on April 28, 2011
This is a series of 6 short stories. Each story focussing on an emotion – love, betrayal etc. There is a certain macabre darkness running through each story. I liked that each story managed to make the hairs on the back of my neck prickle & stand on end. Particularly the last one which is a good deal longer than the others. All the stories put me in mind of some of Stephen King's early short stories.
All in all I think this is a very good collection of chills. I would like to see more from this author as I feel he has more to give.
Kiwi in Cat City
on May 04, 2011
This is a lovely story about 2 children who decide to follow their cat one night and 'see what she has for breakfast'. They end up following her to 'Cat City' and the book is then about their adventures there. To say any more would be to give away spoilers and that’s not what this review is about!
This author has a fantastic imagination and although this was essentially a children’s book, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. The story was told in an easy to read way and was a lovely subject. Who hasn’t wondered where their cat goes all night? I would love to read more from this author as she is quite simply amazing!
on May 05, 2011
This is a book of many poems, each broken up into 'chapters' or subjects, such as 'love' or 'nature' etc. Now, I will be honest & say I don't generally like poetry but I was given the opportunity to read this & as I enjoyed a previous book by this author I thought I would give them a chance. I went in with an open mind and I am so glad I did. Wow! This author writes beautiful words. I enjoyed each & every poem, I found myself turning page after page to read the next & the next. More of the same please! Such a talented writer.
Forever the Dark Grave
on June 11, 2011
On the face of it this is a vampire story. 'Oh no, not another vampire story!' I hear you cry. But wait! Before you judge on subject matter, yes it is a vampire story but it is so much more than that. It turns many of the tried and tested myths on their heads. I can't say too much here without revealing spoilers but it certainly put a new spin on things for me and gave me lots to think about.
I loved it. The pace was quick and snappy with plenty of action and even a little bit of sauciness in for good measure! And an ending that was unexpected as it was shocking! I recommend this to anyone who would like to try a 'different' vampire tale. It has made me hungry (See what I did there?!) for more by this author.
on June 15, 2011
This was my first introduction into reviewing an erotic book. Boy what an introduction it was! It was sort of Hell's Kitchen meets Kitchen Nightmares with a whole load of sauce added.
That being said, all the steamy scenes (and wow were they steamy!) were very tastefully done. I never felt they were gratuitous and they fitted in with the story.
I would be interested to read more from this author as I feel she writes from a woman's point of view...for women. A classy novel that I very much enjoyed.
on June 18, 2011
You often hear about stories that stay with you long after they have been read. Well, for me this was 'that' story. I was bombarded by several different emotions whilst reading this book and I loved every minute of it!
This book was a rites of passage tale. We are taken on a journey by the female lead of this story and how her life changes therein. I was amazed at how much time and emotion I invested in each of the characters – really feeling their every emotion, they were so real to me. I also like the way the author changed the narrator almost each chapter between the two main leads. It meant we could see both sides of the story as it were and was a nice touch.
It was beautifully written, in such a way as I could not put it down. Almost to the detriment of my sleep! Thank you Mr Aken for writing a story that has taken me over so completely that now I have finished it, I feel a little lost! May there be lots more from you.
Mementoes of Mai
on June 25, 2011
This is an interesting short story that reads a little like a travel diary which is a novel idea. It is about taking chances and not always receiving the outcome you expect.
The descriptions of the sights and sounds were so vivid I felt like I was really there and this I enjoyed. I have never been to Vietnam and to be taken on a journey around the different markets and foodie places was great.
Unfortunately for me the story didn’t flow very smoothly. I understand that English is not the authors first language and I commend him for writing a story thusly. Some of the conversation seemed either forced or stilted in parts. That being said with some clever editing this could be a really lovely travelogue type short story.
A Flash of Inspiration: A Collection of Very Short Stories by Indie Authors
on July 01, 2011
This is a collection of short short stories (called Flash Fiction, all under 100 words) written by a group of writers from the 'Book Junkies' group on Facebook.
The idea came about because they were messing around and posting their flashes in the group. Someone came up with the mad idea of collecting them altogether with contributions from many authors and putting them in a book. And so 'A Flash of Inspiration' was born.
The authors have showed with this, that they have a range of talents. The stories range from the funny, to the bizarre to the downright dark. Every one being a winner. Well done guys, heres to the next collection!
on July 09, 2011
This is a story of a man avenging his friends death and finding himself in the middle of a war between two mafia families.
This story never let up once. I was hooked from page one and could not put it down. The author did a good job of explaining the different aspects of mafia life and hierarchy. There were many twists and turns and just when I thought I was on the right track I was thrown another curveball. The ending was totally unexpected and was clearly left wide open for a sequel. I for one cannot wait for that sequel!
My Novel Affair
on Aug. 16, 2011
Let me start by issuing a warning. This book is screamingly funny. It should come with a disclaimer – 'Warning – This book may induce instantaneous bouts of out-loud mirth. Take care reading in public places!' I was reading this on the bus and I got some very funny looks, I can tell you!
The idea of a story within a story is refreshing one and works very well. The characters are larger than life and vibrant. The juxtaposition of the story (within the story) and the real life element was very skilfully and cleverly done.
My hats off to the author for she has pulled off another winner. I loved and enjoyed this and hope that everyone else reading it enjoys it as much as I did!
on Sep. 01, 2011
'For the Flidderbugs of the Krephiloff Tree all they had to worry about was how many points were on the leaves and who held the Shears. Now something is threatening the Tree and to get to the bottom of it they must put aside beliefs held since time immemorial.
I loved this little tale. It was short and sweet and I think it would appeal to all ages. I loved the characters, I could see the bugs in my head and I personified them!
All in all a great little story that I heartily recommend.'
How Do You Say Goodbye
on Sep. 02, 2011
This was a fantastic book. Be warned though, it is a major tearjerker. It is a tale about Sam, a woman who had a shocking life and has found out she has an inoperable brain tumour. The story follows her journey to hook up with her old biker 'clan' finishing up at her friends grandparents. Her wish is to die by the beach so they take her to the beach where her friend has a house. More happens along the way but I don't want to spoil it.
I was moved by Sam's plight. I found myself laughing and crying with her. The love all her friends had for her was tangible and I felt it too.
It was a real page turner and got me from the first page. Read it, you won't be disappointed.
D.N.A. -Nothing Would Ever be the Same
on Sep. 22, 2011
This is a brilliant look at a dysfunctional family and how the daughter rose above it. The night before a family holiday Debney is told, yet again, she is not to come with them by her mum. They go off on holiday and she has a party. The police arrive at her house to tell her her family has been killed in a car accident. There is some mystery surrounding her brothers. She makes some bad choices and finds she's pregnant, what will she do?
This was a deeply moving story. I was near to tears in many places. the way Debney was treated at school, the aftermath of the accident and finally it all coming together. The triumveret of friends in Debney, Nadine and Giante was wonderful. Most of the story was told in flashback and the story unfolded slowly but coherently. The pace of the story was perfect, and there were no confusing moments at all. The ending was fantastic, just how I hoped it would be, and warmed my heart.
This is a great story and I urge people to give it a go. Great for Young Adults and Adults alike.
on Oct. 06, 2011
This is a wonderful tale of a man – Neville – who found the world was moving too fast and fell off. He found himself in an asteroid field with all manner of quirky and interesting characters. Then he finds out the world is moving too fast and is going to leave it's orbit and fly straight into his new found home and friends. Does Neville stop the world and save the asteroids? Well that would be telling wouldn't it?
This was a quirky little story. Neville mad me think a bit of Arthur Dent with his no nonsense approach to that which made no sense. It was funny in places and endearingly heart warming. Underneath it all was a deeper message to take things slowly and not let life rush you by.
I loved this. It is a nice quick read and would appeal to all ages I think.
on Dec. 14, 2011
This is a story about a woman (Nysa) who is at the top of her field in DNA retrieval at UCLA. She is head hunted by a strange gentleman for a project she knows nothing about but will pay top dollar for her services. She agrees, on the understanding she must have no contact with the outside world for the duration of the project, and tell no one where she is going. When a series of natural disasters prompts her boyfriend (Alistair) to try and find her, the project and his search suddenly are not quite what they seem.
This was a great book. I enjoyed the fact that the chapters were short, it meant that I could read it quickly in short bursts. As it happened I found it extremely hard to put down. The basic plot (which I can't divulge as it would give too much away) is a good one, and had me gripped to the end.The characters were solid and although the story played out with only three main characters, I didn't feel the story suffered. The ending was as sudden as it was shocking, so be prepared for that. It was satisfying though and tied up any loose ends. It did, however, need work on the editing.
All in all a brave subject to tackle, that the author has done justice with and I hope he has more in the pipe line.
This review was originally written for the TBR Pile.
HYM and HUR
on May 10, 2012
This is the story of Hym and Hur, a couple who have been in love a long time and never age. They love playing pranks on people with their special powers. This time however they have made a deal with Death in exchange for a good deed. They may choose someone to save people from dying by touch alone, for 24 hours. But this is Death and there is always a loophole....
This was a deliciously funny little tale. I loved the pranks Hym & Hur played and the funny interventions they made into peoples lives, whether for the best or not. The story ran smoothly and the characters were believable. The end was very sweet and I would love to read more of this author's work.
on June 18, 2012
The is a set of six short stories. The beginning story is the original draft of the end story, and Jerry's first foray into the writing business.
A great story collection! It is quite unusual to read an anthology that has no bad stories, but this is it. Every single story was a master-crafted roller-coaster of a tale. I particularly liked the idea of including the two drafts of The Feed and Feed. you could see how much Jerry's writing has grown in the 18 months between the two stories. Each story in this anthology started off one way and kept you guessing until the shocker of a climax. The mark of a good story to me is one that makes you think 'What the hell just happened???'. All of these are just that and more.
Unleashed: Tail One
on June 24, 2012
This is the story of a cat, a dog, a family and a detective hell bent on getting to the bottom of a 'suspicious' death. The old man next door has been found dead and the Smith's reported a commotion at their door on the same night. Detective MacKowski is determined to find out what happened whatever the cost....
this was a humorously dark little tale. Told in different points of view from the cat, dog and the detective. it was an interesting read, and certainly made me look at my cats in a whole new light, wondering what they get up to when we are all asleep! I giggled to myself as the cat plotted and ingratiated herself into the Smith family, leaving the devoted dog out in the cold. The detective was brilliant as a bumbling fool, dedicated to his cause no matter the cost. I recommend this for animal lovers and dark tale lovers alike.
Chocolate-Covered Eyes: A Sampler Of Horror
on June 24, 2012
This is a collection of six of Lori's best stories preceded by a poem called 'Chocolate Covered Eyes'. All the stories have a horror theme and are slightly macabre.
This is the first taste I have had of Lori's work and I think I shall be coming back for more. She has an irreverent, humorous style that certainly appeals. The stories were deliciously dark, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. If I have one criticism, it would be the constant use of long and 'fancy' words - I found myself reaching my dictionary quite a lot! On the plus side I have expanded my vocabulary by some way. This is just a minor niggle though and I still recommend this as a great and enjoyable anthology.
on July 06, 2012
This is the story of Colin. He has lost his wife, is having nightmares and has developed a clock phobia. Slowly over the course of the story his life unravels to the point where he can no longer continue.
This was slightly longer than some of Jerry's stories I have read and it made for a nice change. I felt I really got to know Colin through the course of the story and his slow but sure mental decline. The story was quite sad in a way, but as is usual with Jerry's stories there was a twist. Once that twist was revealed, my feelings changed somewhat! The ending was quite sudden and unexpected, but was brilliant in its shock value.
on July 14, 2012
This is the story of Stu, handyman to an apartment block. A new neighbour has moved in, and she seems to be surrounded by the scent of patchouli. He becomes obsessed with her and what is hiding behind her apartment door.
This was quite steamy for Jerry, and quite odd. I enjoyed it and it certainly made me think about the people around me and the secrets they are hiding! Stu found out and regretted it after! Another great tale from the twisted mind of Jerry McKinney, read it and enjoy it.
on July 15, 2012
This is the story of a family. They have gone on holiday to a secluded island. Thinking they are alone, they enjoy the sand and surf until it is time to go home. Then the heavens open, but it isn't rain. what falls out of the sky is far more horrific, and will change their lives forever....
This was a very creepy and slightly gross story from the master story teller. A story of worms taking over humans and turning them into sort of zombies. Once again a lot of action was packed into a short story and I enjoyed it immensely. A roller-coaster of a story that I recommend.
on July 15, 2012
This is the story of Chad, it's Christmas Eve and he has great plans for this Christmas. He's going to propose to Kate and they are going to live happily ever after. But things don't always go to plan do they?
I liked this, I liked this very much. It was a Christmas Carol but with a McKinney twist to it. It was very cleverly done and for a short story was crammed full of action. The amount of detail though didn't feel rushed in any way. There was a neat little twist at the end that was unexpected. Another great story that I totally recommend.
on Sep. 28, 2012
This is the story of Lyn. She is chief guide for Taylors Outfitters and Guides, a company that guides people on animal hunts. She is strong minded, feisty and independent. She is in an unhappy relationship with Brad, a local lumber yard owner. She has an intense dislike of loggers and lumbar companies because of what they do to the land around the trees and another deep seated reason. Then she is asked to guide a group of men on an Elk hunt. The leader of the group, Nic Randall, has very negative feelings against women on hunts and their first meeting does not go well. After a near miss accident whilst on the hunt, their feelings towards each other soften. Can she put aside her feistiness and gather the courage to leave Brad and build a relationship with Nic or are her experiences with Brad destined to cloud her future forever?
I really enjoyed this. It was a nice light romance, but not too 'fluffy'. I loved Lyn's feistiness and the sparring between her and Nic. They played off each other really well and I was rooting for them to get together. The 'deep dark secret' Lyn was keeping from him as to why she hated lumber mills and logging was played out very well. All in all it was a lovely romance that had strong characters and a brilliant 'happy ever after' that left me with tears in my eyes. I totally recommend this as a nice light read that is also a lot of fun.