teeth 5. Gingerbread Death Machine 6. Under New Skies 7. The Ice King 8. Box Game 9. Armala's Hunt 10. The Old Church 11. The Pumpkin Tree Giveth, The Pumpkin Tree Taketh Away 12. The Man Who Never Frowned 

BONUS NOVELLA: "The Organ Harvest: An October John Novella"

Tim Meyer, Biography

Tim Meyer dwells in a dark cave near the Jersey Shore. He’s an author, husband, father, podcast host, blogger, coffee connoisseur, beer enthusiast, and explorer of worlds. He writes horror, mysteries, science fiction, and thrillers, although he prefers to blur genres and let the stories fall where they may.

You can follow Tim at https://timmeyerwrites.com where he has great content and features author interviews and you can sign-up for his newsletter! Like his Facebook page here:

www.facebook.com/authortimmeyer and you can also find him on Twitter as @timmeyer11.

Praise for Worlds Between My Teeth “Tim Meyer proves once again that he's an up and coming author to watch. His latest, a collection of horror shorts and two novellas, will tickle every horror hound's terror bone. There's a little bit of everything in here, from 80s inspired horror, to a dab of Twilight Zone and a dash of Tales from the Darkside. I especially enjoyed The Lemures, melding a Mafia tale with the supernatural, showing that revenge ain't always that sweet. It reminded me a lot of the old EC horror comics I loved...and still love. The novella, The Thin Veil, is a gripping coming of age tale told against the backdrop of an inter-dimensional takeover. And now I hate butterflies. I devoured all of the stories in Worlds Between My Teeth like a zombie on a freshly torn limb. Pick this bad boy up, then treat yourself to his novel, House of Mirrors. You'll be hooked on Meyer.”
–Hunter Shea, Author of We Are Always Watching and Savage Jungle

“The twelve tales collected here range in length and tackle a wide variety of subject matter, such as an insidious, otherwordly force infecting the residents of a common American town; a brother and sister on the run from a mobster harboring a terrifying supernatural secret; a security guard who stumbles upon an inter-dimensional crossroads; a childhood game with a decidedly diabolical adult twist and a student who learns the hard way hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. As is always the case, Meyer's prose is for the most part crisp and on point and he moves the stories at a solid clip. The level of creativity and ingenuity on display here is astonishing.” –D.S. Ullery, Author

“Here there are the horror and speculative thriller mainstays, comeuppance, monsters, dimensions, even dragons. Very Twilight Zone. Very Outer Limits.” –Unnerving Magazine

Purchase Amazon

Want to Feature? If you’re a book blogger or media site and would like to feature Tim Meyer or review Worlds Between My Teeth, contact Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Review of WORLDS BETWEEN MY TEETH

by Tim Meyer

An amazing and outstanding story collection from an eclectic author who deserves a wide readership, WORLDS BETWEEN MY TEETH will expand a reader's imagination and perceptions. I don't think my mind will ever return to its previous dimensions. (smile) I was first introduced to Tim Meyer's writing with the incredible novel SHARKWATER BEACH, a horror/sci-fi thriller about the perils of both genetic engineering under the direction of a megalomaniac, and alien incursion. That was a non-stop, terrifying, and ultimately satisfying read.

WORLDS BETWEEN MY TEETH is the kind of reach-for-the-stars reading experience, in each story. For example (and only one of many wonderful ones!), the eponymous story involves an empty mansion on a normal suburban street, a house which encloses multiple portals to other worlds.

I classify WORLDS BETWEEN MY TEETH as speculative fiction: some horror, some fantastic, some science fictional. No matter how one categorizes it, this is an experience to be savoured.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE GHOST LINE Review

The Ghost LineThe Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE GHOST LINE
by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison

What an exciting novella! I hope this universe will be expanded on, as I totally enjoyed the characters and the convoluted plotting, not to mention the advanced reason behind the events on the abandoned vessel, THE MARTIAN QUEEN. In many ways I found this story particularly special and engaging.

A married couple who explore abandoned asteroid habitats and space vessels are hired by a woman who claims to be acting on behalf of a corporation, to hack The Martian Queen, a ship which three decades ago flew between Mars and Earth, providing an upscale experience The Titanic and The Lusitania might envy. When the company went bankrupt, new ownership shut down the ship and left it in orbit. Now the ship is to be hacked and sent out of orbit—supposedly. In actuality, what Wei intends is far from anything Saga and Michel or their pilot Gregor could possibly expect; and even stranger is the ship's intention.

THE GHOST LINE is a riveting science fiction experience, but I think it will be enjoyed just as much by readers of other genres. It's just that excellent.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WITCH LIGHTS by Michael M. Hughes_Review

Witch Lights: Book Two of the Blackwater Lights TrilogyWitch Lights: Book Two of the Blackwater Lights Trilogy by Michael M. Hughes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of WITCH LIGHTS
by Michael M. Hughes
(BLACKWATER LIGHTS #2)


After the shocking events of BLACKWATER LIGHTS, Ray, Ellen, William, and Mantu travel undercover to Latin America, where the first three live itinerantly, continuing to try to hide out from Ray's wanted status in the U.S. Refusing to move into The Brotherhood's jungle compound, Ellen and William are abducted from a carnival by soldiers of a wealthy and megalomaniacal drug capo. Meanwhile Lily continues to hunt all three, knowing William has developed otherworldly abilities and powers.

Like BLACKWATER LIGHTS, WITCH LIGHTS is non-stop action, without a moment to breathe, as Ray, Ellen, and William struggle to escape and even to survive, and terrorism strikes North America.


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Monday, May 15, 2017

BLACKWATER LIGHTS by Michael Hughes_Review

rBlackwater LightsBlackwater Lights by Michael M. Hughes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review from 2013
A very, very terrifying book, suffused with that feeling one gets of danger too near-at-hand, of approaching perils too insurmountable. You won't forget it--so don't.miss it!

May 15 2017:
Review of BLACKWATER LIGHTS
by Michael Hughes
{Blackwater Lights #1}

A horror-thriller that is especially electrifying because of the implacability of its horror, both human, and inhuman, BLACKWATER LIGHTS is the first of a trilogy. Set in a seemingly unassuming tiny, almost backward (or frozen in time) isolated community in the mountains of West Virginia, the novel focuses on a forty-something school teacher, Ray Simon of Baltimore. The experiences he and his childhood friend Kevin endured at a “camp for gifted children” outside Blackwater, West Virginia, in the seventies, were so horrendous and outre that both had blocked all memory. At the end of the school term, Kevin, now a wealthy porn magnate, begs Ray to visit and to help Kevin, who claims nightly disturbing nightmares. Ray travels there against his better judgment, and events prove he should have heeded his intution.
What the boys experienced at that “camp” is almost beyond belief, abusive, traumatizing, and nearly world-ending. Now an incredibly wealthy “philanthropist” wants to summon those memories, and to summon something from beyond.



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Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE COLLECTOR by Rhett Bruno_Review

The Collector (Titanborn Universe, #0)The Collector by Rhett C. Bruno
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE COLLECTOR
by Rhett Bruno
(TITANBORN UNIVERSE Book 0)

THE COLLECTOR is an excitingly-paced science fiction thriller featuring Malcolm Graves, an aging private Collector for a massive corporation. Set 300 years after a meteorite impacted Earth, Malcolm is a glorified bounty hunter, very talented and experienced after two decades. He also has a ten-year-old daughter he conceals, as the United Sol Federation only allows procreation by permit, and only within a recognised clan-family.

When he stumbles unexpectedly on a beyond-black-market robotics experimentation and development orbiting station while trying to recover a runaway corporation heir, Graves opens more than a can of worms, and finds when there is no registration of a space station, absolutely anything can—and will—occur.

Reading the novella THE COLLECTOR has inspired my interest in author Rhett Bruno's TITANBORN UNIVERSE series.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

THE PLAGUE by Blake B. Rivers_Review

The Plague (Alternate Dimensions Book 1)The Plague by Blake B. Rivers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE PLAGUE by Blake B. Rivers
(Alternate Dimensions Book 1)

An easy-to-assimilate, easy-to-suspend-disbelief sci fi series beginning, THE PLAGUE centers on a young college student whose past has been extraordinary: extraordinarily negative. Author Blake B. Rivers doesn't reveal it all at once. We only get suggestions, hints, and glimpses; but we understand enough to know why Andi (full given name Verdandi) prefers solitude, science fiction, and video gaming. No one deserves a life that bad.

Andi has been reading a sci fi series by a female author, and has been quite enrapt with it. Unexpectedly she discovers a game at the video store, set in the universe of the books, and plays it at home. But this is not just a multi-level game, it's a portal: and soon Andi is part of this alternate universe, a six-foot red-haired human female, appearing out of nowhere, imprisoned on a space station, targeted for death by persons or forces unknown, and living the life of her dreams—or nightmares!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ORBS III: REDEMPTION by Nicholas Sansbury Smith_Review

Redemption (Orbs #3)Redemption by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ORBS III: REDEMPTION by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Anyone who ponders the possibility of a global apocalypse needs to read this outstanding series. So does anyone who doubts the existence of the survival instinct in humans, or who needs inspiration to hope. The destruction of the planet is close to complete, and the terrors for the survivors at the Cheyenne Mountain Biosphere and on the submerged submarine Ghosts of Atlantis have never been greater. It seems only a miracle could turn the alien tide, and miracles are few and far between.

Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith vivified the apocalypse for me (as he did in his TRACKERS series), so that I was present in each moment. His descriptions of the varied species of aliens, and their history on Mars, was splendidly described and comprehensible.

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Review of ORBS II: STRANDED by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Stranded (Orbs #2)Stranded by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of ORBS II: STRANDED
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

In this continuation of the ORBS trilogy, the survivors in Biosphere 1 under Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, discover another survivor exists in California, from a biosphere at Edwards AFB. We are also introduced to a surviving NTC sub, the Ghosts of Atlantis, submerged into the Pacific Ocean. As the conditions on the planet continue to worsen, the survivors somehow manage to maintain hope, both within themselves, and in the form of protecting and educating the several children they have found. One of the themes consistent throughout is the theme of hope. Despite the eventual destruction of the planet, the human survivors are determined to survive and to extend the species, in the face of the aliens' obvious intent to completely eradicate humanity. Another consistent theme is the will to survive. These folks would make Darwin proud, I think, but survival becomes not always a question of strength, but of intelligence, cunning, wisdom, and cleverness.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

ORBS by Nicholas Sansbury Smith_Review

Orbs (Orbs #1)Orbs by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of ORBS (ORBS #1)
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

I found the work of Nicholas Sansbury Smith through reading TRACKERS and TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED and was so enrapt that I committed to reading all his titles. ORBS is the first of a series which deftly combines apocalypse and science fiction (though I think everything here could potentially occur). One of the apocalypse scenarios that doesn't receive sufficient conjecture and analysis is danger from the Sun: solar flares; solar storms; Coronal Mass Ejections (CME). For decades scientists have mostly insisted that the Earth's atmosphere is sufficiently dense to block dangerous rays; but with a century plus of ozone depletion, that may no longer be the case. In ORBS, a solar storm in 2055 erupts in a massive CME, which irradiates much of Earth, causing serious population decline and collapse of the infrastructure.

In 2061, remaining scientists are tasked to operate a Biosphere, constructed by NTC, the private corporation contracted by the U.S. Federal Government for security and technology issues. Once in the Biosphere, the five scientists quickly discover that their mission to prepare for a voyage to Mars, in order to preserve the human species, is much more urgent than already assumed.

Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith has a true gift for narrative of apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, and science fiction. He vivifies the narrative landscape, and drawing on his own extensive research and decade in disaster management, he brings forth settings which are realistic, despite the fact that no human has ever actually experienced these events—yet.

ORBS is a story I could not put aside, and cannot forget. It impels me to think critically about the present—and the potential future, not only for me, but for my progeny.

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

review of TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

The Hunted (Trackers #2)The Hunted by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED
by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
(TRACKERS Book 2)

TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED continues the story of the North Korean-caused EMPs and the destruction of Washington D. C., with exciting (and horrifying) every-page action. Author Nicholas Sansbury Smith applies his research and his experience in disaster preparedness to vivify what could be if the current (or future) geopolitical climate debilitated and the protocols preventing nuclear attacks collapsed.

Again set in Estes Park, Colorado, and offshore in the newly reconstructed US government, survivors are trying to piece together a present and future, laying up supplies and protecting their families, while criminals and psychopaths utilize the chaos for their own further endeavours. Synchronicity provided that I read these two books right after reading an upcoming thriller dealing with white supremacy, because a supremacist psychopath is a major portion of this installment.

Reading TRACKERS and TRACKERS 2: THE HUNTED left me invigorated, dismayed, and thinking analytically about the present and the potential near-future possibilites. I'm also left hungry for the next in the series, TRACKERS 3: THE STORM.

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Review of THE BLOOD FLOWS by Lee Isserow

In The Blood: The Blood Flows (book 3)In The Blood: The Blood Flows by Lee Isserow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE BLOOD FLOWS
by Lee Isserow
(IN THE BLOOD #4)

This is an action-packed sci-fi thriller series which definitely keeps the reader suspensefully wound up throughout. Ben, whose mother was killed when he was just a small boy, waits decades for the supposed murderer to be released. Then he discovers that the convicted man wasn't the murderer at all...and that the culprit is something seemingly impossible and beyond belief. Almost worse, the British government has a squad investigating this “condition,” and adult Ben is co-opted into it. Of course, nothing is ever straightforward and honest, and soon he discovers that monsters can be human as well as “other.” On the run with another victim and her five-year-old “nephew,” Ben determines to locate his father, the one person possibly able to shed some light on the “goblins” (hemoglobin creatures). Each novella in this series is so fast-paced the reader is at the end almost without realising, eager for the next installment. The series will conclude with Book 5, BLOOD BATH.

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Review of TRACKERS by Nicholas Sansbury Smith

The Hunted (Trackers #2)The Hunted by Nicholas Sansbury Smith




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Review of THE DEVIL'S COLONY by Bill Schweigart

The Devil's ColonyThe Devil's Colony by Bill Schweigart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE DEVIL'S COLONY
by Bill Schweigart

This stunning horror/mystery/paranormal thriller is the third in the trilogy that begins with BEAST OF BARCROFT and continues in NORTHWOODS. I loved all three of these books, which elucidate in-depth characters realistically while exploring preternatural creatures and events. THE DEVIL'S CANYON is quite currently apropos, and is set in a white supremacist enclave in, of all places, the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. The site's owner and supposed driving force is Henry Drexler, Princeton anthropology professor emeritus, former professor and colleague of Richard Severance, billionaire cryptozoologist, and Alex Standingcloud, Native American warrior and cryptid hunter.

Drexler's compound is called “Valkommen,” Swedish for “Welcome.” The open invitation is quite exclusive though, although Drexler insists that this is coincidental. The story is non-stop action and excitement, satisfying to thriller fans as well as horror aficionados and even has some Lovecraftian frissons.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Review_THE THIRD TWIN by Darren Speegle

The Third TwinThe Third Twin by Darren Speegle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE THIRD TWIN
by Darren Speegle

THE THIRD TWIN is a massively metaphysical novel which so stretched out my imagination I'm certain it will never shrink to its previous size. In this story line, time and space and those ordinary dimensions we think of as the physics of nature, as components of consensus reality, really aren't applicable. It is fortunate for the protagonist, extreme sport enthusiast and traveloguer Barry Ocason, and for the reader, that Barry is as open-minded, as willing to explore reality and meta-reality, as he is, for an “ordinary” individual would never be able to even begin to investigate the occurrences in which he and his surviving twin daughter find themselves, let alone be effective in unraveling the rationale.

THE THIRD TWIN is not a read-in-one-session, flip-through, or skim, novel. You have to put effort into it, you have to utilize your brain, and you must be open-minded and open-hearted. In no way is Darren Speegle's writing derivative, yet I was at points reminded both of Ira Levin's terrifying THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL, and of some of the weirder works of Richard Laymon, as well as 19th century works of meta-philosopy.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

THE WEIRD COMPANY by Pete Rawlik_Review

The Weird Company: The Secret History of H.P. Lovecraft's Twentieth CenturyThe Weird Company: The Secret History of H.P. Lovecraft's Twentieth Century by Pete Rawlik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review of THE WEIRD COMPANY
by Pete Rawlik

THE WEIRD COMPANY (title becomes apparent during the story) is a very literate, well-crafted homage to H. P. Lovecraft and an excellent addition to the ever-expanding Lovecraft Mythos. HPL's aficionados will well recognize references as events throughout the story play both on the reader's mental stage and on the cosmic backdrop itself. Commencing with a 1931 Miskatonic University expedition to the vast frozen reaches of the Antarctic, continuing with the Federal Occupation of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, and on again to Antarctica, this horror/mystery/supernatural thriller weaves in many events, participants, and places from Lovecraft's own seminal work. Author Pete Rawlik seamless interweaves these multiple anecdotes and keeps readers' attention throughout, leaving us with the impetus to reread again the master himself: H. P. Lovecraft.

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