Category Archives: Books

Women In Horror Month

Roadie Notes cover art, by Kealan Patrick Burke.

In general, Women In Horror month focuses on authors and publishers, which is a good thing, but there are others out there dedicated to furthering the horror genre with their blogs, in-depth book reviews and wonderful author interviews, two of which are Becky Narron and Mandy Tyra over at Roadie Notes.

Roadie Notes is the brainchild of Becky Narron, an avid reader, to say the least! In two weeks’ time, on February 15th, Roadie Notes will be one year old, and having read the entire blog, I’m amazed at what she has accomplished in just twelve months. Highly respected and loved by the writing community, Becky has amassed a huge number of interviews with the likes of Graham Masterton, Shaun Hutson, Edward Lee, Jack Ketchum, and too many more to mention. She has also reviewed books from not only established authors but new up-and-coming authors too.

Recently, Becky has been joined by Mandy Tyra, who has taken on the role of book reviewer for the blog, and if you’ve never read one of her book reviews, let me tell you that you’re in for a treat! Her reviews are better than some of the books I’ve read!

These ladies truly are a dynamic duo, and I urge you all to head on over to Roadie Notes, have a good read, and if you like what you read, give them your support, and please feel free to leave a comment or two, maybe subscribe to the blog, and click on that “like” button!

Review of “The Daemon Whisperer” by Candice Bundy

The Daemon WhispererThe Daemon Whisperer by Candice Bundy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of “The Daemon Whisperer” from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Set in a future where government has failed and giant Corporations now vie against each other to gain a larger share of land, wealth and power, “The Daemon Whisperer” is the first volume in a series that delivers adventure, intrigue, paranormality, magic, daemons, heroes, romance, and a fair amount of steamy sex that is truly erotica.
What starts out as one girl’s quest for vengeance against the murder of her Summoner parents by an unknown daemon, it quickly becomes clear that Meriwether Storm’s world is about to change forever as she becomes embroiled in something that goes far deeper than she could ever imagine, and not only does she have to fight daemons, she has to fight to control her feelings for Azimuth, a daemon who promises to reveal the identity of her parents’ killer in return for her assistance in aiding his cabal in a mission of their own.
She joins the cabal and is soon fighting a battle on more than one front as she seeks to adjust to her new life as a “Liminal” while trying to destroy daemons belonging to a rival cabal, save the souls of countless Summoners and hold on to what remains of her own soul.
A fantastic beginning to what I know will be a huge success, and I can’t wait to read the second book of “The Liminals” series when it is published.
Highly recommended!

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Review of “On the Lips of Children”, by Mark Matthews

On the Lips of ChildrenOn the Lips of Children by Mark Matthews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance review copy from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I know that this book has both male and female leads who are marathon runners, but it has the pace of a world-class sprinter!
The opening epilogue is something I read quite a while ago, and it sickened me to the point where I thought “Wow! I need to read all of this book!”
Macon and Erin have travelled to San Diego with their 6 year-old daughter, Lyric, so that the girls can watch Macon run his first marathon.
Both Macon and Erin have their secrets and their demons, and have overcome them together, but now, as the three of them fall foul of a cannibalistic family who live in the tunnels originally dug by drug smugglers beneath the overpass, it becomes a race against time as they try to both survive and escape the drug-crazed Dante, his woman Lupita and their twin little horror, Q and T.
There is no lull in pace whatsoever in this book, and Mark Matthews delivers his tale with tremendous impact. From the epilogue, it shows just what a mother will do to look after her children.
Highly recommended!

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Review of “Awake”, by Matthew Blake

AwakeAwake by Matthew Blake

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lee Fenton, successful novelist, receives disastrous news from his physician after having a recent medical. It appears that he has a terminal form of insomnia called FFI.
Realizing that he optimistically has only a year at most left to live, he opts to cash in his assets, buy a state-of-the-art RV and tour America with his best friend, Ben, picking up a couple of curvaceous and very beautiful hitchhikers on the way.
The foursome pair off, and the book begins to feel like a typical road trip and an advertisement for all of the great tourist spots in the US, which is no bad thing, because it does indeed make the reader want to grab their passport and hop on a ‘plane!
What Lee doesn’t tell his fellow travellers is that he has begun to have hallucinations, or so he thinks.
Dogged by the “hallucination” in the form of a scarlet demon, the reader witnesses Lee’s deterioration, both physically and mentally as his sleeplessness gets worse and he begins to doubt his sanity increasingly so – until the others begin to see the demon too.
At nearly 400 pages, it’s quite a lengthy book, but as I reached the end, I felt that Matthew Blake had pulled his punches with the ending somewhat, and rather than being able to say it was a great book, I can only say that it was a good book, yet I still urge others to give the book a good read through.

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Review of Strange Way Out, by Troy Blackford

Strange Way OutStrange Way Out by Troy Blackford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great tale from the “pen” of Troy Blackford that begins in a bizarro style, but by the time the reader gets to the end all is revealed as to what’s been going on, and it all makes perfect sense.
I’d figured out the issue that Sammy, the main male character had quite early on in the story, but really had no idea of the ending, which was a real “Ta-dah!” moment.
Enjoyable reading as ever, Troy Blackford never fails to entertain, and this short story is yet another of his books that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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Review of Booster & Reeves: Night of the Revenants, by Troy Blackford

Booster & Reeves: The Night of the RevenantsBooster & Reeves: The Night of the Revenants by Troy Blackford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful pastiche, as the author himself says.
Anyone who has read P.G. Wodehouse, or even watched Jeeves & Wooster on the TV and has a thirst for zombies too is in for a royal treat, as Troy Blackford combines the two elements with superlative ease in a tale that one can read in a single afternoon.
Follow Brodie Booster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Reeves as they set about putting the world to rights and rid the city of marauding zombies that have been created through the inappropriate use of spells from a book that was stolen from Brodie’s deceased Aunt Gertrude.
Another surefire winner from Troy Blackford, and absolutely deserving of a 5-star rating!

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Review of Blackbrooke II: The Guardian, by Emma Silver

Blackbrooke II: The GuardianBlackbrooke II: The Guardian by Emma Silver

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the cliffhanger at the end of the first book, I just had to purchase this second volume in Emma Silver’s marvellous trilogy to find out what happens next.
I really don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but I will say that the reader will not be disappointed, as Emma Silver builds on the action and the suspense created in the first volume of Blackbrooke.
There are reunions to be had, dark secrets to be revealed, well-sprung surprises, and lots more to learn about not only the Crits, but of all the major characters that we all thought we knew.
A wonderful companion volume that sets up the reader for the final thrilling book in the Blackbrooke trilogy, and I for one can’t wait for Emma Silver to announce that it is available to buy!

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Review of The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although being rather disappointed that the illustrations in the printed book do not show at all in the e-book version that I have, it takes nothing away from a remarkable book that gives the reader an insight into the world of Christopher Boone, who is autistic and also someone who has Asperger’s Syndrome, in my humble opinion.
Written in the style of Christopher himself compiling his own book, it tells the tale of how Christopher leads his everyday life, coming to terms with the death of his mother, and of how he takes it upon himself to try and find the killer of Wellington, his next door neighbour’s dog.
A portion of the book deals with the fact that Christopher has an uncanny affinity for numbers and mathematical equations, and in the sections where equations are shown, I found myself skipping over those passages. I want to be entertained when reading, not have my brain dragged over a mental assault course.
Apart from that issue, I would wholeheartedly recommend the book to anyone who wishes to have their eyes opened and be given a glimpse of the world as Christopher views it.
A wonderful read, and highly recommended!

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Review of “Devil Inside” by William Cook

Devil InsideDevil Inside by William Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Devil Inside is the tale of a young, underachieving boy who suffers abuse at the hands of his drunken father and a lack of attention from his mother, who is also a heavy drinker. Taunts from his teacher compound the issue, and on top of all this, he is having nightmares about a terrible, dark creature as black as night, with red piercing eyes. Is this creature only a dream, or is it a demonic protector sent to watch over the boy and punish those who do him harm?
A wonderful tale, told with William Cook’s usual attention to gory detail. There are 4 bonus poems and an excerpt from his novel, “Blood Related” too, so I urge any potential reader to take a look into the dark world of William Cook’s imagination. You won’t be disappointed in what you read!

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Review of “The Bell Witch” by John F.D. Taff

The Bell WitchThe Bell Witch by John F.D. Taff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John F.D. Taff once again weaves a delicate, complex tapestry of words that unfolds into a glorious work of art, in a style that is uniquely and unmistakably his own brand of storytelling.
The original legend of The Bell Witch is a true American horror story, and rather than tell you about it here, I advise the reader to source other books if they wish to research the historical documented case, something which John Taff himself did before fictionalising the event in this remarkable book.
The story that John Taff regales us with here is not actually a ghost story, as the entity, the Witch herself, states that she has never lived or died, and therefore can not be considered to be a ghost.
Although the Witch exhibits behavioural patterns akin to those of a poltergeist, it soon becomes clear that there is a much deeper purpose behind her violence towards Jack Bell and his daughter, Betsy, though other members of the Bell family suffer to a much lesser extent at the hands of the sometimes vengeful, sometimes playful entity.
Rather than the book just being about the Bell family and the effects that the Witch has on the Bells, the Witch is brought into the heart of the book as a major character that interacts with members of the local community, holding conversations with them and singing in church, and such. The dialogue throughout is masterfully written, and totally believable.
I offer no spoilers here at all. The Bell Witch is a story with a very dark theme indeed; it is a mystery that is unfolded to great satisfaction as the story progresses, it is sprinkled with well-timed elements of humour, and the consequences of the Witch’s insertion into the life of the Bell family changes the lives of all who come into contact with her.
Once again, John F.D. Taff shows us that he is a true master of his craft, and I cannot recommend this book enough.

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