I am not an author but I do love to read and review books. I love urban fantasy, dystopian, and gory horror. For non reading fun I watch cricket, darts, films, listen to music, and make news scrapbooks.

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Smashwords book reviews by chucklesthescot

  • Enter Night on June 29, 2013

    *I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* A car accident on a quiet road brings 6 teenagers into contact with bloodthirsty beasts who pursue them into a dark forest. The old house seems to be the refuge that will save them but what they find inside is more dangerous than anything they have yet faced. I really enjoyed this novella and it reminded me of a good horror film called House of Fears that I watched recently. The descriptive work by the author is excellent, allowing the reader to follow every twist and turn in the plot, building up the tension with every page. The secrets and fears of each character are explored using a clever mix of brief flashback and terror filled reality. It is not over descriptive or complicated, indeed you are meant to be as lost in the house as the characters are. It adds to the tension of the story. Character development in novellas is limited of course but the author does enough to interest you and not enough to bore you. It's difficult to say what I liked about it without giving spoilers and there is nothing worse than a novella review with spoilers. Let me just say that I found the book to be full of imagination. Well written and enjoyable for fans of creepy psychological horror writing. For those who are interested, there is no sexual content and there is regular use of swearing, similar to what you would expect in a slasher film. It doesn't bother me at all but some readers like to know these things in advance. I don't have any negatives on the book to share and I will certainly be interested in reading more work by the author.
  • Killer Dummy on June 29, 2013

    Poor. It's three pages filled with Bob did this. Bob did that. Ted did this. Ted did that. Poor dialogue, no real attempt to make a decent short story out of it.
  • The House Spider on June 29, 2013

    This was a decent read. It may be short but there was a lot of work put into the story. These are the kind of nightmares I have sometimes! Nice work.
  • Inquest on Aug. 09, 2013

    On her sixteenth birthday, Libby faces the Inquest which uncovers her talents and her future path. The more talents you have, the better your future but if you have all seven it is a death sentence. Libby's future is The Destroyer, who will end the world, and as her family and friends desert her, only a school outcast stands by her. With two years left until she can be legally killed, Libby has to master all her abilities to keep herself alive. I liked the sound of this book as soon as it came to my attention and it was an excellent story. Libby approaches her Inquest with dread because she knows what it will say but nothing prepares her for the way everyone reacts. Her boyfriend tries to kill her, her best friend wants nothing to do with her, her mother kicks her out and the whole school turns against her. Libby wants to prove to everyone that she is not evil or a threat to anyone but only Milo wants anything to do with her. I liked Libby because she is a normal girl with terrible secrets that are ruining her life. You feel for her as everyone turns their back on her and part of you wants her to embrace being The Destroyer and get her own back on them! I wanted to thump Lance from the moment the Inquest happened and I wanted Libby to hit him so much! I was nearly yelling at her to make him suffer! I liked Milo and was so keen to know what he was hiding. My guess was in the right sort of area but the author still managed to surprise me with the plot twists, which is always good. I loved the way the book finished, hinting that things were going to change in book 2. There are still secrets waiting to be revealed there I believe ie what is the President's real plan for Cassia? You know he is up to something as you can never trust these dodgy politicians! I think my favourite scenes were everything that happened from the theatre onwards. I loved the way the plot went into a whole new area that I wasn't expecting and I liked the conclusions that Libby came to. Very satisfying! Negatives? None. I liked the way the story unfolded, the way it was written and the very human story that was told. Libby is a frightened young woman with scary prospects and flaws and the way that people react to her through the different scenarios she faces is very realistic. It could have been your school that was being described. the character development is excellent and the twists and surprises in the plot keep it fresh and entertaining. You really do want to know what happens next. As soon as I get my Kobo in a few days, I will be getting the rest of this excellent series to read. So why 4.5 stars? Well I think book 2 will be even better so I have to leave a half star spare for that!
  • The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw on Aug. 29, 2013

    *I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* Emma and Lana are adopted and on their 16th birthdays, strange things happen to them-dying bodies, new found powers, tattoos appearing overnight, talking ghosts and the chance to visit London for work experience. Now they discover that they are part of a secret crime-fighting group with superpowers, and the girls are tasked with helping a ghost to cross over. I really like the way that the author blends a good plot with characters that you can't help but like. Lana is the impulsive and loud sister and Emma is the quiet and serious sister and they blend well together. Josiah, the ghost, is a sweet and kind boy who gradually requires more help to solve his problems as the book progresses and you feel so sorry for his situation. The characters that come in during the story are good-best friend Scott, the love interests, Eleanor and Wilbur who run the society so well, the mentors and the other crime-fighting teenagers who help Josiah. And we meet Daisy who features in the novella between books one and two, which I have also read and liked. There wasn't anyone that I didn't like in this book. Even the creepy Skull gang, their enemy, added lots of interest to the book plot. The writing style is simple and effective, taking you along for the ride and keeping you interested in learning what is happening alongside the girls. It is uncomplicated and not over descriptive. The characters are nicely developed and you care what happens to them all which can leave you a bit emotional for them at times! The book is not all action ninja crime-fighters, despite the girls new powers. It is more of an introduction to the society and to the girls and their family history. Despite the lack of lots of all out action scenes, the book does not seem slow or boring at any time. You are learning a lot about the girls and their powers and watching them building relationships with their new friends. I also like the British setting for the book, reading about places that I have actually visited myself! I could see the London skyline and the places they visited quite easily in my head. I think it helped to add a bit of realism to the story for me, seeing how excited the girls were to get to try life in the big city. I don't really have any negatives about the book. It is very enjoyable and easy to read. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys a character driven YA paranormal plot. There is a slight touch of innocent romance, no bad language or sexual content and suitable for all ages. It will be interesting to see what direction the next book in the series takes, and I will certainly want to see what happens next.
  • Daisy Madigan's Paradise on Aug. 29, 2013

    *I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review* Daisy's world collapses when her beloved mother dies and her distraught father falls into alcoholism and vanishes. Forced to live in the nearby cemetery, Daisy communicates with the ghosts that reside there. But there is something evil there, hunting and damaging ghosts and looking for human prey like her-the Skulls. Her new found superpowers may be all that keeps her alive. This was a very sad and touching story which I got quite emotional about when I was reading it. Poor Daisy is only 15 when her life as she knows it ends. First the bullying at school, then the loss of her parents. You can't help but feel for her as she struggles to survive with only her friend Jack and the lovely shop owners who take pity on her. It is great to get the back story on the character that we first meet briefly in The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw. You start to recognise events as the story starts to join Lana and Emma's quest to help Joe, which was nicely written. Daisy's character is beautifully written and really does tug at the heartstrings, especially with the events surrounding Jack. The poor girl has so much to deal with in a short period of time-and I wanted to jump into the book and tell her that things will get better for her! I liked seeing the ghosts again, and Daisy's mission to help them cross over was a nice touch as you wait for her to discover her destiny. This was a really good novella which adds a bit of depth to the world that we are introduced to in the first book and I certainly want to see what happens in book two!
  • Raven on Sep. 02, 2013

    Lilly was unloved by her parents and lived a miserable life until they vanished and she was sent to a new life in Canada with the grand-father she had never met. Her new family have supernatural secrets which may put Lilly in danger and threaten her new relationship with Oliver. I really enjoyed this book because of a wonderful mix of supernatural plot and beautifully written characters. You connect to poor Lilly and her miserable life, watching as she grows into a confident young adult with her new family and friends, but feeling guilty for loving her new life when her parents are missing. I found the whole idea of the raven and cat shifters fascinating and different from the usual shifter stories I read. I loved Rose, Jo, Gabriel and the rest of the family, and it was GREAT to see a school and community welcome the new girl for a change, instead of bullying her. A few comments have been made about the age gap between Lilly and Oliver. I felt that as Lilly was nearly 14 and Oliver was a young and less mature 17 year old because of his family losses, it was ok. Oliver was shy and awkward and the relationship was very innocent between them. The age gap thing also fits the pattern of everyone in the family marrying young to someone they bond with, which is explained by their supernatural genes. So I was fine with their relationship. The bit with the pair of angels nearly brought a tear to my eye, it was so sweet! (I won't spoil it by saying any more! The reveal of the mystery helper didn't surprise me, nor do I think it was meant to. Again no spoilers but I love this character so much! Everyone who was introduced just seemed to fit perfectly into the story, and there are a few minor characters that I want to see more of. The plot is not all out action but a gradual reveal of Lilly's story. I was always keen to know what was coming next, which means that the author has a good storytelling ability. We learn the truth behind her cold upbringing and the family tragedy that led to it, the nature of her shifter abilities, the sad story of Rose and her lost love which really tugged the heartstrings because Rose is such a lovely person, the pain of your first love, and the exciting quest to the Elders to find out more about her father's circumstances. The things that happen during the quest were great twists which you can sometimes see coming, but you still want it to happen that way. I was quite sure before the quest that I knew what was going to happen in the second book, but I couldn't have been further from the truth! What happens on the quest throws open so many possibilities that I can't wait to read book 2! So any niggles or issues? No. I really liked the book and the way it mixed the supernatural elements into normal life. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal whatever your age. No sexual content or f bombs etc so suitable for all YA readers.
  • Dark Genesis on Sep. 15, 2013

    Alyssa wakes up in a field on an alternate Earth full of magic and monsters and with no memory of who she is or how she got there. After befriending a coven of witches, Alyssa begins a dangerous quest to kill the monsters to get her memories back, helped by a variety of people with special monster hunting skills. I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't expecting the book to have the setting of a more traditional King Arthur court kind of fantasy so I was worried that I might not like it. However as soon as I got into it, I was caught up in the adventure. I like the fact that Alyssa has no magic powers in this world and that she finds ways to use that as a weapon against the witches and monsters she faces. The worldbuilding is interesting and detailed without getting boring and the varity of characters and monsters was great! I really liked our band of heroes-Alyssa and Vessa had an interesting and complex relationship that is well developed through the novel. Parker struck me immediately as the likeable rogue, instead of just the straight romantic hero. I laughed at the vanity of Eric and enjoyed the sarcasm of Lace who became one of my favourites. Kaitlyn was a character that I wasn't too sure about all the way through which gave her a more interesting edge than she might otherwise have had. I liked what was done with Beth as well. Ooh there is so much I want to say about the characters but that would mean spoilers so I must restrain myself! OK one wee hint-when the witches discover a traitor in their midst, I knew instantly who it was because of what happened when they first entered. I did suspect the possibility of what happened in that flashback shocker but I was taken by surprise a few times in the final showdown. I like it when that happens! The range of monsters in the book was wonderful for an urban fantasy fan like myself! Vampires, werewolves, human sized ticks(UGH), witches, demons, Ice Queens and Fire Kings, zombies! What more could you have in a book? Plus we had the city of Frankenstein where the people are creating science instead of magic and I found this bit really interesting. It blended both versions of Earth together with a nice thick helping of monster mythology! I don't think I could say there was much I didn't like. There was a good mixture of action packed plot and character development. I enjoyed the way Lace in particular was developed with her mixture of cowardice and bravery. It made her more real. I liked the storytelling and the simple way that the story was told. I liked the gradual development of the relationships between the characters and the way they became more committed to each other and the quest. It was good to see them all playing their part in the quest and becoming a real team. OK so I didn't like the cruelty to a few poor animals though! *Sniff*. I'm such a soft touch when it comes to dead animals. I never did forgive JK Rowling for what she did to Hedwig and Dobby... The great thing is that I have a few more works by this author that are lurking on my Kobo and I'm REALLY looking forward to reading them now! This book will appeal to those interested in fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal and adventure books. Highly recommended.
  • Diary of the Gone on Oct. 01, 2013
    (no rating)
    Callum is constantly pursued by the ghosts of the dead and the only way to stop them from getting him is to write about them in a strange old diary that he found. In the new quiet town that he lives in, ghosts leave him alone-until the day his friend Nathan shows him something strange in the woods. Now the ghosts of dead children are haunting him day and night and kids from his school are going missing, and Callum is the only one who can solve the mystery. This was a creepy paranormal story with the 'don't go into the woods' warning to it. The plot was a bit different, which is always a good thing and not easy to do with a paranormal theme. The author's descriptive work is excellent, and you can see exactly what he wants you to see through Callum's eyes, right now to the colours fading from life every time the ghosts are coming. One thing that I have noticed about this author is that his word use is always perfect. The descriptions of the world he is building are always new, not a tired cliche that you have seen in countless other books, and it always seems to fit just right into the story. There is plenty detail about Callum's ghost problems and the diary to let you know what is going on but enough enough to bore the reader. I felt there was a nice balance. Callum is quite likeable and I felt sorry for him because his sister treats him with such contempt, and the school bully seems to be picking on him for no reason. Nathan is the fun friend who tries to look out for Callum so you warm to him despite his appearance being brief. I didn't feel much of a connection to his other friends, other than Vivian as the book progresses, but it wasn't too vital for the story. Gloria was my favourite character though. I did have a couple of minor plot niggles. I wanted to see a bit more of Gloria and her back story as she was the one who really fascinated me. I felt that she was a bit underused when she seemed so important to the story. I would have liked the scene in the library to have been longer and more detailed, giving us more about the previous missing kids. I also wish the attack at the school had been longer, along with the big finale. I guess I wanted more of these bits because they were the bits of the book that I liked the best. But these niggles are more about what I wanted to see in the book, and no reflection on the author's writing. This book should appeal to anyone who enjoys a paranormal story, a creepy horror story or ghost story. I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5.
  • Max and the Gatekeeper on Oct. 05, 2013

    Max doesn't want to spend the summer with Grandpa Joe, especially when there are are creepy chanting people and bullies with magic powers. But he needs to learn his destiny, safeguarding a gateway to other worlds, and stopping evil enemies from taking control of it. With Grandpa's friends and Cindy, his only friend, Max is mixed up in magic, danger and adventure. This was a really enjoyable, easy to read adventure for all ages. There are evil people from several galaxies who want to kill the rest of Max's family to gain control of the gateway, and only a few people are standing against them. Max and Cindy have to learn magic to help keep themselves alive as they help to stop their enemies. There are several trips to other worlds in a Stargate style plot, meeting new races and animals. There are magical battles and life or death dramas. It keeps moving along at a good pace, with the author putting the characters into lots of dangerous situations to entertain the readers. I liked the characters in the book. Grandpa Joe is a very cool guy and I liked the fact that our hero was a pensioner! It makes a nice change to have a bit of diversity. Max and Cindy are good kids and I liked their growing relationship which includes that awkward is she just my friend or does she LIKE me like that situation. It's a fun innocent puppy love subplot which is cute because we can all remember that first childhood crush! I liked the different people that Max meets on his travels and I really liked Ell! The bad guys were entertaining pantomime villans who you wanted to yell 'boo, hiss!' at every time they appeared, especially Alan! There was a nice twist towards the end which I did guess a bit earlier. I think it might have been a subtle hint left by the author in a bit of dialogue, as I spotted this and thought, 'hmmm!'. But guessing the twist did not spoil the reveal at all, it just made me go 'Ha I was RIGHT!' which is quite satisfying! This is a book that will appeal to anyone who enjoys fantasy, magical adventures, and a good fast moving plot. There is one bit of dialogue where a pile of swear words is implied but not written, but other than that it is suitable for all ages. I'd certainly like to read the rest of this series.
  • Fusion: A collection of short stories from Breakwater Harbor Books’ authors on Nov. 01, 2013

    Dee Harrison-The Sliver of Abilon: Junah the Mirrorsmith seeks out fragments of mirrors to be safely destroyed before these slivers infect humans causing death or madness. A plague occurs in Abilon and he goes to investigate. 3 stars! I'm not a huge fan of this style of fantasy-scifi but I did enjoy this story. It's tough to develop character in a short story but Junah was likable and his quest to stop the plague and find the slivers of contaminated mirrors that came through the planet gateways to infect people was an interesting concept and not one that I had seen before, which is always nice! The side characters that we meet on his journey are all interesting in their own ways and add to the story. It's hard to say much without giving away the story but I liked the way the plot moved on. If anything, perhaps I'd have liked it to be a bit longer just to get some more action and tension into it. I would certainly look at more by this author, and would maybe look at any other books set in this world. ***** Ivan Amberlake-Diary of the Gone: A social misfit who is haunted by the dead has to investigate when students at his school start to go missing, with only his diary to protect him. 3.5 stars! This was a creepy paranormal story with the 'don't go into the woods' warning to it. The plot was a bit different, which is always a good thing and not easy to do with a paranormal theme. The author's descriptive work is excellent, and you can see exactly what he wants you to see through Callum's eyes, right now to the colours fading from life every time the ghosts are coming. One thing that I have noticed about this author is that his word use is always perfect. The descriptions of the world he is building are always new, not a tired cliche that you have seen in countless other books, and it always seems to fit just right into the story. There is plenty detail about Callum's ghost problems and the diary to let you know what is going on but enough enough to bore the reader. I felt there was a nice balance. Callum is quite likeable and I felt sorry for him because his sister treats him with such contempt, and the school bully seems to be picking on him for no reason. Nathan is the fun friend who tries to look out for Callum so you warm to him despite his appearance being brief. I didn't feel much of a connection to his other friends, other than Vivian as the book progresses, but it wasn't too vital for the story. Gloria was my favourite character though. I did have a couple of minor plot niggles. I wanted to see a bit more of Gloria and her back story as she was the one who really fascinated me. I felt that she was a bit underused when she seemed so important to the story. I would have liked the scene in the library to have been longer and more detailed, giving us more about the previous missing kids. I also wish the attack at the school had been longer, along with the big finale. I guess I wanted more of these bits because they were the bits of the book that I liked the best. But these niggles are more about what I wanted to see in the book, and no reflection on the author's writing. ***** Claire C. Riley-Life Ever After: Nina and Ben are on the verge of divorce when the zombie apocalypse comes. When their plan to stay safe in their house fails, they must make a run for it to try and reach safety. 4 stars! Really enjoyed this story! I felt that this was a very realistic look at how an ordinary couple would deal with a sudden zombie outbreak. Do we stay at home and wait for help or risk a road trip to get to the country? What do we take? What do we need? Can the zombies get in? It made me think about what I would want to do in that situation. Nina and Ben are nicely developed through their interaction with each other before the zombies arrive, and during the crisis itself and both are likable characters. The zombie incidents are nicely written with plenty tension and a little bit of gore to keep horror fans happy! This was the best story in the book and a prequel to zombie novel Odium. ***** Scott J. Toney-Novafall: The essence of dead planets once invited into the human body give the host great powers but using the powers drains their life away bit by bit. 1 star. I found this story very confusing and not to my taste at all. It starts with a man called Ineal and we get a bit about his back story as he crashes down to a planet with the alien essence. Then we never hear of him again. A man appears later called Ivanus with no back story. I wondered if the author during a new draft had decided to change the name of the character and forgot to do a complete edit. Then there was the jumping back and forward between present and past which was not always clear. I didn't like the way it was written, described or structured and gave up halfway through it. ***** Mindy Haig-Cybilla: A man falls in love with a muse who is trapped in another dimension and goes on a quest to deem himself worthy to rescue her. 3 stars! This was the surprise of the book for me. I'm not a romance type person and that is what the blurb sounded like but it was so much more than that. Our hero is obsessed with his muse who can only visit him for limited times before returning to where she is captive. Other men have tried and failed to complete a mythological quest to find and claim her. The quest was fascinating, testing him in different ways and I was caught up in the story. Beautifully written, well developed. ***** Cara Goldthorpe-Capturing Perfection: A greedy man marries a talented artist and forces her to draw things for him to pass off as his own to make him rich. 2 stars. I just never got into this story at all. There was nothing wrong with the way the story was written-it just wasn't my thing. I'm not interested in art or painting and I'm not interested in love stories so I didn't expect this to be a favourite! ***** C.M.T. Stibbe-Until the Ninth hour: The reign of a serial child killer is brought to a halt by the police but there are a few more shocks in store. 3 stars! I liked this story. The characters are well developed and the plot is excellent. We find out about the last moments of a serial killer's victim from the killer, which is chilling and we get a tension filled side story developing as we follow the victim's father going to confront the man who took his daughter. Chilling, sad, touching all the same time! Very well written and will look out for more work in this genre by the author. Overall I enjoyed this anthology and will look at further releases from Breakwater Harbor books.
  • Lucid on Nov. 05, 2013

    Laec was an orphan raised by a minister. Laec discovered that he was part demon and has to fight to keep that side of himself secret and under control. But now the forces of good and evil both want to use him to find a young witch about to come into her powers and the demon within might be all that keeps him alive. I liked the concept of the story with the guy who wants to be normal having to keep his true nature secret even from his adoptive brother, and who must keep his inner beast caged for the safety of everyone. I liked the personality of his beast 'Iggy'. He was the most interesting of the characters for me and the constant battle for control between him and Laec allowed decent character development. The variety of monsters and creatures that both sides of Laec have to deal with are also fun and the action scenes are well thought out and put together. There is a decent flow to the events in the story as well. I didn't always fully connect with Laec though as he and the other characters were pretty dark. Iggy was much more fun and it was good when he was in charge of events. The book certainly improved as more action took place and the last third was by far the best. I do have some negatives which keep this book as a 3 star. I found it over descriptive with big info dumps about things that don't really add to the story. For example, not only is there a description of every building Laec passes in every part of town, we are also told what these buildings used to be, which streets are safe and dangerous, which are seedy or not...then on the next page Laec gets to his destination and these places are never mentioned again. I felt that too much time was wasted on things that were irrelevant to the story. I get that the author was world-building but it was just too much information that I didn't need. There was also a lot of history about angels and demons battles, Laec's childhood and city history that could also have been shaved down to just the essential stuff which was Laec and his allies battling evil. I was not a fan of the very frequent bad language in the book either. I'm far from prudish about book content as I read lots of gory horror books with lots of violence, but Laec just seemed to swear for the sake of it and I just found it a bit annoying after a while. I feel that this may have been an attempt by the author to add to his tough guy image but I didn't think that it was needed, personally. I prefer when swearing is used for effect and not as the norm. This is a dark urban fantasy book with violence, magic and demons and it should appeal to most readers of the urban fantasy/dark fantasy genre. If you like a book with lots of gritty but grim characters and descriptive world-building then you should enjoy it.
  • Zombie Theater on March 20, 2014

    Skip hangs around the old theater, doing a bit of clean and repair, dreaming of owning the property and dating the hot but unattainable Nadia. But today there is movement in the building and Skip doesn't know who or what it is and must find a way to sneak out. This was one of those stories that had real potential but was just too short to deliver. On the plus side, it is well written. I liked the plot itself and the main character was likeable-for a change, a young guy who was against drugs! How often do we see that? I hate stories where the so called hero is a pothead. However, my copy had twelve pages and the first five had the whole history of this theater and Skip's personal problems and dreams for the future. Had the book been fifty or a hundred pages long, that would have been fine as it was quite interesting to read, but the book was half finished when the first hint of danger finally arrived for Skip. In a story this short, I wanted to get right into the action. I was starting to wonder if I was going to see a zombie at all! If the book had been longer we could have had the extra tension of a long chase, hiding and panicking, and a dash for freedom which I feel the author could have delivered nicely. Instead it was all over very quickly without the chance to get too excited by what was happening. I feel that this author has the potential to write some really good stuff if he writes longer material and develops the good ideas that he has in a bit more detail.
  • The Executioner on March 20, 2014

    Colts wants to get this job on Death Row in a new environmentally friendly prison so he can be involved in killing a man who killed a member of his family. But something odd is happening at the prison. Why is everyone so scared of going into the death chamber? Why are no questions allowed? What exactly happens when the prisoner is left there? Colts is about to find out. I quite liked this one. You can understand the motivation of Colts. Plenty people would want to be there when the murderer of someone they love is put to death and some may feel better to be legally involved in that death. I liked his partner, who guesses why he wants the job that others are scared to do and he tries to warn Colts not to start getting nosy or it could be the death of him. I liked the way the story was set up, showing the fear in everyone who had to enter the chamber to execute the prisoner and how quickly they want to get out of there. I had a few ideas through the story about what was behind the door that everyone kept looking at, but I won't tell you what is was in case I spoil things for you. The ending as well is just my thing! This was a nice horror/thriller without the need for gore. The characters are nicely developed, the plot moves swiftly and the tension is gradually turned up as the execution looms. I wonder if this could be the future of Death Row executions...
  • Zombie Immunity on March 20, 2014

    Everyone that Dany knows died in the zombie apocalypse but she is somehow immune to their bites. She is travelling to a quarantine zone in New Jersey where she thinks safety can still be found. Lets start with the good. My favourite character was the dog who had plenty personality. The action scenes with the zombies are written fine and there is no problem with the ideas behind the story. But I did have issues with a few things. OK first of all, I hated Dany. She is a rude little bitch to everyone she meets on the road and needs a good slap. When she meets another teenage girl who has been living in a car since her parents turned, Dany takes the opportunity to sneer at her for not having any fighting skills. Dany hardly covered herself in glory with what happened to her brother yet she thinks she has the right to be mean to this girl who was doing fine for herself before Dany messes things up for her. When she is given shelter by a family, she is rude to the young guy who doesn't have much to say. I really wanted to see her getting chewed to death by a pack of zombies. There were a couple of plot holes that gave me a serious headache as well. Dany has been travelling from Missouri to Ohio using cars as much as walking yet somehow near Ohio's border she is just sitting in a tree and sees her zombie parents strolling by. How did they get to Ohio ahead of her, jet pack? They were bitten in Missouri yet shambling around, they still beat a healthy girl and multiple cars? Oh come on! I know it is put there for dramatic purposes but it just could not happen! I don't usually put a spoiler for how the book ends but I'm going to in this case so if you don't want to see it stop reading and skip to the next paragraph. OK you were warned! When Dany finally reaches quarantine and tells the army that she is immune, they decide to drain her blood and kill her to use her blood for research. Now seriously, if they find someone immune, the army would be smart enough to take some blood for research, keep her alive, then remove more once her body had replenished itself. That way you have a plentiful supply to keep using while you search for a cure instead of killing your only hope! That just does not compute! I know again it was for dramatic purposes that this ending was chosen, and I wasn't sad to see her die but the army just wouldn't do that so it bugged me. I'd have preferred her to get ripped apart... One star is probably a bit mean as there is nothing wrong with the author or his storytelling ability but there was just too much that I didn't like about it for rating any higher.
  • The Turning of the Spit on March 20, 2014

    A hungover slaughterhouse worker heads in expecting to see his colleagues partying behind closed doors, not being held hostage by psycho pigs with automatic weapons. Trying to deal with a headache from hell and pigs on the rampage means that Wade is going to have a very bad day. It took me a while to decide how to rate this story because I was disappointed that it wasn't a bit longer and more detailed. However the idea for the book was good, I liked the demonic pigs and Wade was a very funny anti-hero with his inappropriate humour. I did snigger a few times at things that were happening like the response from the workers to smelling the roasting meat, Wade's view on the supervisor's figure and his meal at the slaughterhouse. I liked the start and the ending and the fact that I expected it to end that way did not take anything away from the story. My only niggle was that it was just too short. I'd have liked to have seen Wade stuck in the slaughterhouse, trying vainly to find a way out, maybe meeting up with dying or trapped co-workers. I wanted more opportunities for Wade to make rude comments and be an ass! A story this short is never going to be a critically acclaimed masterpiece but this is a light fun read. Based on this I would be tempted to look at other work by the author if the stories appeal to me.
  • Ambition on March 21, 2014

    I read this prequel before deciding whether or not to read the first book in the series and in hindsight this might have been a mistake. This is a retelling of what happens in the start of the book Perception but told from Noah's point of view so I think this will appeal more to those who have read the book already as a bonus story. If like me you read it to try and decide if you want to read the book, it might not make your mind up for you. We discover that Noah's father was an activist against genetically altered people getting all the good things society has to offer at the expense of ordinary humans. After his father's murder, Noah is reluctantly stepping into his footsteps running a blog and setting up demonstrations. Plus he has a crush on the GAP girl that his mother works for, who seems less snotty than her rude family. Basically this is what happens in the story. It is a nicely written shortie that sets the scene for what is going on in Noah's mind and what his family have had to suffer. It also included the first two chapters of Perception and on reading that, we see events from Zoe's point of view. I do have a free copy of the full novel so I might take a look at it at some point in the future. The two stars is because it didn't fully grab me and make me desperate to read the book, but as it was just a scene setter I don't want to be really harsh on it!
  • Zombie Nights on March 21, 2014

    For all of you out there like me who picked this book based on the title, let me give you a heads up. This is not a gory zombie story with the living dead eating people. This is not about a guy who is a zombie wanting to or trying to eat his loved ones. It is a dead guy wandering around with little memory of his life and with no purpose, who crosses paths with various thugs, lowlifes and gangsters that he knew before he died. And that's about it. I'd call it a gangster book with a dead guy in it, I wouldn't even really call him a zombie. So was it any good? For me, no not really. First it wasn't what I expected it to be. What really was the point in Dave? When he came back from the dead he didn't DO anything except wander around town. He didn't solve the puzzle of his death, he didn't chew on anyone, he didn't have a purpose and eventually he just walks back to his grave. Well it wasn't really exciting to read that plus we also find out that he wasn't a good guy when he WAS alive. Then I didn't really like the countless scumbags brought into the story for no real reason except to talk about Dave and how he was killed. Why were there so many in such a short book and why were are so poorly developed? As for the plot, well it was just plain boring. No action scenes, no fight scenes, no zombie attacks and little of interest happening plus the editing was poor. Disappointing read.
  • What Waits Through the Trapdoor on March 21, 2014

    Tom Reidy is a monster hunter for the Vatican, on the trail of something that is eating children off the street. He starts to follow a couple of goth kids that could be vampires or could be possible victims. But when the kids decide to steal alcohol from the creepy shop, their worst nightmares are about to come true unless Tom can save them... I really enjoyed this story. I liked the information given about Tom and his job, which sets the scene for why he thinks the boy is a vampire and why he hates them so much. Tom is tough, resourceful but prone to mistakes in his work, as Giselle reminds him, and comes over as a likable guy who'd you'd want to be close to if trouble is near. His phone interaction with Giselle the f-bomb dropping nun is funny and I certainly hope that we get to meet her in future books. It takes a bit to get to the meat of the story(pardon the pun) but I never found it boring because we find out a few bits and pieces about Tom and the missing kids as we follow the targets. As soon as we get to the creepy store with the dreadful smell, the fun begins! The trapdoor opens and down into a maze full of zombies we go! Imagine being in the semi-dark with bloodthirsty zombies wanting to rip you apart while you try to avoid them and find a way out. That's as much as I'm going to say about the plot as I don't want to spoil this story for you. It was full of tension and zombie attacks which I always find enjoyable, and the author does a good job of keeping you interested in what was going on. This was well thought out and constructed and it delivered perfectly in my opinion. I certainly want to read more about Tom and his adventures and I look forward to reading more by the author when available. I'd recommend this one for fans of paranormal thrillers and those who like some scary zombie action!
  • Zombie Dash on March 22, 2014

    The Zombie Dash 10k race is a chance for runners to run through zombie infested woods where volunteers dressed as zombies try to grab flags off their back. Losing a flag costs time to be added at the finish. At first it is all fun with giggling zombies and mock screams of horror until the big clown zombie targets Becca with real menace and drags her away... I have always wanted to get involved in these zombie races as it looks like a really good laugh-I'd have to be a shambling zombie though as I can't run for a bus, never mind 10k! So this story idea appealed to me when I saw it. You can imagine the atmosphere...runners pretending to scream and yell with fear, volunteers yelling 'braiiiinnnsss!' and trying to grab them without cracking up laughing and everyone having a great time. Nobody is going to notice real screams when one zombie is trying to attack a girl for real and everyone ignores her friend yelling for help and chasing them into the dark woods... I liked this story. It had the fun of the race and then the tension and the menace of the zombie clown. I mean, clowns are bad enough but zombie clowns really are a twisted invention! I liked the plot twists that kept on coming, starting with the identity of the attacker and his reasons for doing it. You do have hints about this in the early part of the book so if you're paying attention you'll be expecting this but it is still fun waiting for the reveal. I really enjoyed what came it the twist after the reveal! It would spoil the story if I tell you but it was a good ending. I could see a follow up story, beginning where this left off and if it comes I would certainly read it. It is a light zombie read that is entertaining and nicely written.
  • The Growling on March 22, 2014

    Cory is angry when his girlfriend dumps him for a total loser and he goes to her flat to teach this guy a lesson. But as he flees the flat, something inhuman is growling below him on the staircase... This is a short creepy horror where you know what is going to happen and what the twist is, but you enjoy watching it unfold anyway. Cory is a violent thug so when he gets a taste of fear, you have no sympathy for him and hope that he will get what is coming to him. He has two choices-go back up the stairs to beg his ex for help or fight his fears to use the lift to get past this beast. The author does a good job of expressing all the emotions that come from Cory during his 'adventures' that night-his explosive anger, his violence and his utter terror. The tension is gradually built up as the beast closes in on him and I thought that this was a great wee horror tale. I'd be interested to see what else the author has written and maybe give that a go. 3.5 out of 5!
  • Bobo on March 22, 2014

    Sarah has been kidnapped for a ransom that she knows her soon to be ex husband will have no intention of paying, so things look pretty doomed. Escape is impossible when she is tied up and being watched. I just didn't get what the heck was going on in this one as the plot was very confusing. She is sure she recognises the voice of her kidnapper and seems to be confused over whether it is her father or a toy doll called Bobo or someone else. She is having flashbacks to being sexually abused by either her father or Bobo, which I found really weird. Flashbacks to a stillborn child and Bobo being buried by her mother in amongst the weird stuff. And who is trying to rescue her-the police or Bobo??? What happened??? Who was the kidnapper? What's this all about? I'm beyond confused...
  • Music of the Gods on March 22, 2014

    Donald and Susan are a couple at war and are going away for a few days to try and sort things out. The two of them bicker about Donald getting them lost and hating each other and then comes the car crash... After exiting the car to get help, they look for help but only find an abandoned town and Susan can hear music from the forest but all Donald can see are shadowy figures. He fears that something bad is lurking there but Susan wants to explore. OK so I did know what was happening and how it was going to end as I have read quite a few similat stories through the years. It may not be an original concept but it was still a decent short story worth a 2.5 as opposed to just a 2 star, but I can't give half stars out.
  • ApocalypZe - Those Left Behind: Matt Baker's Story on March 23, 2014

    Three scientists turn up to work and are stuck indoors with dying colleagues and zombies trying to get inside. Matt wonders if they could examine the brain of one of the recently dead to get some answers but with the threat all around them, is there time? These short stories are being released free to tempt you to buy the main series and from what I saw here, it could be a good read. The author introduces us to Matt with as much character development as you can do in a short story and he builds up the tension nicely as the sick colleagues start to die in front of them and go zombie, while the survivors try to decide what to do next. The plot is good, it is well written and enjoyable. I did however wonder why Matt would go to the trouble of wanting to examine a newly dead brain to see what is there and if it offers hope of a cure, only to decide minutes later that he should leave the relative safety of the building. He wants to take a colleague to hospital who is going to die any second and become a zombie. That seemed a bit dumb to me for a scientist, especially when he doesn't even like her! I would think that he would have a plan in mind before wanting to run out of the building! But that is just a wee niggle because that plot decision is for dramatic purposes and takes the story forward in a new direction. If you like your zombies traditional and deadly, this may well appeal to you. Good short read.
  • ApocalypZe - Those Left Behind: Dan Killmeyer's Story on March 23, 2014

    Dan is summoned by his dying Colonel who informs him that the rampant flu on the base is a zombie plague that will kill everyone if not controlled. Dan and his men must evacuate the sick, including his own wife, in buses to a location where they can be disposed off to keep the base safe and dependable. But the evacuation is time consuming and the people are already starting to turn... I enjoyed this zombie tale, the second one I have read by the author, setting the scene for the main series which is to come. Dan is given quite a bombshell to deal with, trying not to grieve for his wife's fate while trying to take control of a situation that could explode at any minute. This is fast paced with the soldiers running around trying to get the sick onto buses and get weapons, while Dan is keeping in radio contact with the soldiers who are taking the sick away. When things go pear shaped, events speed up and the tension goes through the roof. This is the kind of zombie story that I like to read-good characters, tension, plot, zombie attacks. Very enjoyable short story. 3.5 out of 5!
  • The Unfinished Song: Initiate on March 23, 2014

    Dindi dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, a warrior-dancer with magic powers. Only those who pass an Initiation test can join this group and now her turn has come. For me, this was the worst book I've read this year. The plot, the characters, the writing, EVERYTHING was wrong with this book. I really hated this one. Dindi is the most useless excuse for a girl that I've ever seen. She is supposed to be 14 but doesn't seem older than about two. She is stupid, useless, and has the common sense of a blade of grass. She spends all her time dancing with the fae and shirking her chores and this causes chaos everywhere she goes. She screws up the simple act of washing her face, screws up the Initiation kidnap for everyone and makes a mess of everything she says and does. I was hoping that somebody would just kill her as becoming a Happy Meal for her tribe would have given her a use at last! The second story arc following the clan exile is no more interesting. The book is over-descriptive to excess. We get every detail of Dindi's chores, the village, the market place, Dindi's home, the Initiation, the trek etc and it was far too much for me. I don't need to know the colour and shape of everything. Yet the author did not feel the need to explain the important things. She gives names to things ie '..a kraal at the bottom of the hill held aurochsen and horses'...yet does not think to tell the reader what an aurochsen is! The info dumps are long and complicated with words you don't get given the meaning for which leads to a boring and confusing narrative. There were so many tribes and factions each with different names and traits that it leads to more confusion, especially when the story keeps jumping between them all the time. I was totally lost and could not keep track of who was who, and it got to the stage that I didn't actually care anymore.
  • It Lives In Dark Places on March 25, 2014

    Robert agrees to do a simple courier drop for two hapless criminals which leads to him being chased by every cop in the country. He finds an open sewer where men are working and climbs down with the police in hot pursuit. But there is something else lurking down there in the dark, something that wants to kill everyone down there... Yes I liked this one. I do enjoy a story where people are being shredded by the monster in the dark! I never get tired of reading that kind of thing. Being a very short story, the author gets straight to the point-the chase and the mayhem in the dark. It did have an intriguing ending so I wonder if we are going to hear a bit more about the company and where the creature came from in later works. It is surprisingly well developed for its length and the story is nicely presented. This is the second story that I have read by the author and I find his work to be enjoyable. The stories may all be short but they are snappy and fun for the horror fan to get their teeth into. I certainly plan to read more of his work.
  • Gargoyle Grotesque on March 25, 2014

    Gargoyle Grotesque: Toby has no friends and finds himself trying to join The Hellhounds, a gang of criminal losers who are happy to have a new member. For his initiation, they break into a church but when they are confronted by the vicar, one of the boys lashes out and injures him. That's when they hear the sound of the stone gargoyle coming for them. Toby is a decent kid who is so desperate for friends that he is willing to have out with the town crud. He doesn't want to be a criminal but he doesn't want to lose his new friends. You can see his panic as things start to spiral out of control and he soon regrets his choices. I like the idea of a rampaging gargoyle taking revenge on evil little gits like this so the story was very satisfying. You learn a lot about Toby in this story which is unusual in these shortened versions. The author has a real knack of pulling you along for the ride and engaging you in the plot. Nice work! To the Devil his Due: Victor hates his weak wife and lures her out into the forest for a romantic date so he can stab her to death. He gets a surprise when the crime is witnessed by the stone gargoyle watching him. The creature is trapped and will promise Victor the world if he releases him... Heh! I enjoy this kind of tale where the criminal is an evil git who needs a good lesson taught to him. Again, I liked the gargoyle and the way that he uses Victor's ego to secure his own release. I liked the ending and it was another satisfying short story from this author.
  • Life First on March 25, 2014

    *I received a free copy of this book from the author through Making Connections in exchange for an honest review* Kelsey is young, healthy and happy until she is told that she must donate her kidney to a stranger. Scared that the procedure could disable or kill her, Kelsey decides to run away, knowing that if she is caught she will go to prison and her organs will all be harvested until she is dead. This book turned out to be nothing like what I was expecting-in a good way. It is a story that will get people talking because this society has very clear ideas about Life First-abortion is illegal,women are put at risk to try and save the baby,organ donation is compulsory and those who refuse are regarded as murderers and killed for their organs. It will get emotions running high depending on where you stand on these issues. I don't let my personal opinions affect me when I read a book and I didn't have any problem with the book or its content. The characters are all well written and you can really feel for them as they face each emotional incident. I really liked Dr Grant, Susan and Kelsey's father as they all add real emotion and depth to the plot. It's easy for readers on one side of the divide to think Kelsey is selfish but when you get deep into her story it does challenge you to think what you would do with her history. The plot was really well worked with lots of twists and surprises that keep you hooked. I expected this to just be one of these on-the-run dramas but it was so much more than that. There was depth, drama, tension and action in this book that I didn't expect. The storytelling was done beautifully, and you can't help but care what happens to everyone involved. I don't really have a negative on the book. I liked the way the author presented the story, the plot was good, the characters interesting and 'real', and a society that was different. Pehaps an epilogue would have been nice to tie up what happened to everyone but that's me being a bit picky. A good dystopian read for adult and NA/older YA to read. If I could, this would be 3.5 out of 5.
  • 2013: The Zombies Take Manhattan on March 25, 2014

    The idea of a woman taking refuge from the zombie apocalypse in her favourite fortified museum was a good one and the idea that she ends up sharing her hideaway with a wanted serial killer who murders women was a nice sounding twist. I thought that this was going to be a totally different take on the zombie novel. Well I was right but sadly I did not enjoy this one. To be fair to the author, there is nothing wrong with the writing style or storytelling. It seemed well edited and put together. My only issue is that I did not enjoy the book personally. Christine was one of the most annoying women you could ever be trapped in a building with. The character is a crime author and likes to talk like a romantic heroine from some bad historical romance. She is over dramatic, over 'girlie' and annoying as hell! I swear that she sees herself as Cathy in Wuthering Heights, floating around like lady of the manor and then locked up with big bad serial killing, cat hater Heathcliffe!!! She is also very dumb-I mean are you seriously just going to leave the other set of keys to your sanctuary just lying outside for any nutter to pick up? Well, yes if you are Christine. She had WEEKS to retreive the keys but didn't so in comes the serial killer. And she keeps letting her cat wander around when she KNOWS he wants to kill it!!! I'm not a fan of cats and having her screaming 'you promised not to hurt Kitty!' every few pages had me grinding my teeth. I don't know how Erik restrained himself from murdering her because I certainly wanted to by about the 10th page. I wanted him to kill her AND Kitty! I just can't stand characters like this even though I know she was made that way for dramatic plots and purposes. I just didn't take to this book and when I flicked through to see what happened, I found the ending was really rushed and pretty poor. If you like the lighter chick-lit style of zombie novel/thriller and don't mind that type of main character, you might well like it.
  • Tunnel (A Frightening Zombie Short Story) on March 25, 2014

    Jeremy has run from the hospital to escape the zombies and runs to the subway where he finds Billy, a worker who knows a safe place. They have to reluctantly trust each other if they want to survive but they soon disagree on the fate of a boy that is hiding in the tunnels. I'm having trouble rating this book and if I could I'd pick 2.5 stars because I sort of liked it but I didn't. OK let me try to explain. I hated Billy from the start. He is obnoxious, nasty, violent and likes to keep threatening Jeremy. He orders him around, won't let him rest and keeps saying he'll kill him. I just can't stand this kind of character even though he is written that way for a dramatic purpose. It did put me off the story as it was more about Billy and his attitude than the actual zombies for pretty much the whole story. The plot itself was decent and when Billy's antics weren't ruining it, the story was quite good. Instead of just running from zombies, the three characters had moral issues to deal with. Is it safe for Billy to kill Jeremy or the boy, or would they come back as zombies? Can Jeremy find somewhere safe without Billy's help? Can the boy trust either man to keep him safe? That side of it was interesting and was played out nicely in a dark tunnel with zombies in pursuit. There was plenty to like in this but it just didn't fully grab me enough for 3 stars which is probably a little harsh on the author as I think he does have a good storytelling ability. Zombie fans will probably enjoy this book so give it a try.
  • The Hunt (A Chilling Vampire Short Story) on March 25, 2014

    This is the second book I've read by the author. On the plus side, the author is a good storyteller who sets the scene, ramps up the tension and develops the plot nicely. I have no issues with his writing skill or ability as an author. This story just didn't really appeal to me. It has a dystopian fantasy kind of feel about it and it has vampires so I would have expected to like it but for some reason it just didn't appeal to me. I'm not really sure why. I guess I didn't really connect to the characters or plot. Still I guess we can't like everything we read. I'm going to give this poor author a break and not review anything else he writes! If you like vampires, don't let my rating put you off as this story has won horror awards. Give it a go and decide for yourself.
  • Cursed Love on March 25, 2014

    Amelia has a curse on her family. If she does not save the love of a chosen human, she will forever be cursed without love herself. The problem is, the demon is trying to steal the love of the ex boyfriend who cheated on her so Amelia doesn't really want to help him. This is a light, entertaining Valentine's Day story for fans of paranormal romance. Amelia is miserable at losing her boyfriend and not impressed that she has to save him from this demon when part of her wants him to suffer. She is not exactly the smartest girl in the world as you'll see when the plot gets to where they discuss his cheating. Doh! Stupid dumb girl alert! I liked the cute wee demon that was chasing them around and there was a sprinkling of humour. The story was well written enough to amuse and entertain. A decent short read and I'm probably going to try more by this author.
  • The Villager on April 10, 2014

    I am always happy to see more books, self published or otherwise, set in the UK and this was part of the attraction of this book. sadly I did not actually enjoy the book. On the plus side the story was a bit different, having a man harvesting brain matter from innocent people to sell to a large corporation. The side effect is that the harvested person goes into a health decline and dies due to their brain no longer working the way it should. Thing is, I didn't really connect with this guy, our hero or the victims and the characters were all a bit stale. I felt that the author over complicates things in his writing, using long winded descriptions when a brief summary would be better. He also uses a lot of fancy words that left you feeling that he had swallowed a dictionary or wanted to show off his vocabulary. Well I can't be bothered reaching for said dictionary to look up every word I don't know especially in a short story so I ended up just ignoring bits of description and moving on. It was also a slow book which I never enjoy and by the time I was halfway through it I had totally lost interest in the plot and was getting bored. Not for me.
  • Crimson Overcoat Versus Christmas on April 10, 2014

    Sometimes it's difficult to write a review of something that you really didn't enjoy and this is one of those times. I've been trying to think why I had such a negative response to it and I'm struggling to put it into words. OK, I did not feel that this guy was a superhero even in his best years. He is like the office nerd who goes around annoying everyone with a tablecloth tied around his neck pretending to be Superman. In other words a very annoying character. He had no personality about him to make me like him, being grumpy and rude. I also found no humour in the story which is what I was hoping for when I downloaded it, so it all fell a bit flat for me. Overall I just got bored and stopped reading.
  • Slow Burn: Zero Day, Book 1 on April 10, 2014

    Going to eat at his mother's house and beg her for rent money is not high on Zed's list of fun days out-neither is finding her mauled and his zombie stepdad biting him. After passing out from the fever of the infected bite and ending up arrested for murder, Zed is in jail when all hell breaks loose in town. Even if he can escape, is there anywhere safe? I liked Zed. He is the original anti-hero, a guy who is a bit of a waster and scrounges money from his parents, and knows pretty much nothing about surviving prison or zombie apocalypses. He has no clue how to identify a brand of weapon never mind use a gun, which is refreshing, or how to hot wire cars. He relies on Murphy to help him escape. Murphy is a great character and I get the image of Michael Clarke Duncan(The Green Mile, Armageddon)when I think of him. Zed and Murphy are well developed characters who aren't superheroes, who get things wrong and who get into trouble. They are believable and real, and this is part of why I liked the book. You are certainly rooting for them, which is a must in a zombie book! It's not easy to find a different kind of zombie plot without it going too far away from traditional zombies, but this book has something different. There are those who are infected and die straight away, coming back as zombies. Then there are those like Zed who survive the initial infection-'slow burners' who aren't zombies but they aren't fully human now either and nobody knows when they will turn so nobody trusts them. Slow burners can evade the zombies in some cases but not in others which was intriguing. We get a small bit of back story on the outbreak in Africa without info dumps or lots of scientific stuff-for the most part Zed and the reader are both guessing about what else is happening with government and infection rates. The plot itself is good. This is a zombie book that is FULL of zombie attacks and dangerous situations, sneaking around looking for supplies, rescues, crazy plans...all the things you want in your book. The action sequences are well written and explosive and there is a good mixture of gore and tension throughout. I'm hoping to get a look at the second part depending on price but I recommend this to traditional zombie and horror fans. 3.5 stars!
  • I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse Book ! on April 14, 2014

    I'm afraid that I just didn't like this book at all. Firstly for such a short story, the punctuation and spelling etc were terrible. I really do find that criminal in such a short book. It hardly takes any time just to look for glaring mistakes. You can miss a few things like that in a long book but not in a tiny short story! Big long sentences full of commas and no full stops in sight. Far too many !!! in the most bizarre places. Sentence structure was non existent and missing/wrongly placed capital letters and punctuation made sentences sound stupid ie 'Then see what the situation was after that, Kate worked as an assistant bar manager at a golf club so she was told to take a few weeks off, same as Darius and Clare, they both worked at a Public House in Cromer so they were also told to wait for a call from their employers as to when to return to work.' I found this very off-putting along with long winded descriptions of things I didn't care about(see above quote). I did not finish it.
  • Valhalla Unleashed on April 14, 2014

    When a Viking Longboat and its corpse crew are found buried deep inside a coal mine countless miles from the sea, it is an incredible historical find. Miners and experts are anxious to get underground, the miners to get back to digging and the experts to see the boat...but in the dark the corpses are not dead. This was a fun gory horror short story with Viking zombies and death in the dark. There were the usual obnoxious cast of miners and supervisors who were rude, sexist and annoying but who cares when most are going to be chomped! I'm never bothered much about character development in something short and this was an enjoyable story. Now as a woman I have seen my share of sexist gits and this book has them in abundance but I have to admit that I was laughing at the sole woman's furious outbursts at their comments and I was still laughing when the zombies started coming towards her while she was taking a toilet break. I mean, it would have to happen like that wouldn't it! There you are stuck underground with your bladder on critical and you find a dark corner to go to and the zombies are coming to eat you! It follows the usual plot of people wandering around in the dark and getting eaten but what do you expect in a zombie short story? My confusion about this is the content of the ebook. On p16 the press are waiting to hear about what has been found, on p17 we are reading extracts from someone's diaries about zombies. Now is this the same book or a totally different short story? That is never explained which was a bit annoying. I'm assuming that it is a different story or at least a different story relating to the same outbreak but I'd like to know for sure. Not the greatest horror story ever told but it was a nice short zombie filled read.
  • The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Part I on April 14, 2014

    This is just a review of part one as it is the only part I have read. Chloe awakes in the middle of the night to her mother defending her against violent vampires who want to take her away to her vampire dad. Rescue comes in the form of a group of vampire hunters who take her to safety and explain her heritage. I liked this short story. It opens with a bang and an exciting fight which sets the scene for what Chloe's future life could be like as a slayer. The book nicely mixes this action with Chloe finding out about the complicated relationship between her vampire father Trevor and her hunter mother Felicia. Chloe is a good character who reacts pretty well to what is happening to her and I think she has the potential to be a good strong female lead, which I enjoy in paranormal books. Drew is very much the mystery man and I am curious to learn more about him and Chloe's grandfather Luke, who she is going to live with. Between plot and character, this book is a promising start to a series and has a lot going for it. However it is doubtful that I will be continuing with the series, as much as I liked this opening installment. I'm not keen on this new fashion of releasing small 'novellas' of 30 odd pages one at a time where to have to keep buying or downloading the next part. It's hard to get swept away by the book if you have to keep stopping to wait for the next part to come out. For those like me on a book budget it makes more sense to buy complete novels. What a pity! NB: Since I wrote this review's rough draft I see a completed version is now available to buy. Now I might consider it. 3.5 stars.
  • Hive on April 14, 2014

    A mercenary team are sent into an underground complex to find four missing workers who were on a salvage mission. As Azina's team go further in they discover a mall and living quarters where rich people hid from the zombie apocalypse. But the zombies found a way in and there are thousands waiting in the dark... This reminded me a bit of the Resident Evil film in places and it was a decent zombie read. As much as I love zombies, the books are pretty hit and miss these days and this is on the better side of the equation. These are proper scary ass zombies that move at speed to come and get you and they are pretty keen to get the fresh meat. These zombies also have the added genetic advantage of powers to track their dinner which makes them pretty darn hard to escape from. The group of mercs and civilian guides aren't the nicest bunch in the world but as they are being used pretty much as zombie fodder, the lack of decent character traits doesn't matter that much and doesn't really detract from the story. Usually I'd object to obnoxious characters but it's different if some are going to get ripped apart and eaten! There is a nice mixture of zombie attacks and building tension as they try to find a way out, which the author does nicely. There are a couple of nice twists in the story which blows open what you think the mission is and I like a bit of betrayal! I'm not going to spoil the book by telling you about it but the story did evolve in different ways as it progressed. Overall there was the tension, the gore, the zombies, the victims, the evil bosses, the run for your life...everything you expect in a nice zombie tale. Recommended for zombie fans. 3.5 out of 5.
  • Split on April 14, 2014

    Erika hunts vampires with her mento and friend Mitch but not in the traditional way. When a vampire tries to bite or attack her, it just dies. Adonis, a mysterious friend of Mitch wants to help her adapt this skill to kill from a distance but Erika is starting to think that she might be being used for another agenda. Erika was a character who is not fully comfortable with who she is and what she can do. She can be reckless, going out hunting on her own before she is fully in control of her abilities which annoys Mitch who wants to keep her safe. When Adonis comes along he is less rigid about rules and wants to speed up her training to develop her mental killing skills, while Mitch wants to train her in self defence first. I liked her as she was tough but vulnerable and pretty smart. The plot was interesting and entertaining and was certainly character based. There was good development and the story had a nice mix of vampire death and training. I liked the twist onhow Erika can kill the vampires, which was a bit different from the usual vampire story. I did guess part of what was happening with Mitch but not the major reveal with Adonis. The big finale of the book was satisfying and I did very much enjoy this story. I'm quite keen now to read Spiral X which has been on my wishlist for a couple of years. 3.5 out of 5!
  • Frat House of the Dead on April 14, 2014

    Rachel is a witch and has paranormal and human friends. This Halloween she is reluctantly persuaded to go with them to a frat party. But the punch has been spiked with a spell that turns the drinkers into zombies and all hell is breaking loose. Rachel must use her skills and her shifter friends strength to save their human friends and stop the spell. I had been curious about this series which I'd spotted on a few blogs and when the chance for a freebie prequel came up, I downloaded it to see what it was liked. And I did enjoy it. The reason it did not rate a slightly higher mark was the slow start to the story where Rachel does info dumps about robot building and technology which goes totally over my head and doesn't really add to the story and we follow her all over town to countless shops to get bits for her costume, but once we get past that stuff, the rest is good. OK the characters first. Rachel is a reclusive geek who obviously fancies one of her girl friends but won't admit it. She is shy and likable which is important in a main character, even if it is a short story. She is also a witch and tries to use her powers with technology to do new things, which is an interesting thought. In fact I liked all the girls in the gang with their paranormal or human traits. Each one has a story that I hope we see developed in further books in this series. The plot might not be new but it was fun. Hell it's always fun when party guests turn into zombies and hunt down the un-turned! This book had zombie action, zombie tension, emotional interest, magic, why the heck are you being so dumb moments and humour. For example when Cassie can only find toilet roll to throw at the zombie, Rachel dryly thinks "Charmin just didn't pack enough punch to slow him down" which amused me greatly! There were the 'we must leave the safety of this room' moments where you just knew that it was a bad idea but it was going to happen however loud you yelled at the page! There were lots of adventures through the house to find who spiked the punch and get things to cast the counter spell, all of which led to zombies, humour and extreme danger for someone in the group. It moved at a good pace and kept you interested the whole time. Based on this I had decided to buy the first book in the series Glacial Eyes on paperback only to be thwarted by it being totally unavailable!!! WTF??? The rest of the books are on Amazon but not that one which kinda wrecks things a bit...hope it's a temporary issue! 3.5 of out 5!
  • Foxblood #0: Dead Town Angel (A Short Story Prequel) on April 14, 2014

    Sophie is getting ready to leave the town she hates for college with her best friend Beth when she gets to know Sam who always seems to be there when she gets into trouble. This was a slow story for just 30 pages, the plot was a bit bleak and grim and I didn't really connect to any of the characters. Sophie sure can get into a lot of trouble in a short period of time-almost drowned, almost raped etc. Beth is a selfish, dumb slut who has no consideration for Sophie and only cares about bedding random guys. I can't stand that kind of character. Sam was a decent character but we mostly see him just saving Sophie all the time so it's hard to learn much about him. The whole story is just a tale of Sophie's woes about her horrible town, her poor family life, the bullies who harrass her, her selfish friend, getting attacked and a dead animal. There was nothing really in this story that excited me or made me want to go and read the series. Not for me I'm afraid.
  • Advice by Clyde on April 24, 2014

    First of all I must say that I haven't read anything else in this series. I tried this book because it was free to see if I liked the writing enough to give it a go and the answer was yes. I have since bought book 1 in the series which is Night Calls. Clyde is a Hellhound who can talk to his mistress, Nyx, who lives in a house with an assortment of werewolves and humans. He spends his spare time writing an internet advice column and having sexual relations with stuffed animal toys. "I hope they didn't find out about me humping a fluffy stuffed duck I found lying around the other day. It was just the right firmness to...well you get the idea." Clyde is not your patient, kindly, compassionate agony aunt and his advice to his followers is to the point and illegal in most cases-and pretty funny. Now he may be about to lose his internet access, and his mistress seems pretty mad at him all the time. "She must've found out about the duck. I tried to hide the dang thing." It's a hard life for Clyde, living with someone who hates him, unable to communicate with those around him and getting bored. Only the internet gives him a sense of purpose. "I have to say the Internet is one of the best things ever created besides maybe the cow." This book is pretty funny and it is impossible not to love this intelligent hellhound as he talks to us about his typical day. I think he appears in the later books in the series and seems popular among those who follow the series. Based on this I certainly want to give the series a try.
  • Shredder on April 30, 2014

    I didn't finish the book. I really liked the sound of it but ploughing through the start of the book with a main character that I could not stand the sight of was not really entertaining me. This was a bit too military bad boys with arsy attitudes for my tastes so I moved on to something else.
  • The Vampire from Hell: (Part 1) - The Beginning on April 30, 2014

    It's not easy being Satan's daughter especially when you want to save humans from the fate he has in store for them. But when she gets caught helping them, Daddy is not very pleased. I was a bit unsure how to rate this one, going between 2.5 and 3 stars. It was interesting enough to read and I liked the pet hellhound Blick. He was pretty cool. I didn't fully connect with Rayea though she was a decent character but I didn't dislike her either. The story was well written and delivered and I can't really say that there was anything about it that annoyed me or anything. But it was just lacking that something for me to give it a higher mark. Random irritation: at one point Rayea says she can imagine herself as Sarah Connor in the Terminator, looking all toned and ready for some fighting action. Well it was actually Terminator 2 that Sarah was the ruthless action hero, not the original film where she was a quivering wreck! Things like that tend to bug me! I did NOT mark down for that though coz that would be dumb and pretty unfair!
  • Shimmerspell: The Shimmer Trilogy, #1 on April 30, 2014

    Jensen lives with her con artist sister Lauren and knows it won't be long until it is time to move away from her friends. Then a boy at school seems to be staring at her all the time and she is seeing weird things like kids with wings. If the description I wrote sounds confusing then you ain't seen nothing until you read the book! Confused and baffled pretty much sums up my reaction to it. It starts off ok until she sees the kids with wings and gets attacked. The staring boy Liam rescues her then tries to explain the situation. That's where I stopped getting it. There is a huge info dump where he is talking about Seelie Courts, Unseelie Courts, the Legends of King Arthur, and the mythology of the Isle of Man with a host of character names thrown in. The author seemed to jump around in these topics with no real thought or plan so I didn't follow what she was talking about. You struggle to work out who is good and who is evil and who the hell everyone is and where each is from and what they all seem to attack her for. Good and evil? Well I couldn't tell who was meant to be one or the other as everyone seemed to want to attack our heroine. All of the female characters are psycho bitches without rhyme or reason and by then my head was spinning like that scene in the Exorcist. I was glad to abandon this one, lie down to stop my head buzzing then try a nice horror book instead!
  • Corpse Day on April 30, 2014

    This is a very short story to introduce you to Heather the zombie killer who comes to the rescue of a couple of girls being attacked by zombies. It is a short prequel to Corpse Days and is a decent little taster.
  • Hell's Fury on April 30, 2014

    Jasmine is a Fury who is sent out on missions sometimes in disguise. This time she infiltrates a woman's house, posing as her cat, to catch the boyfriend who needs to face his punishment. This book was ok but it didn't really appeal to me personally. There is nothing wrong with the writing, the story flows well enough and the author blends humour and paranormal history into the plot. It was a decent enough read but lacked that something to really engage me fully. Perhaps it would help if you are a cat lover which I am certainly not! I despise the darned things! Probably would appeal to fantasy lovers who like the idea of a cat as the heroine.
  • Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1) on April 30, 2014

    Kara walks through a gateway to another world by accident and finds herself in control of a magical book that everyone wants to control. Kara has no idea how to protect herself or who to trust in a world full of magic and dangerous creatures. I admit that fantasy novels are not my favourite genre but the story sounded interesting enough for me to give it a try. And it was a decent novel despite my reservations. The concept of the book is interesting, with a girl seeing what looks like a cabin in the woods and as soon as she goes onto the porch, she is in strange world. The characters that appear are also good-Kara is suffering from grief and can't look after herself at the start of the book but despite doing very stupid things that irritated me, she does grow as a character through the book as she learns to use the grimoire. I liked Twin and Richard. Gavin did my head in from the start, as did the Bloods, but that was probably what the author wanted so I can't really complain about that. I liked the creatures that appeared, some as friends like the wolf, and the more dangerous creatures. There was a nice mixture of mythical creatures to add to the story. The book was a good mixture of character and plot that did keep you reading it and wondering what the next twist would be. The storytelling and world-building was also well written by the author. So why only three stars? Well there were a couple of slow bits dealing with Kara's love life that I wasn't that interested in. I prefer action to romance and I didn't really feel any chemistry between the couple as the plot developed. I didn't like the plot involving Kara's dad-I just felt that it was too convenient to have that happen to her. It didn't really sit well with me. I also felt that I didn't really connect fully with the book in the way I would have liked. I liked it enough to finish it but it just lacked that something special to really grip me and pull me into the story. This was purely down to my personal reading preferences and not any fault of the author. If you love YA fantasy with magic and a touch of romance, I think you will probably love this book as it has a lot of good things going for it. Adult fans of fantasy and paranormal will also enjoy this book
  • Apocalypstick on April 30, 2014

    When I received a free copy of Children of the Plague to review, the author suggested I look at the short story that runs alongside it, which is Killing Tiffany Hudson. This was the original story that the novel was based on. It is featured with another short story called Finding Home in this book. I downloaded this free from Smashwords and really enjoyed it. Killing Tiffany Hudson was a good story, set during a big battle in a plague ridden world. It shows a couple of human resisters battling alien monsters with the odds stacked against them. Victory of sorts is available at a high price if someone has the guts to set it in motion. This story takes place during the last part of the Children of the Plague novel. The main character here is a confident exterminator who finds out that he isn't invincible. We also get to see his view of Diane, someone who is important in Children of the Plague, and a few of the monsters that will become so familiar when you pick up the book. It was an exciting all action story that whets your appetite for the longer novel. Finding Home is a story about what seems to be a schizophrenic killer who imagines things happening to people and then acts out the violent fantasies. At the root of his problem is a wish to have a nice happy home life, but his inability to act normal around people causes death to anyone who crosses his path. This was a dark twisted tale which I found entertaining. Maybe that makes me a bit twisted but I love this kind of story! You know he is evil but you can't help being amused as he acts like an idiot and then kills people to cover up his lack of social skills. There is no graphic gorefest-the murders are more implied than described which I liked as a writing style. It kept you in the mind of the killer and what he was thinking, instead of being all about bloody murders. Two excellent short stories that can be quickly devoured and will appeal to a wide range of readers even if horror and sci-fi are not your usual reads. Both stories are well written and entertaining. There is enough description to tell the story but not enough to bury you with information. Both tales are quirky in their own ways and of different genres which shows that the author has the ability to write different kinds of novels should he want to. I will certainly be interested in reading more from this author.
  • That Ghoul Ava: Her First Adventures on April 30, 2014

    When Ava fails in her suicide bid, she wakes up with grey skin, black eyes and a mouth that looks like a Mako shark. She is now a ghoul who feeds on the dead while trying to pay her rent and control her scary face and claws. I liked this book. Ava has the usual worries about a dead end job, no friends, cheating ex, and nobody caring when she has been missing for days trying to learn how to be a ghoul and hiding in her flat. She has the attention span of a goldfish, knows zero about the paranormal world and isn't the sharpest tool in the box. That's why I liked her. Her mind would wander into little daydreams about hot actors and singers and the stupid inane crap that fills up your brain. I loved when she got an attack of shark mouth and couldn't speak as this often leads to people fainting or running away, which was pretty funny. There is a good mix of humour, food hunting and inept attempts at catching vampires in these first two short stories about Ava and her 'friends', who she pretty much hates except for Lisa. I liked Lisa who is smarter than Ava when it comes to pretty much everything and I shared Ava's wish to stake Belinda and slap Morgan. A light, fun and amusing couple of short stories for paranormal fans.
  • Outcome on April 30, 2014

    I could not get into this book at all. Ellie was a really cold bitch with little respect for anyone who doesn't agree with her. She was going to break the rules, risk the health of everyone just to see her ex and save him from this plague and colleagues in the way just get murdered for doing their job and trying to stop her. Then there was the smartass thirteen year old brat who acts like a bitch, upsets her dad and thinks a casual sorry makes it all ok. There is no character development when it comes to decent good human traits but all the nasty vices are there in abundance. Even the plague could not save this one.
  • Cherry Kisses on April 30, 2014

    Lena is a con-artist Lena Falco who steals magic from others to use on her victims. Now a demon has made her an offer-go to Hell and retreive a box for him and he will grant her a wish. The other complication is that her failed mentor Ethan wants to find it too and they have to pair up if they are going to make it back alive. I don't normally read book 4.5 before any others in the series but I was told that it could be read as a stand alone book and it was also free. Did I mention that I really loved the cover as well? Lena is a fun character-crooked, feisty, daring and always looking for the easy way out. Instead of learning magic from Ethan, Lena prefers to be lazy and steal small bits of magic but this demon wish could grant her all the power she has dreamed of. Ethan is the nice guy who wants to help Lena get a better life but she won't help herself. I liked the plot. The idea that junkies can take a drug that lets them visit Hell for a short period where they can do whatever they want and if they are still alive when the time is up, they are brought back home. This is how our heroes get to Hell on their mission. From the second they get there, they are under attack from all kinds of interesting monsters and the pace of the plot is relentless. This book is certainly urban fantasy based, not paranormal romance based so expect violence and monster gore! I liked the ending as well. It fits with the Lena that we have followed through the book and I found myself smiling a bit at it. It was nicely worked out and I certainly enjoyed the whole adventure. The author does a good job of character development and mixes the plot with some snarky humour and fun stuff. This made me want to read the rest of the series but it has been described as erotic paranormal romance which does not appeal to me. The reviews I've looked at seem to back it up and I can't be bothered with endless sex scenes interrupting a good plot. What a pity, as I thought I'd uncovered an author that I was going to really like! Bummer.
  • Atlantic Island: The Event on May 01, 2014

    A group of partying teens near Atlantic City are cut off from the rest of the country after an EMP and earthquake/tsunami. With no way off the island or contact with the outside world, a new community must come together to survive. This was a decent short story. The teenagers react pretty much how you would expect them to under the circumstances, they were a pretty likeable bunch and you weren't thinking 'I hope you all die' which is a bonus. The story was well put together and flows along at the disaster strikes and they search for their missing friends. The story changes at the end when you get the hints about this becoming more of a dystopian novel with a new regime taking over the island. I'm not sure that this captured me enough to continue through the series though.
  • A Vision for the Future on May 01, 2014

    When Elaina meets her partner for the first time, she just knows that he will become President of the United States-in the same way that she knows how she will die, what she was wearing and that it will happen in water. As the time of her death gets nearer, the signs are all there and the couple prepare for the end but even Elaina cannot predict what will happen next. The lack of information in the blurb does this lovely little story a bit of an injustice as it doesn't really make you keen to read it. I just downloaded it because it was free and it certainly did not disappoint. This is a dramatic, tense little short story that really does deliver a punch, which is difficult to do with so few words. It says a lot about the skill of the author that I enjoyed this as much as I did. It's actually difficult to review this story without giving away any of the plot but here we go! OK the plot is set against a Presidential campaign and Elaina's partner is behind in the polls and needs to catch up. The story does not go into any detail about politics or anything like that so don't let it put you off if you're not into that kind of thing. The stress of the death prophecy which they both believe, puts strain on the couple as well especially as the signs seem to indicate that the time is almost here. You are left hoping that there is a way for Elaina to escape her supposed fate and grab that happy ending. It's nice to care about the character when you barely get a chance to connect with her before the book ends. Then comes the ending which was soooo cool and I didn't expect it! I do love it when a book surprises me. I actually think that this could be extended into a nice little novella if the author wanted to expand it a bit as there are a few things that could be fleshed out. It has made me decide to read more of this author's work. So if you like a nice thriller, why not give this one a try?
  • Enchanted Castle - A Novelette on May 01, 2014

    Explain to me why American authors always have it raining when their character arrives in Scotland? It's always grey, gloomy, dreary, damp or raining and cold enough to freeze those American bones and it is just not reality people! It drives me bloody crazy. If you visit Central Scotland in winter it is milder than the whole of the northern US. So why are we portrayed as some gloomy, polar temperatures country? Most winters my part of Scotland never sees snow and it is the US that shivers through huge snowdrifts. Ditch the steriotypes why don't you. And of course, love comes calling straight away and the two best male friends each snag the two female new best friends to make two cosy couples. Of course they do. Eric just seems to be there as love interest #2 as there is little about him otherwise. It was ok but nothing much of interest really happens.
  • Castaway - Book 1 in The Trapped in the Hollow Earth Novelette Series on May 05, 2014

    My review is based on reading part one of the series. This covers the boat caught in the storm, the three teenagers being thrown into the sea, sucked into a whirlpool and landing on the island. The plot was fun enough. The description of the storm was pretty good and it wasn't difficult to imagine the panic of finding your parents gone and being unable to save the boat taking on water. The visual descriptions of the island and its strange sights was pretty good, making it obvious to us, if not all of the kids, that they are not in their own world anymore. The twin suns and glowing sand were a bit of a giveaway but Jack is too stubborn to believe that. I enjoyed the attack of the big spiders because I am totally arachnophobic and thinking about them gave me the horrors! Now the plot holes. We must stay on the beach because that is where rescue will come from. So seconds later they all decide to wander off into the jungle. This is where they find the spiders. Now we need to run away and get back to the beach to make a big help sign. OK don't you think a sign on the beach should have been done BEFORE you wander into the jungle? That way if rescue were to come, they will then know roughly where you are? Bit of an oversight from Jack who seems to have all the answers to every possible problem, which was a bit too convenient for me. But it was the characters who really did my head in. Casey was the bimbo from hell. She doesn't know if her beloved parents are dead or alive, she's stuck in another world but huge bloody spiders chasing her and all she cares about is her appearance and whether Mike fancies her. Oh please! If I were in that situation, I'd be scared witless and not really caring about romance!!! Mike was a total asshat whose reckless antics were putting them all in danger. He was arrogant, vain and just had to be the centre of attention at all times and I just couldn't stand his antics. Jack was the sensible one but his ability to know the answer to everything just got on my nerves. I was in two minds whether to continue with the series so I checked out other Goodreads reviews and I'm glad that I did. When I read that Casey and Mike have a big romance despite danger from velociraptors and T Rex etc I decided that I would give the rest of it a miss. Teenage hormones flying when there are bloody dinosaurs trying to eat you would just bug the hell out of me. Trying to rate this book was hard. I'd give it three for imagination and description, two for the plot holes and dreadful characters. 2.5 would probably be the fairest result but that choice is unavailable so rounding it down to two because of its faults.
  • Aine (Tales of the Executioners) on May 06, 2014

    Aine the law enforcer and executioner is sent to arrest a vampire and despite being young and inexperienced, he thinks he can handle it. But this vampire turns out to be trickier than expected and he has broken more rules than Aine knew about. I liked this story. Aine is a good character and I liked the idea of the supernatural community being policed by a squad like this. The story is short but fast paces and I liked the battle of wills between Aine and the vampire. I also liked the introduction of the cat. It's hard to say much more without ruining the story but I'd recommend this book to fans of urban fantasy and vampires. I'd certainly read more in this series.
  • Paulie on May 06, 2014

    A family watching the news see that an outbreak of madness and violence is happening near to their rural home. As they discuss whether or not to flee, they near noises in the it racoons again or something worse? This was a nice little horror thriller about a family being targeted by something evil and being trapped in a house far away from help. Our heroine is the mother who has to fight off the monsters while trying to protect her children. This is a fast paced short story that doesn't waste time with long winded introductions to the family-the horror begins straight away on TV and swiftly arrives at their home. It takes the form of the tried and tested horror formula that people like me enjoy. We have the family scattered throughout the house, there are bangs and screams and someone has to go and investigate in the dark where the monsters lurk. It was nicely written and the tension is kept high throughout. You can feel Alice's agony as she searches for her husband and children, knowing that something is stalking them all. When she has to confront the monsters we see her strength and feel her suffering. There is a good mixture of tension and emotion in this book. I enjoyed this short story and see that it will be continued in another book which I would probably read if I get the chance. Recommended for those who like creepy horror tales and monsters!
  • The Last Day on May 06, 2014

    Naomi and Max are newlyweds and very happy, when the world goes to hell. This story shows that you never really know someone until you see how they act in a zombie apocalypse. This was a good short story about a zombie dog attacking people in a park and the bitten victims starting to chomp on the watchers. Naomi's reaction of standing staring at the carnage is perfectly reasonable under the circumstances though she did leave it a bit late to start running! I think I might've been running as soon as the first person bit another person! But that's just me. Anyway, Max is the opposite of Naomi and has no interest in gawping at what is happening, he just wants out of there. OK here comes a spoiler so if you don't want to know what happens next, move to the next paragraph! You were warned so here it is. Naomi's beloved husband who declared he would love her forever, jumps in the car, ignores her pleas to let her get in and drives home without her, leaving her at the mercy of the growing pack of zombies! What a weasel scumbag! Naomi faces a nighmare journey home alone and she cannot believe what has just happened to her. But our heroine has a plan and she looks forward to getting revenge. I liked this. We have the lovely zombie attack in the park which had a nice twist in that it was a dog that starts the mayhem. Naomi's journey home was also nicely written and you were rooting for her because she was just a normal everyday kind of person who never imagined this kind of thing happening. She is smart enough to head for home, knowing that Max had secured the building and built a few extras that might come in useful. For me, Naomi's decision was the right one and I was cheering her on every step of the way! This was a 3.5 star story which I enjoyed and I would look for anything similar that the author might write. You can get this free at Smashwords. I recommend it for zombie fans and those who like a monster horror thriller.
  • A Dark Grave (Elysium Chronicles, .5) on May 08, 2014

    Two boys hunting for food for their families go across to the island where people often vanish. The animals remain elusive, the weather turns bad and the boys become trapped. There was nothing wrong with this short story. It was well enough written and explained the weird island and a bit about the missing people. The only thing wrong with it is that it didn't appeal to me personally as it was a slow burner. I know it leads on to a fantasy series which is not really my thing. I read this book more to see what the author was like for future reading pirposes and I would consider trying other books in the future if the story appealed to me more. I also think that fans of the series already will enjoy this prequel.
  • Arianna Rose (Part 1) on May 08, 2014

    The book got off to a good start with the attack on Lily which had action and tension and made you think that this was going to be something really good. Sadly we then switched to Arianna and her mother and that quickly changed. I hated the characters in this book. Arianna's mother was a selfish bitch who does nothing but drink and introduce random men into the trailer that she shares with her daughter. She doesn't give a damn about her daughter's safety and barely remembers that her daughter is starting school. It's no surprise with this role model that Arianna is a pretty cold character who doesn't have much charm about her and is rude to everyone. And of course on her first day at school she manages to make an enemy of Miss Popular and makes an impression on the hot guy. Honestly, this seems to be the only plot that YA authors can come up with! Can't we see something a bit different??? The school is full of snotty bitches, obnoxious teenage boys and the town is full of weirdos, perverts and witch hunters. Lovely! Most of this book seems to be the bad behaviour of her mother, Arianna and most people she meets being rude to each other, Arianna breaking the rules and crashing her bike. I was bored by this before we even got back to the witch hunters. The book was slow and for me, too much time was being spent on describing things that weren't very interesting like her mother's love life. I prefer books where I like the characters and root for them so this series is most definitely not going to be my thing.
  • BSI: Bureau of Supernatural Investigation on May 08, 2014

    The government has set up the Bureau of Supernatural Investigation to investigate growing paranormal crime without alerting the public. Bosses are unaware that some law enforcement agents they employ are paranormal creatures who belong to their own policing service. The idea on this one was good but I didn't really enjoy the execution. This was more like an ordinary historical crime novel except the suspects being quizzed and searched for were supernatural as were a few of the officers. And I don't like crime novels. Crime novels tend to be heavy on investigation details and interviews and low on action which is what I found this one to be. Most of this book is taken up with interviewing agents being recruited to this new unit and it was pretty repetitive and started to drag after a bit. I wanted to see what they did, hunting down rogue vampires and shifters and having fights with them, but this book felt more like a big info dump to set up the rest of the series and it did not hold my interest. One thing I did find very annoying was the way the characters are described. We are told their full names when we first meet them which is fine. But the author then calls them by their full names every time we go back to them which was so irritating! I KNOW their names so you don't need to keep telling me their full names every page! Calling them Adam and Tony or Swift and Bianchi is more than enough, especially in a short book! There is nothing wrong in the writing or development of the book if you are a crime novel fan and like all the interviews and investigative stuff that go with it. It just isn't my kind of book as I wanted to see more supernatural action and I won't be continuing with the series. I would however consider looking at other work by this author in something that is more my genre.
  • Clean Slate Complex (a daynight story) on May 08, 2014

    A charity set up to help homeless people off the street and into a new life seems too good to be true and the rebels try to convince the latest girl saved to join their cause. I just could not connect with this story from the start. Oh don't get me wrong, it isn't a horrible book, it isn't badly written or anything like that. It just wasn't my kind of thing. Alexa and her family are living in a van when she is attacked by a potential rapist-and saved by people from a charity. Her mother is offered the medical help she needs if Alexa lets herself be used in fundraising attempts. She meets people who are big supporters of the charity and insist that they only want to help people, but others are part of a rebel network who want to expose the charity and show what they are really doing. It was during all this stuff that my attention really wandered. The two opposing views of Adam and Joshua were going into love triangle territory which really bores me now in YA books and I tend to lose interest when it becomes all about hormones and less about the plot. Not for me. However it won't stop me looking at other books by this author in genres that are more suited to me. Her storytelling and character development are fine and it is hardly her fault that I wasn't fully into this story! YA fans should probably enjoy this book.
  • Contamination Book Zero on May 08, 2014

    Dan is a small town cop who enjoys the peace and quiet of his town-until the night when things go mad. It starts with the local drunk attacking a cop when spending a night in jail. Now the whole community seems to be infected, killing and eating each other and Dan has to save himself and his family. This is not a typical zombie book as the people are not traditional corpse style zombies. They are people who became suddenly contaminated and start trying to kill everyone around them. What I liked about this story is that the contamination was planned. I won't spoil the story by telling you any more but it was a nice twist. I liked the way that Howard's story was developed in particular. The story follows Dan, Howard the bitten officer, and Dan's daughter who is missing in the dark neighbourhood. I liked the way that we switch between them as it keeps the tension up. There is a lot of action and sneaking around in the dark scenes which I enjoy in this kind of book. The author does a good job of telling the story and it was an enjoyable adventure, if not a classic. I might investigate this series further in the future.
  • Dancing with Deception (Dancing, #0.5) on May 08, 2014

    Wendy is having scary dreams about a killer who is targeting young women-and when one dream comes true and that girl is murdered, Wendy feels helpless. Nothing wrong with this book. It was well enough written, the concept was good and there was nothing bad in it. I just didn't connect with it and it wasn't really my book. I guess I'd say that I found it a bit too slow, the same fault I have with a lot of current YA books.
  • Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls, Book 1) on May 08, 2014

    This should have been a really good book. Kayla was a tough character who is willing to risk her life to take on the vampires to get supplies for her colony who live safely underground. It seemed like she was the only one willing to do what needed to be done so you'd think the colony would've been grateful. Makes you wonder who they got to do their dirty work once she was cast aside. The colony was a bit weird but I found it intriguing that the smallest slip up like talking out of turn or looking at the wrong person could get you in big trouble. I'm not saying that the first section of the book didn't have it faults but it was at least keeping me interested enough to read on. My issue with the colony was the Higher things. I didn't like them and didn't fully get what they were or why they were treating people so badly. Still it did make it satisfying when Kayla started to take them on and gets into trouble. I did get annoyed when nobody wanted to answer her questions about the Highers. Two/Three stars for the book while they were in the colony though. After The Gathering, Kayla wakes up outside in a bodybag with a former friend who now seems to be a rude, obnoxious asshat and the weird creepy girl that you want to stay the hell away from. Their wanderings around the desert didn't seem to have much point except to let two of them argue and the other make weird comments all the time. Basically from this point on, I barely understood what was meant to be happening. Kayla was naturally on the defensive as the outsiders were trying to capture her and didn't really look as if they wanted to be friends, yet they blame her for fighting them and don't like or trust her because of it which annoyed me. Nobody will give a straight answer to any of her questions which bugged the hell out of me. 'Later' works once or twice in a book but this author chose not to answer anything that Kayla or the reader wanted to know and that just left me totally in the dark about what was happening. The reader wants to see Kayla's memories and know all about The Gathering or colony secrets etc. It is one thing to slowly feed the frustrated reader bits at a time to tease them but it is another thing to just tell them virtually nothing important! I lost interest when these outsiders came into the story and it all started going weird. I was getting tired with thinking 'what is happening' or 'answer the damn question'. It was just a very frustrating book to try and read and eventually I decided that I couldn't be bothered waiting for answers. Who knows if the answers will even come in the next book? I certainly won't be bothering to find out! Had potential but did not deliver.
  • The Fallen Star (Fallen Star Series, Book 1) on May 08, 2014

    I must be one of the few people on the planet who did not hate Bella in the Twilight books! I actually liked her because of her faults. But if you hated Bella, prepare yourself for the pathetic female that goes by the name of Gemma. She is whiny, cries all the time, lets Alex treat her like dirt yet won't stay away from him(cue more crying and self loathing whining). She just goes on and on obsessing about Alex until I wanted to strangle her. Then I have to mention her superpower when she first sees him. From the distance she was at she couldn't work out how tall he was but could perfectly describe his green eyes and shade and style of his hair. Must be an X Men thing or something. Alex is the asshat from hell who is downright cruel to our beloved doormat heroine. I just hated him full stop. And you know of course that love is suddenly going to come. Well sorry mate, I'd tell you where to go. Sadly that never happens and girls in YA writing remain spineless and walked over. Bad characters aside, the writing was not great either. Poor sentence structure, badly edited, and a plot that made me want to tear out my hair. It is a poor copy of Twilight as others have said in their reviews and I thought it was pretty darn bad. I'm done with books by this author.
  • Droplet on May 09, 2014

    The blurb for this book makes it sound as if we get a really detailed introduction to all the training she needs to prepare herself for life among humans yet in reality it is only a handful of pages. This should really have been used as a prologue in the actual novel instead of a tiny short story, in my opinion. The story is ok, nothing wrong with it. I don't really feel that it adds anything to the series being written in this format though. Like I said, trim it up and use it as a prologue. That would give you a contrast between the emotionless individual being given her mission, and the woman with human emotions who is fully intigrated into human society that is in book one. The version I read does not feature her meeting the man who would change her life as the Smashwords blurb seems to suggest. It does not cover all events up to the start of the first book in the series. This is why I feel it doesn't really offer much as a story on its own.
  • Empty Vessels on May 09, 2014

    Sarah is always on the run from people who seem to want to hurt her. These people seem to be surrounded by mist and each time one appears, Sarah has to run again or risk the life of those close to her. Then she meets a man who seems to have the answers to what these people are and why they want Sarah. I liked this book for the most part. Sarah has had a pretty miserable life running away from these mist people who try to kill her, surviving on the streets. Now she meets Rex who can answer her questions-if she would just ask the right questions! She is a Seeker, someone who can see these people without souls and her partner then dispatches them. But it seems that a conspiracy is unfolding which Sarah and Rex must get to the bottom of. The book does not go overboard with big info dumps, instead feeding the information to the reader gradually through the book. The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading and it is one of the better freebies I've read recently. Sarah is a frustrating character. She never follows basic safety instructions from Rex which leads her continually into trouble and that does get annoying after the third time. I know it is for plot purposes but it just makes her look like a dumb female. I liked Rex and felt that she wasn't cooperating with him when he had saved her several times. The side characters were quite interesting and it was fun to work out who was on what side. Major niggle? Why does every author who sets part of their book in Scotland always make it a dreary and wet visit? It does NOT rain every damn day in Scotland and I'm sick of authors portraying our cities as dull and dreary with pissing rain! Edinburgh is nearly always shown as being damp and grim which does not do the city justice and it bugs the hell out of me. It's hardly going to make readers want to come here for a visit. I'd also comment that the cover is pretty crap. If I saw this as a paperback in a book shop I'd be unlikely to have picked it up to take a look at it. A great cover really sells your book so this needs a revamp! Decent paranormal read.
  • Deadlocked on May 15, 2014

    Oh yes, this is how I like my zombies-traditional, scary and unstoppable. The panic that begins on the streets as the zombies appear is exactly how I imagine it to happen(I have that kind of imagination and a survival kit list written out). You fully understand David's decision to go to his family and you can see that this is going to be a long and dangerous journey right from the start. I think what makes this so good is that David could be your dad, brother, son etc, just a normal guy who loves his family and will do anything to save them. He makes a few mistakes, he isn't superman but he is very much real and you are rooting for him all the time. This is a fast paced novella and I read it in one sitting. It sweeps you up and carries you away with it, and is full of tension filled situations that put our hero in danger. And it is not just the zombies that he has to fear. Trigger happy nervous cops and looting thugs are also around to make things more difficult. The author tells a great story and is not afraid to shock you with an event that you weren't expecting and I love that kind of uncertainty in a zombie book. You want to be afraid for the characters and scared that they might not make it because it keeps you gripped and this book certainly delivers on that score. The ending was pretty awesome, though I know some fans of the book were not happy with it. Personally I liked it! It is a zombie book after all so expect the unexpected... My only 'complaint' is that the books are only available in ebook format. When I like a book I like to purchase the paperback version for my collection but this is not an option which is a pity. I'll look out for the rest of the series going cheap and hope to continue the rest of the adventure.
  • The Wedding Feast on May 25, 2014

    I liked the idea of this book, in a twisted fairy tale kind of way and it started off ok, but the further it got into the story, the less interest I had in it. It was written well enough and I don't have any issues with the plot choices or style it was presented in. So why didn't I like it? I hated the characters. Philip is a Class A jerk. The reason he goes back to his girlfriend's house to warn her that there might be perverts lurking around is because if she gets molested, he won't get any sex from her. He swears because Matilda tells him not to, he doesn't care for her pain or her feelings and insults her every chance he gets despite her saving his life. Mandy is a cow. She thinks Philip deserves what he gets for 'getting in the van'-he was being kidnapped trying to warn you, you dumb bitch! She is spiteful, nasty and vindictive. When you don't care whether your MCs live or die, you are in trouble. Philips mother is as bad as Mandy. The only one I liked was his dad. Even Matilda could not inspire any sympathy in me as she was still convinced that Philip loved her when it was obvious he didn't. I got the trilogy free but only read book one. Not for me.
  • The Line Unseen on May 25, 2014

    When Tim discovers that his wife is having an affair with a construction worker, his angry confrontation with the man leaves his enemy dead by accident. But not everything remains buried. This was an entertaining horror story which I liked. Tim is just a normal guy who accidently kills his love rival and his friends help him cover up the crime. Determined to finish with his cheating wife, he is at home with her when something comes calling. There was tension and a nice creepy storyline to this book that kept you interested. And there was a nice twist at the end which I wasn't expecting and it gave the story a very satisfying conclusion. Enjoyable short horror story and I'll continue to read things by this author.
  • Demon Spell on May 25, 2014

    I liked this short story. The characters were interesting and there was enough conflict and cooperation between them to make it an interesting working relationship. Midnight tests demon killing weapons despite being part demon himself and when stressed, he struggles to keep that side of him under control. He was an intriguing character that I'd like to read more about and his relationship with Natalie is worth exploring. She is smart and capable but being forced to test a dangerous weapon too early in its development has her fearing for her job. I liked the whole weapon testing plot complete with the bad guy boss who cares little if his weapon works or not as long as it makes him money, and we had the demon hunting teaser plot as well. The blurb for book two is a bit vague so I don't know if the same characters are going to be in it or not. I'd be interested in reading it though that horrible cover does not inspire me. Books with half naked men on it make me suspect it is an uber sex no plot book so I'm a bit wary of spending money on it.
  • The Touch of Night (DWC #0.5) on May 26, 2014

    A paranormal investigator has to find a panther, assumed dead, who seems to be back killing people. The link is the panther's brother Josh, who Mae has been dreaming about. Can she find the panther and find out what is really happening? Although I have given this book two stars, it was actually a decent read. It was well written and put together, the plot and characters seemed interesting. I just didn't like the ending much. Would give it 2.5 stars probably. The follow up book in the series sounds interesting but I haven't decided whether or not to read it yet.
  • The Eslites (Prequel/Short Story) on June 09, 2014

    Every female between 14-25 is sent for government testing. If you fail the test you are sent home untouched to your family. Pass the test and you are selected for breeding with an alien species that need to repopulate, by donating your eggs. This one was ok but didn't really grab me. Miranda was a bit of a pain, always mouthing off to the chief officer she has to deal with. Her behaviour could have put all the girls in danger. Also I hate babies so a story centered on producing babies and babies dying in failed breeding experiments was not my thing. The one good thing is the bad guy officer who was well written and interesting. Story itself was well enough written and presented to no issues with the author's ability or style.
  • King of Rats on June 11, 2014

    The King of Rats has a problem-he is too soft. His mate Alice talks back to him and cheats on him, his sister plots to overthrow him and his pack are betraying him. To win them back he plans to kill his enemies and find a better food source-until he falls in love with a mouse. It was ok. It was mildly amusing, a few rats get what they deserve and it was well enough written but it just wasn't a story that really grabbed me. I didn't really like the insta-love for the mouse storyline and felt it would have been better just concentrating on the rat story which was more interesting. If you like stories with animals as heroes and villans you might well enjoy this.
  • DEAD: The Gruesome Tale of Garrett and Kirsten on June 11, 2014

    This was billed as a gruesome horror tale which is what attracted me to it but that is not in truth what we get. Yes the zombies are there but only really feature twice in any important capacity-the beginning where Garrett sees the apocalypse as an opportunity to start his depraved journey and at the end. This is quite simply a rape novel with zombies in the background who get mentioned occasionally to remin you that they are still there. Garrett rapes the corpse of the girl next door he fancies AFTER she becomes a zombie, he rapes various women he rescues from the streets and then he breaks into a house and starts raping, violating and humiliating a young girl on every second page. That got old and boring very quickly. Garrett rapes her, someone looks out the window to see the zombies are still there, lets have another rape, Garrett goes to eat while his victim cries, hey another rape just for a change! Or maybe a nice violation or something just to change it up a wee bit. *Yawn* Now I like a gruesome horror and don't mind sexual violence(hell I read Jack Ketchum and Edward Lee!) but this was just rape after rape after rape with no attempt at developing this into a proper horror book. There was no tension or attempted escape to get you rooting for the girl, no imagination in the story development just a rape-athon, no character development, no story flow or complex unfolding plot to keep you interested the way Ketchum and King deliver. There is nothing to get you wondering what might come next(you know it's just going to be another rape anyway). It's just boring. I wasn't impressed by this book at all. If you are going to do gruesome horror you need to have something more than just rape every second page to keep your readers hooked. I certainly won't be continuing with this series and I don't recommend it. Disappointing because I know the author can produce much better writing than this.
  • A World of Terror on June 14, 2014

    Here are the stories I liked in the anthology: Murielle Cyr-Class Reunion A pupil from June's past arrives to ruin her chance of promotion. June was a real bitch to her pupils and staff and you want her to get what she deserves. Nicely told and developed (3 star) Lucy Pireel-Hunger The coven test a new recruit on a mission to the city to see if he defeats temptation. This one has potential and had an interesting concept. Decent read. (2.5 stars) Chad Huskins- Jesse came to the dead tree Nobody believes that Hannah ever existed but Jessie knows that the garden tree took her and goes out for answers. This was a creepy little tale with a nice twist. (2.5 stars) JJ Toner-The Perfect Woman A scientist creates the perfect woman in a lab but he is not her perfect man. Creepy, intriguing Frankenstein twist. Decent read. (3 stars) Billy Ray Chitwood-The Closet The bedroom closet in a man's dream home is a place where aliens can abduct. Sounds weird but this was a clever little story that I enjoyed. (3 star) Ann Swann-The Fee The cost of a fertility deal with the devil. This was a creepy, atmospheric story that was enjoyable with a nice twist. (3 star) Thomas Ryan-The Wooden Chest Two kids travel to grampa's house and discover the family secret. I really liked this one! You don't mess with grampa! (3.5 star) Lauren Scharhag-Zombie Anonymous A group of zombies who rediscovered their emotions after a semi-cure meet at a self help group. An intriguing read that I would like to see developed into a proper novella or novel. This has real potential. (3 star)
  • Tales From Dark Places - The Halloween Collection on June 14, 2014

    DC Rogers-Dinner, date and autopsy A date raped woman awakes just as her autopsy is about to begin. This was good. It had tension and a nice twist that gave a good ending. (3 star) Sonya C Dodd-Alone A recurring dream of being murdered and waking to spend the day alone is a special kind of punishment. It was ok but the punishment was not as cruel as the crimes so it wasn't a greatly satisfying ending. (2 star) Peter John-It started with a whisper Woman has dreams/hallucinations of things telling her pain was coming. Well that was pretty much the whole story so it felt pointless and boring to me. (1 star) Chris Raven-The Visitor James gets a visit from his angry spurned wife. The big reveal was a damp squib as it was obvious what was coming. Predictable and done countless times before. (2 star) Sheryl Seal-The Goblin Changeling A group of trick or treating goblins find the night spoiled by a lack of self control. Amusing enough story with a moral of why rules need to be followed. (2.5 star) Madhu Kalyan Mattaparthi-Bars Someone trapped inside finds messages to help their escape. This was confusing weirdness on a grand scale. (1 star) Alan Hardy-Death's Track George feels something is holding him back in life and death feels near. This was a quirky little horror tale that I liked. (2.5 star) Gunjan Vyas-Melinda A lonely woman waits for the love of her life to return. This one was not a great read. (1 star) William O'Brien-Charlie Featherwick A stupid child's prank played on a witch is punished. It was ok but did get a bit confusing. (2 star)
  • Horror Showcase on June 14, 2014

    Stuart Neild-The Smoking Assassin The ramblings of a smoke demon who assassinates people. This is a monologue of a demon talking to the next victim. He just rambles on about nothing and I found this boring. (1 star) Ian Woodhead-Spicy Meat A bunch of thuggish would-be rapists want a late night snack and fun but get more than they bargained for. The language was vile throughout the book, f-bombs etc just for the sake of it, and the attempt at rape, obnoxious moronic characters, all of which ruined a halfway decent story. Got bored. (1 star) Dave Jeffery-Wish you were here? Four drunks steal a garden gnome which turns out to be the death of them. A little gem of a story about the garden gnome version of Chuckie getting revenge for being stolen from his owner. Quirky horror tale with good writing and satisfying death scenes. (4 star) Stuart Neild-Special Boy A woman becomes obsessed with an exhibit in a freak show. This was weird and left me cold. (1 star) Ian Woodhead-Two Skins Sex obsessed OAPs fight over a new man in their social circles. This was an amusing story with a nice horror twist to it. (2.5 star) Dave Jeffery-Daddy Dearest A man has to deal with his abusive father becoming a zombie. This has an amazing amount of emotional depth for a short story, dealing with issues of domestic violence, alcoholism and zombies. The author delivers a good story which is not your usual zombie tale. (3 star) Stuart Neild-So you think you're a werewolf? A woman claiming to be a werewolf agrees to change on camera at the full moon. It was ok if a bit predictable but a werewolf isn't likely to do a stunt like this and put victims in front of herself. Never quite bought it. (2 star) Ian Woodhead-Sewing Lesson A strange girl uses the heads of dead animals to sew onto her dolls. Creepy story which never seemed to really go anywhere. (2 star) Dave Jeffery-The last rose of summer Two serial killers roam the city and both have an eye on the same victim. Delightful little thriller with a lovely twist. Liked this one. (3 star) Stuart Neild-The return of Borley Rectory A haunted house appears to lost men. This was confusing, weird and never gives you a satisfying conclusion. I was left wondering what actually happened. (1 star) Ian Woodhead-Beg the other man A man steals money from the client he kills. This was a better story with a decent plot. (2.5 star) Dave Jeffery-Foresight A psychic who gets visions of disasters sees his wife in trouble and tries to alter her fate. This was another quirky story with paranormal elements and a great twist. (4 star) Overall I was pretty disappointed with the other authors but Dave Jeffery really delivers in this book with four good stories. He does great twists and packs lots of character and interest into even the shortest story. Will look for more of his work again. Be nice if he published all these free stories into a paperback!
  • Monster Proof on June 14, 2014

    A rich old man lives in what he claims to be a monster proof house, able to stop attacks from mutant bugs to vampires. Now he agrees to do an interview and demonstration to show people that monsters do exist. I liked this book. The idea of a monster proof house appeals to a paranoid security conscious horror reader like me. I blame my paranoia on that scene in Salems Lot where the creepy boy is tapping on the darn window...gave me nightmares for weeks! Anyway, this book is very imaginative as the author has fun describing the different defences of the house and garden, and the creatures that he is defending against. There were a few lkie the burrowing tropical bugs that I certainly did not want to meet. I don't know if they are real or made up by the author but either way I don't want to see the blighters! The hints are there about the journalist in the blurb but I wasn't entirely sure what was coming. When the box is introduced, I sat for ages wondering what was inside it and I kicked myself that I didn't guess! It was a nice twist and something that our rich man really should have thought of. But then again, you can overlook the simple defences when you are expecting the more complex attacks so I liked the plot. I felt it was well thought out and nicely delivered. I would love to see a longer version set in this brilliant house...maybe a group trying to break in...or break out...! 3.5 stars.
  • Outpost on June 14, 2014

    Four men on a fishing trip make an unexpected catch and argue about whether to release it or take it home for dinner. But their decision will have fatal consequences for the group. Creepy little horror story that tells you to be very aware of where your food comes from! The characters are not that nice so it was easy to feel no sympathy for the trouble they got theirselves into. Nothing really unexpected but a nice short horror tale.
  • Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, Book 1) on Oct. 29, 2014

    So lets start as always with the good. Jenny is a decent MC and you feel sympathy for her situation. She can maim and kill by touching people so she keeps distant from everyone at school to protect them from her curse. One day she gets bullied and touches a girl in front of witnesses who see the ugly welts she causes, earning her the nickname Jenny Pox. Jenny struggles to hug her dad or even befriend a dog in case she kills by accident. I liked her and I liked the 'pox' storyline, which was a bit different but I thought having the cliche story of the MC being bullied by the beautiful school uberbitch did spoil the plot, turning something new into something we'd seen a hundred times before. It's something that does get on my nerves in YA books. And the bitches were just evil in this case with no redeeming qualities. I finally started to lose interest when the inevitable romance element was being introduced. I know that teen romance is going to feature heavily in most YA/NA paranormal after the success of Twilight, but I'm just getting a bit bored by that type of book all the time. Jenny needs a friend so having someone who has a similar type of ability was good, but seriously, guys and girls can be friends without a love element! It might be nice to see that for a change! Seth, as a character was a bit bland and boring, even when he is playing hero for Jenny and I never really felt a chemistry or anything between them. The romance felt there for the sake of it instead of natural. Most of the other characters I just didn't like. I have read in reviews on Goodreads that graphic sex and drug taking are also in the book but to be honest, I didn't really get that far into the story so I can't comment. This book was marketed to me as being YA, it is highly listed on Goodreads as YA yet I just noticed as I write this review that it carries an 18 restriction-so I guess it isn't meant to be YA at all. Huh. It just wasn't going to be my kind of book anyway.
  • Fanged Love: The Prequel on Oct. 29, 2014

    This story did not impress me at all. The characters are appalling. Grace is a spineless doormat who lets her boyfriend treat her like crud. He beats her, cuts her, humiliates her, tries to make her a vampire, decides to sell her on the internet and sacrifice his best friend. Her reaction? I'm going to kill myself to frame him but hey I forgot to plant the knife on him! Oh please! Nathan is a control freak who attacks her, threatens her friends and believes he is a vampire. Nothing nice about him or his idiot friend who has agreed to be sacrificed. The whole story is Grace sitting there dying from this stab wound and hoping Nathan will get blamed. There seemed little point to this story as it didn't catch my interest in any way or make me want to continue with a following series.
  • ARENA ONE: Slaverunners (Book #1 of the Survival Trilogy) (Part One) on Oct. 29, 2014

    Brooke and her younger sister Bree survived the civil war by hiding out at their family's winter cabin which is exposed to the main road, leaving them vulnerable to being captured by slaverunners and sent as slaves to the arena to fight. It sounded a bit Hunger Games to me but I'm always willing to try new books even if they seem similar to books I've read and loved. Right. What worked in the Hunger Games is that although it was a brutal futuristic regime, everyday life was believable in this world. You thought it could happen so you believed in it and the characters. I just didn't believe in the opening, not enough to invest in the rest of the story, mentally or financially! Brooke admits to not being able to hunt or fish, and has no food supplies so how on earth did the girls survive three years out there? How could they survive all winter with the odd fish??? That didn't make much sense. Neither did the fact that she had no idea about the fully stocked cabin higher up the hill from her holiday home. Even if she had not known it was there, surely she would have explored the area fully in the years that she had been there to find supplies! And when she finds it full of canned goods and next to a wood with lots of trees to burn and deer to throw knives at, she decides to move her sister up there the next day as it is much more secluded and safe. So why, the next day does she abandon that excellent plan, leave her sister and go to look at the cabin again? Yes you guessed it, Bree is snatched while she is away! Oh come on. This happens despite both sisters having a bad dream about Bree being taken and Brooke having that bad feeling as she left the cabin that she'd never see her sister again-but leaves anyway. None of that was realistic to me. Nor was the running down the mountain to catch the car. The other thing that didn't grab me was how slow the story was. It took a lot of time to get to the point of Bree being taken and by then this version of the book was finishing. We didn't need so much description about the winters, flashbacks to her dad having tantrums(which added NOTHING to the story) and so on. If you are going to give a free segment of your book, it needs to have enough in it to grab the reader and make me want to devour it. In this case, there just wasn't enough of interest in this to make me want to read the whole thing. If a book hasn't grabbed me by 50 pages in, I rarely continue much further as I have limited time and a big tbr to get through.
  • Yellow Eyes on Oct. 29, 2014

    Katrina wakes to noises in her apartment and escapes as an intruder sets her flat on fire. A stalker is watching Katrina, sending her strange messages and making it clear that he can get to her wherever the police hide her. This was a detective novel not a paranormal one which is what I was led to believe. It was Katrina fleeing her stalker, talking to the police, being put in a safe place, being stalked again. I didn't want to read a crime novel! If I had, I would've read James Patterson. The story was well enough written and there was nothing wrong with the author's writing style or character development. It just wasn't what I wanted to read.
  • Breathe for Me on Oct. 29, 2014

    I just couldn't get into this book at all and even 17 pages felt like an eternity when I was trying to plough through it. Dormun was the most boring, flat character I've read for a while and I wasn't really that interested in him. The rest of the thugs and psychos he is with did not appeal to me either. The plot was dull and without excitement. Not much else to say really.
  • A Vow of Tears: The First Vow on Oct. 29, 2014

    This book was so slow that I felt as if it was going backwards. In the present Sara is being told that she is a vampire and the couple who have her are torn between helping her and killing her. This features Sara crying a lot, the female quizzing her about her human emotions and feeding habits several times and the man trying to kill her every two seconds. Then we have long chapters showing how Sara met her husband Matt, how she and nasty sister Robin have never got on with each other, Robin cheating her out of her inheritance, her mum's wake, the day Matt died and so on. It was boring! I didn't really care to see Sara and Robin at the theme park following two guys for hours or Robin sulking that the guy she wants fancies her younger sister or her countless jealous rants. There was way too much back story and not enough dealing with the main story that I downloaded it for. Got bored and went to find something else to read instead.
  • Discovery (Science of Psionics Book #1) on Oct. 29, 2014

    This book did not live up to expectation. After the storm and the discovery of powers, the book becomes an incomprehensible scientific waffle which I understood very little of. When our hero couple started exchanging theories and throwing scientific jargon about, my eyes glazed over and I got bored. Complicated scientific talk is not what I want in a good book so I went to find something else to read.
  • Gathering of Blackbirds on Oct. 29, 2014

    I've read a lot of Indie books over the last couple of years so I'm tolerant of bad spelling and sentence structure-unless I feel that it is overshadowing the plot. I'm afraid in this case there were so many mistakes that forced me to stop and re-read that it stopped the entire flow of the story. A few mistakes I can overlook but this copy had nothing but mistakes and was obviously not proof-read by the author before publication. Here are a few examples. 'he disgusted me anymore', 'Alice and Jimmy was his parents'. These are mistakes that a simple re-read could have prevented. The sentence structure was really weird and made it difficult to understand what the author was trying to actually say. 'Gabe was a true gentleman, like the kind of fictional character that can only exist with words to describe them'. I'm not sure what that is really meant to mean. I really struggled to get this story. The story was a bit slow to start and we get a lot of information about Em's past, her drunk father, her abusive boyfriend, her collection of old jewellery but I don't really feel anything for her as an MC. She was worrying more about her makeup than being suddenly whisked off to Atlantis, which I found really strange. She just didn't feel real or believable to me, and I struggled to relate to her or care about her situation. I just feel that this book needs a lot more work on it before it is really ready to be published. The story needs tweaking a bit in places to make a bit more sense, Em needs more development in my opinion and it certainly needs to be edited to stop it from feeling like a first draft. I'm afraid I had to stop reading it quite early on as it was just not working for me.
  • Fat Vampire on Jan. 23, 2015

    Reginald is fat, bored and being bullied at work. When he finally makes friends with the goth kid on night shift Maurice, hope springs. Until vampires attack Reginald and Maurice breaks the rules by turning him. Now Reginald has to deal with being a slow and fat vampire instead. So when Maurice is approached on a bowling night out with Reginald by a group of vampires he knows, Reginald becomes the meal and Maurice has to turn him to stop him from dying. Reginald's hopes of being a cool vampire fade instantly when he realises that he will be forever fat and unfit, with little in the way of physical powers. It becomes a huge problem when he tries to hunt his food. Outrun by female joggers and cane wielding pensioners("What's wrong with you, you sicko?"), Reginald then fails miserably when hunting a teenage boy. "I own the night!" "Dude, you don't own shit. You should own a treadmill." Having a ten year old True Blood fan called Claire feel sorry for him and Todd being there for part of the night shift is the final straw. Reginald feels as if he is the worst vampire ever, and their ruling body agrees with him, summoning him and Maurice to a 'meeting' which is really a trial. Should Reginald fail to impress, he will be given to sunlight, along with everyone he knows and cares about being killed, putting Claire and new friend Nikki in danger too. Can Reginald win over his doubters? I really enjoyed this book and it was great to see an overweight character as the hero for a change. Reginald's life is pretty dull and being picked on my the perfect looking idiots that work with him at the fitness company is something that many people can relate to. The snide comments, the practical jokes, the sniggers. He's a likeable guy and I just wanted to see him get his own back on Todd and his cronies. The side characters in this book were really good. Maurice dresses like a goth so he can target goth kids as easy meals, and only bites men or he'd feel as if he was cheating on his wife. Claire is a lonely child with only the dvd player for company while her mother lies in bed drunk when not working. Nikki is a wannabe vampire who tries to show Reginald that he is worth saving. This book has real emotional depth dealing with the tough parts of our characters lives, as well as plenty of great humour. The story flows nicely and I liked the whole plot, making me want to read the rest of the series. Favourite scenes? Loved the attempts at feeding off people at the river. I enjoyed the action at the trial and I especially loved the ending!