Shawn Micallef

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Smashwords book reviews by Shawn Micallef

  • Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity on Oct. 05, 2012

    Myths, folk lore, stories of the past are things that a reader can find in countless books. The stories of central characters are splashed across pages and often it can be hard to tell the good from the bad. In the Siren's Call Publication anthology, Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity, some of these creatures are brought forth within the pages. The anthology has short stories from many great authors who use their words to bring the creatures of old to life. Their stories will not only introduce you to a myth, or monster, but will make sure you understand who it is you are reading about. The stories encompass things from ancient Greece to those of ancient Ireland. The stories cover things such as the Irish Morrigan, the satyrs, and a relation to Cerberus. The point of being vague on the stories themselves is to get people to pick up the anthology. In my personal opinion it's worth a read and fans of the old mythology will love the stories. Readers that are unaware of these stories will find themselves looking for more information about who, or what, they read about.
  • Days with the Undead: Book One on Oct. 05, 2012

    Julianne Snow takes the reader into a world that could happen at any time. The story is even more fitting in a period in which individual citizens, and groups, start preparing themselves for all types of disasters. There could be financial ruin, civil war, earthquakes, or any matter of time but these people will be ready. It's that time of mind set that we find a small group of Canadians that are of the same mindset. The group consists of ex-military, doctors, environmental scientists, and a few others. Their expertise will all come into play as their world is turned upside down. The great thing that Julianne does is start the story in a place that many have not seen in stories like this. The story starts in an emergency room in of all cities, Toronto, Canada. As the story unfolds it's obvious that this close group of friends will do all they can to escape the Undead. Julianne tells the story through the eyes of Julie who uses the technology of the day to write a blog as they travel. The blog will fill the reader not only into their decisions, but provide a glimpse into each member of the group. As you read you will begin to understand them more and see that this "plague" is not the only hardship some have had to face in the world. Julianne creates a believable story of survival as the group travels from Canada and into the United States. Areas that are mentioned will strike familiar to many who read the book, which adds another depth to the story. This is a book that not only fans of this genre should really enjoy, but those who are blog readers. The additional thing people will take from this book is the optimism the lead character shows through her writing. It appears that no matter how bad the world gets she holds out hope for humanity. Something that is often missing in books of this genre, and a great start to a series of books.
  • Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity on Oct. 05, 2012
    (no rating)
    Myths, folk lore, stories of the past are things that a reader can find in countless books. The stories of central characters are splashed across pages and often it can be hard to tell the good from the bad. In the Siren's Call Publication anthology, Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity, some of these creatures are brought forth within the pages. The anthology has short stories from many great authors who use their words to bring the creatures of old to life. Their stories will not only introduce you to a myth, or monster, but will make sure you understand who it is you are reading about. The stories encompass things from ancient Greece to those of ancient Ireland. The stories cover things such as the Irish Morrigan, the satyrs, and a relation to Cerberus. The point of being vague on the stories themselves is to get people to pick up the anthology. In my personal opinion it's worth a read and fans of the old mythology will love the stories. Readers that are unaware of these stories will find themselves looking for more information about who, or what, they read about.
  • Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity on Oct. 05, 2012

    Myths, folk lore, stories of the past are things that a reader can find in countless books. The stories of central characters are splashed across pages and often it can be hard to tell the good from the bad. In the Siren's Call Publication anthology, Twisted Realities: Of Myth and Monstrosity, some of these creatures are brought forth within the pages. The anthology has short stories from many great authors who use their words to bring the creatures of old to life. Their stories will not only introduce you to a myth, or monster, but will make sure you understand who it is you are reading about. The stories encompass things from ancient Greece to those of ancient Ireland. The stories cover things such as the Irish Morrigan, the satyrs, and a relation to Cerberus. The point of being vague on the stories themselves is to get people to pick up the anthology. In my personal opinion it's worth a read and fans of the old mythology will love the stories. Readers that are unaware of these stories will find themselves looking for more information about who, or what, they read about.
  • The Falcon's Chase on Dec. 10, 2012

    The Falcon's Chase is a book put out by Pink Pepper Press and is written by Kate Monroe. The book takes the reader into a steam punk world. The setting is Victoria England, with Queen Victoria being the ruler of the empire. An Empire that had men exploring the globe and due to raids on Spanish shipping they were labeled pirates. It is one of those pirates that we find at the center of the book. Captain Reuben Costello, who is awaiting his execution, is suffering in one of the cells in the legendary Tower or London. He had let his lecherous ways lead to his capture as he was in bed with his latest mistress when the Royal Navy captured him. The chargers may not have been so severe to require his execution but here he is stuck behind the bars. You can only imagine what must be going through the captain's mind as he waits for his execution. Frustration, anger, sorrow, and so much more must be crossing the mind of a man who had lost his freedom. The one thought that is brought into his mind quickly is lust. This is happens after hearing footsteps approach his cell he finds a beautiful woman being let into his cell. His first thoughts must be that she is there to give him a last meal. Instead after attempting to act on those original thoughts he finds that he is mistaken. This beautiful woman, Lady Arianne Dalton, is actually there to help him to escape. Her only request for committing this treason against the country is to get passage out of England. This is the setup of The Falcon's Chase. A book that finds the good Captain so in love with the Lady he will do all he can to bed her. He loves her for her beauty and as he discovers more about her he begins to love her for the person she is. This is a woman he did not expect to find as she shows her worth to him, and his ship, throughout the book. Lady Arianne herself finds the Captain to be a gruff man, but she does become fascinated with the man. As she learns more about him and what lead to his prosthetic arm she begins to have carnal feelings for the Captain. The two drive each other crazy, with the Captain consistently reminding the Lady she will be his before their travels are over. The book has more to it than the constant sparing between these two main characters. The innuendoes, and eventual "joining" is well written by Monroe. The book adds another layer when there is found to be political intrigue involving a possible change that could impact the world they live in. This intrigue can be traced back to elements, family, and friends in England that lead to the Lady and the Captain returning to England. Although this is set in Victoria England there are some more modern technologies that are used within these pages. The study of nanobots, and pirate ships that sail upon the wind and not the water are two main examples. The clothing is described and made to be fitting into the era the book is set. The Captain is also found to be a man who sees women not just as objects but ship mates as we find his crew to include women. This is something a bit refreshing for a book set in this era as often women are seen just as objects, and this is one reason Lady Arianne wishes to escape England at the beginning of the book. The Falcon's Chase may not be for all readers due to some of its more adult passages. However, if you can allow yourself to read the book for its story and back plot you will find a book that fits this genre very well. It even has a hint of science fiction from the use of the nanobots. Of course one cannot forget about the political intrigue that is found within these pages. The book is not heavy on the sex that I equated with a romance novel. Instead it is filled with innuendos and other adult situations that can get a reader's attention. The story is also one that fits into a great tale that has covered thousands of stories and years. A story that takes two people, from different worlds, and through adversity come together and find love.
  • Legends of Urban Horror: A Friend of a Friend Told Me on March 11, 2013

    How many of us have heard about an Urban Legend growing up? It could have been a spooky house in your neighborhood, an old road, or even a grassy field, but most of us have heard of them. In some cases we wonder about the origins, or what would happen if we really investigated the legends. Sirens Call Publications has the Anthology, LEGENDS of URBAN HORROR, A Friend of a Friend Told Me, which features ten such stories. The stories will take you into a legend of a writer’s mind and by the time you are through you will want more. The stories are well written and each has a unique look at an urban legend, which may or may not be true. The stories you will find are ones such as the four I touch briefly on below. We often hear of a place as the cause for a legend and stories of an object occasionally are told. Imagine if that object is something that is often seen on a joyous occasion. The occasion is a day when a couple unites to be one, their wedding day. The outfit I mention is often worn by the best friend of the bride, the maid of honor. Just imagine if there was something associated with that special dress. The dress having a special power that will have others wanting it to be worn, but for a reason some may not see coming. This story is titled Never A Bride. Over the years there have been rumors of Rock Bands having hidden messages in their music. Some classic albums were said to have messages of a satanic origin when they are played backwards. Combine this rock and roll history with a reporter on the music scene. The writer takes a job to check out a band that seems to defy logic and sells out a local club with no internet content anywhere. What will the report find when he investigate this band, will he enjoy their music? Find out in the story, The Delectable Hearts. Do you enjoy having your fortune told? How about attending a circus, or carnival that comes through the area? How would you react if a fortune teller refuses to tell your future because you are marked? There could be something to this, and then imagine going through a mysterious labyrinth of a hallway and finding a long lost friend and spending the day with them. Could live get any better, or are things not as they appear. The story, The Pier, will help you find the answers to the questions and take you on a great ride. The last story I’m going to touch on is one that could be from almost any town. A tale that starts off with a group of young men having to fulfill a task they are given. A task that will take them to a tree that is well known in the area as being cursed. Numerous stories are told about this tree and the young men tempt all they know and go to the tree. What happens to them, are the stories true, or do they over react from shadows? The only way to find out is to read, The Curse of the Devil’s Tree. There are six other stories within the pages of, LEGENDS of URBAN HORROR, A Friend of a Friend Told Me. These stories will have you thinking back to your childhood, your local town, and about any legends you may know. I know I think back to on a trip I took when in college to the Paulding Light in beautiful Upper Michigan. I may not have had the experience as the people within these pages, but that trip gives me goose bumps after reading these ten stories. As I wonder, what if. Here is a list of each story and it’s author. Bunnyman by Sean Keller (Twitter at @danke_sean) Never A Bride by Lisamarie Lamb The Pit by K. Trap Jones The Kindness of Strangers by Kimberly A. Bettes The Delectable Hearts by C.M. Saunders The Pier by Morgan Bauman Hairy Man Road by Austin Fikac The Bridesmaid by Matthew Borgard The Curse of the Devil’s Tree by Alex Chase Marrow by Jon Olson
  • Carnage: After the End - Volume 2 on March 11, 2013

    Carnage: After the End – Volume 2 picks up with ten new stories that deserved their own anthology separate from Volume 1. This anthology, like the original, is published by Siren’s call Publications and will make you think about the end of your world. The stories you will find inside, come from the mind of ten writers who use their imaginations to bring the reader a unique story. The stories will teach you the importance of keeping your principals as those around you lose them. It could be a simple case of those who have lived on the land versus those who have fed off their work. Those of you with a sport allegiance, like a favorite soccer, football, baseball or other sport team will see the extreme end of that allegiance. A story within these pages takes you to a world where people live under banners. The banners holding an emblem for their clan, their people, but at one time could have met much more. You will get to read about this world and how things turn out for these bands of people as they try to survive. Those who are star gazers enjoy staring into the night sky watching for movement within the sky. The thrill of a falling star can make you smile from ear to ear. In some cases these stars find themselves falling through the Earth’s Atmosphere and slamming into the Earth at tremendous speed. They can raise dust into the air that can pollute the Earth. These hard stone elements slamming into the ground are often harmless, but one writer imagines how “hard” things can get after such a collision. The stories continue to take you in directions you do not expect. I mean Happy Birthday being shouted out by friends and family is something every young child wants to hear. It’s not often that special day comes and you cannot feel that excitement. As many of us as we get older we’d rather not count the day for what it is, but inside we hope for a party. So imagine yourself waking up on that special day and no one is around, what would you do, well the story “A Birthday to Remember” gives you that idea. The last of the ten stories I will share some insight on is one that many have wished for after a hard day. We wish for piece, and not to be bothered. We want all around us to just leave us alone so we can clear the mind and relax. What if you could make that happen, and not just your house but the world? Well to find out you must read this anthology. Below check out the tile of the story and the Author who is featured in Carnage: After the End – Volume 2. Jaundice by Zachary O’Shea Hoolies by Harper Hull Juliana by Angel D Callido The Mouse Ran Down by Adrian Tchaikovsky Rock Garden by L.E. White The Silence of the Dead by Wednesday Silverwood (on Twitter @WednesdaySilver) A Birthday to Remember by Harry Manners An End for Some by Jason Lairamore Knock Knock, Who’s There by Magda Knight Clean World by Charlie Fish
  • The Angels of Autumn on March 11, 2013

    I must preface this review with a bit of a warning as “The Angels of Autumn” is a romance/erotic novel. The book contains adult themes that are not for those old enough to drive. The story line involves some gay men relations that some readers could find objectionable. The other thing I will put a note on is to set the story the main character does go into some political rants. I realize some people do not care for this in their books, and although it isn’t throughout the book it is used often in the first few chapters. So there are you warnings for the book “The Angels of Autumn”, by Joshua Skye. The story opens with to lovers enjoying each other’s bodies under the stars out from the prying eyes of their small town. The two men are reveling in their shared moment of peace and togetherness. They eventually realize that they must return to society and head back to town. It is when one of these young men returns to Wren County that he is met by a sinister laugh. We are next introduced to Kincade who is returning to his hometown for the first time since leaving. He has much trepidation about returning as all he remembers about the town was the bigots and bullies. These are the people that do not understand his choice of lifestyle and made his life hell from nearly day one. The reader finds out that Wren Country is like many small towns around the United States. You have those families that have the money and the power and are not afraid to use it. Locals are those who matter and if you move into town you may never be really a part of the town. Lastly, they can be a conservative bastion and those with a liberal mindset or live differently are ridiculed relentlessly. This is the life that Kincade and his deceased brother endured as they grew up in Wren. Kincade’s arrival to town does not go without notice as some of the locals are aware of his return. The one person who is thrilled to see him is his mother. She is a woman that works hard for a local company and is ready to leave that life to move out of Wren County. As a reader you can understand why she feels that way as she helps to lend to the feelings of revenge Kincade is dealing with. You see his brother, his twin brother, was murdered and he wants revenge. This is what the reader gets to discover, and it’s who killed Kincade’s brother. There are dark reasoning’s to why this happened and there appears to be a large cover up. The town’s sheriff and his deputies are part of this cover up and Kincade knows he will get no help there. There are others and in town and before Kincade can fully start his search he is met with another tragedy. His mother is killed. The Angels of Autumn takes the reader on a further journey as the hate Kincade feels for what has happened to his family drives him to find out what happened. As he searches for the truth Kincade will find the man who loved his brother, and a man to love Kincade. The problem is that no matter what you may begin to think about the people in this town you find will find out there is something much worse underneath all that is happening. The evil taking over the town and turning neighbor against neighbor has set its eyes on Kincade and any who may help him. The Angels of Autumn is a book that some may have a hard time reading due to some of the subject matter. There are those who will not get past the homosexual encounters, or the political bashing. On a personal note I almost did not get past the political side, but I gave the book a chance and found a good supernatural story. Joshua Sky was able to take all that subject matter and bring forth an engaging story and Pink Pepper Press was the ones who saw that and printed the book.