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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Jenna and the Telepath (Short Seductions (Book 04)) by Jordan K Rose

Title: Jenna and the Telepath
Author: Jordan K Rose
Series: Short Seductions (Book 03)
Read Type: eARC
Stars: StarStarStarStar

You can purchase this book on Amazon (International)
It is also available in the Box Set 1 (stories 1 to 5)

You can find out more about the author:
Find Jordan on her website at www.jordankrose.com.
Follow her tweets on https://twitter.com/#!/jordankrose
Friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-K-Rose-Author/307285709309992
Follow her Pinterest boards at: http://pinterest.com/jordankrose/boards/
Friend her on Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5751865.Jordan_K_Rose
Google- https://plus.google.com/109182255192009311324/posts
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-K-Rose/e/B007D06OUU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1421929786&sr=8-1







Series Blurb:
Welcome to Seductions. Step into the most popular bar in New England and enter a world where Others live side-by-side with unsuspecting humans. At Seductions the drinks are always tasty, the romance is always hot, and the patrons aren’t always human.

The Short Seductions Series is a collection of ten spicy paranormal romance short stories, each of roughly 8,000 words in length. These hot little love stories are short enough to enjoy on your lunch break, but long enough to satisfy any romance reader. Each sensual tale tells the romantic journey of a different hero and heroine.

Come on in. Have a drink. Enjoy a quickie happily-ever-after.


Book Blurb:
What's scarier than a vampire, a werewolf and a demon?

A telepath.

Can a woman ever feel more naked than when none of her thoughts are private and all of her secrets are known? Even being naked in the center of the packed Seductions dance floor wouldn’t feel as exposed. Yet, there’s something about Kolton Lansing that Jenna Rivers can’t resist.

Is it possible Kolton has used his power to trick Jenna into loving him? Is she just some toy he’s playing with? Or does Kolton really care for her?

Welcome to Seductions. Step into the most popular bar in New England and enter a world where Others live side-by-side with unsuspecting humans. At Seductions the drinks are always tasty, the romance is always hot, and the patrons aren’t always human.

The Short Seductions Series is a collection of ten spicy paranormal romance short stories, each of roughly 8,000 words in length. These hot little love stories are short enough to enjoy on your lunch break, but long enough to satisfy any romance reader. Each sensual tale tells the romantic journey of a different hero and heroine.

Come on in. Have a drink. Enjoy a quickie happily-ever-after.


Author Bio:
Jordan loves vampires. She also loves to laugh. And if you know anything about Jordan, you know her vampires will make you laugh. 

A few years back Jordan received a copy of Twilight from her husband as part of her anniversary gift. By the end of that week she’d read the entire series and moved onto Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Eight weeks and eighteen vampire books later the idea for her first book came to her followed very quickly by Eva Prim.

The Eva Prim Series follows the night-to-night escapades of The Demon Mistress, a vampire with the inexplicable ability to call demons. With both full-length novels and short stories the series has a bit of something for everyone.

Jordan’s other books include Black Magic Rose, book one of The Alliance Series, where the world is set in a hospital run by vampires and werewolves; and The Central City Romance Series, where members of The Vampire Guard one-by-one find love in the ruins of the city.

When she’s not writing about one vampire or another Jordan enjoys spending time with her husband, Ken and their lovable Labradors, Dino and Enzo on the beautiful beaches of New England. 


Review
This is a Laura’s Drive-by Lurking review
Compact reviews for quick breaks

Strong language: Some
Drugs: None
Violence: None
Sexual content: Yes, graphic

I received a copy of this short story as a promotional email from Jordan K Rose. The series is available for sale as well as being mailed out on release day as a thank you to subscribers of her newsletter.


Jenna’s in a casual relationship with a telepath, Kolton. Having text her, telling her to meet him at Seductions, a bar where all manner of supernaturals and humans mix freely, she sits outside agonising over her decision to come. Sure the man was nice, he was great in bed… but he could also read every thought of anyone any time. Why would he want her for more than some fun? Should she delve deeper into what seemed to her inevitable heartbreak? But there was something about him drawing her in…

Inside that bar the sexiest man she’d ever met waited.
The sexiest and by far the scariest.
Vampires, werewolves, demons— not one of them even came close to rivalling Kolton Lansing. He had a power they could only dream of having.

I hadn’t come across telepath romance (unless you include Twilight) so the idea intrigued me. The thought of actually dating someone who knows everything you ever think however I find pretty creepy. Nevertheless, the author pulled off a hot romance with a good plot and moral dilemmas, keeping me hooked. I also enjoyed the writing quality, slipping beautifully crafted descriptions into the scenes.

As if an autumn frost covered her body, she suddenly felt chilled straight to the bone.

I love that Jenna was a wary and slightly jaded character, on one occasion giving fairly damning opinions of demons, werewolves and vampires. She understood both the dangers and allure of the non-humans. Especially a certain telepath.

I found Kolton to be a bit aggressive at times in staking his claim on Jenna when she clearly had a situation in hand. The rest of his personality I found to be charming and kind. My favourite aspect of him was even with the power to read her mind he still couldn’t understand the woman and her wants! Choosing to give her mental privacy, and wanting to hear her say her desires sealed the deal for me.

Loving, attentive, sensual and sexual, the ending was great. The conflict was turned around well, without using obvious means.

I give this story 4 stars

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Available Darkness (Season 1, Episode 5) by Sean Platt and David Wright

Title: Available Darkness  (Episode 5)
Author: Sean Platt and David Wright
Series: Available Darkness (Season 1)
Publisher: Collective Inkwell
Read Type: Author request
Stars: StarStar Star StarImage from the Silk icon theme by Mark James *'''Source:''' http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ photo HalfStar_zps439ec261.png

This book can be purchased from Amazon (International) as a full series of 6.
To find out more about the authors please visit Facebook and their Website.
Individually, you can find Sean on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon
Individually, you can find David on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Amazon





Season Blurb
From the writers of the post-apocalyptic smash hit serial, Yesterday's Gone, and Z 2134, comes Available Darkness, a new breed of vampire serial thriller.

The Darkness Has Awoken

FBI Special Agent Caleb Baldwin is on the hunt for a serial killer who has left a trail of burned bodies. One of those victims — his wife. As he gets closer to finding the killer, he falls deeper into an elaborate conspiracy.

A man wakes buried alive with no memory of who or what he is. In his pocket, a note: “Avoid the sunlight and don’t touch anybody.” Now he is being hunted by the FBI while trying to remember his monstrous past. He must control the darkness within before it consumes him and the child whose life he must protect.

11-year-old Abigail was dying slowly each day as the prisoner of a sick man. Until she is saved by the most unlikely of heroes — a vampire with a deadly touch. He is her only hope, and she may hold the key to unlocking the memories of his hidden past.

Past, present, fate, and future are on a collision course as the hours of AVAILABLE DARKNESS are ticking away and a force greater than anything the world has ever seen threatens humanity.

Available Darkness is an epic serialized journey that reinvents vampire mythology with a fast paced, character-driven thriller that blends action, mystery, fantasy, and horror in an addictive, tragically romantic story.


Author Bios
Sean Platt

Sean loves writing books, even more than reading them. He is co-founder of Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints, writes for children under the name Guy Incognito, and has more than his share of nose.

Together with co-authors David Wright and Johnny B. Truant, Sean has written the series Yesterdays Gone, WhiteSpace, ForNevermore, Available Darkness, Dark Crossings, Unicorn Western, The Beam, Namaste, Robot Proletariat, Cursed, Greens, Space Shuttle, and Everyone Gets Divorced. He also co-wrote the how-to indie book, Write. Publish. Repeat.




David W. Wright
David W. Wright is the co-author of the number 1 sci-fi and horror series, Yesterday's Gone, as well as six other series.

David is also a cartoonist who is working on a children's book.

David blogs about writing and stuff he likes at his personal blog, and about his books at Collective Inkwell.

He lives on the east coast with his wife, seven-year old son, and the world's most poopingest cat.






Review
Strong language: None
Drugs: None
Violence: Some, graphic
Sexual content: negligible

The authors gave out a free copy of season one of this serial in their newsletter as an apology for messing up details in the previous letter. I decided to read and review this. Despite having the entire first series, 6 episodes, at once in front of me, I will stick to no more than one a week the same as they are initially released in America.

You can find links to all of my review of the series at the Available Darkness Archive


Just like the last episode, this one is set in the past again. This time, however, things have moved on slightly and danger is at the door once more. John realises his only way to protect his life and the ones he loves is to go on the run. But it could never be that easy, it seems to protect them he may just have to break them in the process.

The FBI agent in this episode showed far more human traits of frustration and anger when he couldn’t get the clues to solve the hideous murders occurring in the country. His story arc in this episode was enormous, the change in him and the knowledge I gained possibly make him into one of my favourite characters. He showed compassion, violence, grief, anger and fear in a very real cycle as his world spun out of control. His background was also opened up much more. For the first time I felt sorry for him, rather than apathetic or sharing a very vague irritation with him.

This episode shared much more of John’s world of the supernatural. More characters came into play, as well as more knowledge of what the world around them held. I look forward to seeing this play out more.

Despite all the emotion, the action was once again full on. There was a mixture of arguments, car runs and fights. I think John’s partners reactions were the most realistic, as she realised she lived with a vampire… Or was he a lunatic? If you’re not a character in twilight, can you really just accept “I’m vampire, of sorts,”? he said. The cold, serious expression on his face sent a chill down her spine.

Well, I’ll let Hope answer that one for you: Holy shit, he IS crazy. I’m in love with a crazy person.

The end of the episode jumps back to the present, just before the start of the first episode as far as I can tell the timeline. John is a very changed man, he’s lost a lot in the intervening time. Yet, he finds himself facing an old adversary, and a deadly ultimatum.

In true fashion for these writers they’ve once again left me on a cliffhanger and I’m dying to read more.


The 411

while this episode was still set in the past, like the previous episode, the theme was closer to the first episodes in the series. There was more action, and I felt that many of the plot threads finally started to weave together so I have an idea where the story is going.

This episode also had some really emotional elements, something I’ve been looking for in some of the episodes.

I give this episode a good 4.5, adjusted to a four for reviewing sites

Thursday, 17 September 2015

PUBLISHED The Boy in the Mirror by Tom Preston

The Boy in the Mirror by Tom Preston
is now published.


You can order a copy of this book from Amazon (International)


Book Blurb:
In January 2011, aged 21, Tom Preston was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma. His chances of survival were optimistically placed at around 40%. This short, autobiographical work tells the story of the fight in the months that followed – but this is no ordinary cancer memoir.

The Boy in the Mirror is written in the second person – so the events in this book are happening to you, the reader, living through the hope, love, suffering, death and black comedy encountered by Tom during the battle to save himself.



You can find the review here.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Redeye by G Norman Lippert

Title: Redeye
Author: G Norman Lippert
Read Type: eARC
Stars:StarStarStarStar Image from the Silk icon theme by Mark James *'''Source:''' http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ photo HalfStar_zps439ec261.png

You can purchase a copy of this book from Amazon (International)
You can find out more about the author on Amazon Author page, Facebook and his website


Book Blurb:
Henry Donner had heard of people avoiding a flight because of premonitions of doom, but he never suspected that the opposite may also be true: some people are drawn to a doomed plane because deep down, they hunger for the end.  

Worse, it may be their collective, suicidal will that makes it happen.

Now, only as redeye flight two-ninety lifts off does Donner realize the truth: the airliner's final destination isn't New York, but oblivion, and he's the only one who can do anything about it-- if, that is, he can get past the demonic forces on board to watch it happen.



Author Bio:
G. Norman Lippert’s novels have been read in the millions, with nearly 40,000 reviews on goodreads.com and an average 4-star rating.  His first self-published book, “The Riverhouse”, was a number two bestseller in its genre on amazon.com.  Specializing in a broad range of styles, from young-adult and fantasy to adult horror and thrillers, his works are hard to categorize, while all pointing toward the same underlying themes of love, hope, and faith, even in the darkest of situations.

He currently lives in Erie, Pennsylvania with his wife and two children.







Review
Strong language: mild
Drugs: no
Violence: yes
Sexual content: implied


I received a free copy of this book in return for an unbiased review

Disclaimer: I have known this author personally for several years. I have seen their work grow and change over this time and enjoyed watching their journey. I have not let this affect my review, I have treated this book as if from a stranger to the best of my ability



Henry Donner is a man bogged down by guilt from his past yet trying to pave the way for his future. Or is he? Is there something deep inside his subconscious drawing him into the darkness?

Five months before, his partner was killed in a car crash with him at the wheel. He has questioned himself every day since, but now he believes he’s made a step into the future by booking an interview for a job in New York, well away from his current life and its bindings. As he arrives at the airport, however, he notices the departure lounge for the flight is largely empty despite the stewardess’s claims they are overbooked. Even as he watches he sees other people dash away from the plane for reasons they appear to have suddenly remembered. The other passengers appear in a trance, appearing hopeless and not paying attention to anything.

Once he’s on the plane, telling himself his unease is nothing but nerves about the interview and the uncertainty of moving forward in his life, Henry loses what control he had over his life when it becomes clear that this plane is not a normal plane heading for a normal destination. Once he’s in the air there’s no way to get off. There is a distinct, yet undefinable, wrongness to everything around him. He seems to be the only one who can see this. Can he overcome his own stagnation to protect himself and others?

Because it really is true, he thought. Some people do sense the bad juju of a doomed airplane. They sense it and they turn back. Like the woman in the white pantsuit. Or the mother of the college guy. Or like any number of the people missing from all those empty seats on this supposedly overbooked flight.

Set during the 80s, in the time of programmers using punch cards to do their work, this had a retro feel to it and works fluidly to draw the plot forward in a way that would be impossible if set in modern times. Despite the fact I wasn’t born until 91 I never felt at a loss or confused due to the time difference.

This book had a good, consistent pace giving the feeling of being drawn ever forwards, ever towards a destination that seems increasingly dark and dangerous, impossible to escape. As the story progresses it includes multiple flashbacks of Henry’s life, telling the story of what led him to this point. Some details of the past are given in extremely inventive methods, leaving both Henry and the reader wondering if he is hallucinating or if he really is hearing his deepest secrets from people who shouldn’t even know his name.

The writing reminded me of the style of Stephen King in The Green Mile in places. It had minor issues, but overall was a real page turner.

The book made good use of symbolism and imagery. I particularly enjoyed the use of metaphors, showing his distracted mind at some times, and the extreme clarity of the fight or flight instinct at others.

Monstrous shapes lumbered like dinosaurs, roaring with the constant drone of idling jet engines

The books supernatural elements are introduced slowly and subtly. At first they appeared to be merely coincidences or a case of being sat awkwardly next to the talkative stranger with shifty eyes. Once the plane is in the air though there is no question that he is not imagining this. I found the stewardesses to be particularly creepy, the standard plastic, polite smiles found on most people in these professions covered the darkness and danger that lurked in these women.

The book was light on dialogue, except for the flashbacks and internal monologue, leaving Henry completely isolated, with only his own will to lead him on the right path. This also left the reader with only his perspective to go by.

The contrasting themes of guilt and hope, unchangeable destiny and free will spun the tale nicely, always leaving you on your toes as to where the story would go next. I liked seeing his internal battle displayed so nakedly before us. This kept the story very human even when dealing with less than human element.

“Unlike everyone else on this plane, you persist in looking forward as well as back. You continue to believe in something called the future. Some place where you can outrun your guilt. Where hope is more than a foolish dream. Where you might still be able to find peace of mind, and even forgiveness.”

The ending was interesting and drew me in even more, always wondering what the truth was and who told it. It left a satisfied feeling of completion, yet many questions that were never quite answered. Questions that will keep you thinking in the quiet moments of the night. I didn’t see it coming, making it all the more enjoyable.

Time is just a carousel that goes round and round. It seems like an endless journey to the people on it, but it’s really a cycle, spinning and looping back over and over.

I thoroughly look forward to reading more from this author.

What would you do if you found yourself on a plane where you were the only one who didn’t want to die?


The 411
I loved the feel of this book from the start. The twisting themes of inevitability, your will alone being enough to make something happen, and the threads of hope and guilt that were bound so tightly together you could hardly pull them apart.

The writing was deep with metaphors yet read smoothly and makes you want to not put it down. At times the supernatural elements came in a little bit suddenly without full explanation, but patients and a couple more pages rewarded you with the light.

I give this book 4.5 stars, adjusted to 5 for reviewing purposes

Monday, 7 September 2015

Tess and the Demon (Short Seductions (Book 03)) by Jordan K Rose

Title: Tess and the Demon
Author: Jordan K Rose
Series: Short Seductions (Book 03)
Read Type: eARC
Stars: StarStarStarStar Image from the Silk icon theme by Mark James *'''Source:''' http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ photo HalfStar_zps439ec261.png

You can purchase this book on Amazon (International)

You can find out more about the author:
Find Jordan on her website at www.jordankrose.com.
Follow her tweets on https://twitter.com/#!/jordankrose
Friend her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-K-Rose-Author/307285709309992
Follow her Pinterest boards at: http://pinterest.com/jordankrose/boards/
Friend her on Goodreads at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5751865.Jordan_K_Rose
Google- https://plus.google.com/109182255192009311324/posts
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-K-Rose/e/B007D06OUU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1421929786&sr=8-1

Series Blurb:
Welcome to Seductions. Step into the most popular bar in New England and enter a world where Others live side-by-side with unsuspecting humans. At Seductions the drinks are always tasty, the romance is always hot, and the patrons aren’t always human.

The Short Seductions Series is a collection of ten spicy paranormal romance short stories, each of roughly 8,000 words in length. These hot little love stories are short enough to enjoy on your lunch break, but long enough to satisfy any romance reader. Each sensual tale tells the romantic journey of a different hero and heroine.

Come on in. Have a drink. Enjoy a quickie happily-ever-after.


Book Blurb:
Thanks to him, Tessa Harper’s heart is shattered. Cracked into a million little pieces. She might be bitter. But what woman who woke up to find a note giving her the heave-hoe wouldn’t be hurt and angry and humiliated?

With time hearts heal, and one moves on and forgets. Well, maybe she doesn’t forget, but she moves on, or maybe she doesn’t do that either.

The point is she doesn’t practice slinging zingers at him for four months only to be tongue-tied when he returns and professes his literally undying love. Will she once again fall for the demon who ripped her heart to shreds?


Author Bio:
Jordan loves vampires. She also loves to laugh. And if you know anything about Jordan, you know her vampires will make you laugh. 

A few years back Jordan received a copy of Twilight from her husband as part of her anniversary gift. By the end of that week she’d read the entire series and moved onto Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Eight weeks and eighteen vampire books later the idea for her first book came to her followed very quickly by Eva Prim.

The Eva Prim Series follows the night-to-night escapades of The Demon Mistress, a vampire with the inexplicable ability to call demons. With both full-length novels and short stories the series has a bit of something for everyone.

Jordan’s other books include Black Magic Rose, book one of The Alliance Series, where the world is set in a hospital run by vampires and werewolves; and The Central City Romance Series, where members of The Vampire Guard one-by-one find love in the ruins of the city.

When she’s not writing about one vampire or another Jordan enjoys spending time with her husband, Ken and their lovable Labradors, Dino and Enzo on the beautiful beaches of New England. 


Review
This is a Laura’s Drive-by Lurking review
Short reviews for quick reads

Strong language: Yes, mainly sexual
Drugs: None
Violence: None
Sexual content: Yes, graphic

I received a copy of this short story as a promotional email from Jordan K Rose. The series is available for sale as well as being mailed out on release day as a thank you to subscribers of her newsletter.


This was my first book in the short seductions series, set in a bar where a variety of supernaturals and humans mix. The scene was quickly set, the bar, Tess’s anger over Drake summoning her to meet him with no notice or explanation.

Drake is a demon, and I don’t mean his personality! He burns hot to the touch, can will people with a look and he just upped and left one morning, leaving Tess a message that he was ‘leaving because he loved her’. Hmm, typical get out clause of the tom-cat, I thought. He left Tess a broken mess, drowning her sorrows and messing up her life. Now the demon is back in the room.

Despite being a short there was a lot of plot mixed in, and although most of it was exposition it didn’t feel forced or stale. I liked the stress of Tess being shown before Drake appeared and her adamant refusal to just give in to him, even with his alluring charm seemingly increased by his paranormal nature. I also liked that Drake knew his bounds; he may try to push them from time to time, but generally no meant no.

The atmosphere between them, even when fighting, was hot. As later explanations and bedroom antics were revealed it only increased, while staying classy.

I particularly enjoyed the twist and reasoning for Drake having left, as well as his coming back.

I look forward to reading more from this author.

4.5 stars adjusted to a 4 for reviewing purposes

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

PUBLISHED Lair of Dreams (A Diviners Novel 02) by Libba Bray

Lair of Dreams (A Diviners Novel 02) by Libba Bray
is now published.


You can order a copy of this book from Amazon (International)
You can find out more about the author on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and her website


Book Blurb
After a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. With her uncanny ability to read people's secrets, she's become a media darling. It seems like everyone's in love New York City's latest It Girl - their 'Sweetheart Seer'.

But while Evie is enjoying the high life, her fellow Diviners Henry DuBois and Ling Chan will fight to keep their powers secret.

A malevolent force is at large, infecting people's dreams and claiming victims in their sleep. At the edges of it all lurks a man in a stovepipe hat who has plans of nightmare proportions . . .

As the sickness spreads, can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld to save the city?


You can find the review here

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Available Darkness (Season 1, Episode 4) by Sean Platt and David Wright

Title: Available Darkness  (Episode 4)
Author: Sean Platt and David Wright
Series: Available Darkness (Season 1)
Publisher: Collective Inkwell
Read Type: Author request
Stars: Star Star StarImage from the Silk icon theme by Mark James *'''Source:''' http://www.famfamfam.com/lab/icons/silk/ photo HalfStar_zps439ec261.png

This book can be purchased from Amazon (International) as a full series of 6.
To find out more about the authors please visit Facebook and their Website.
Individually, you can find Sean on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon
Individually, you can find David on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Amazon




Season Blurb
From the writers of the post-apocalyptic smash hit serial, Yesterday's Gone, and Z 2134, comes Available Darkness, a new breed of vampire serial thriller.

The Darkness Has Awoken

FBI Special Agent Caleb Baldwin is on the hunt for a serial killer who has left a trail of burned bodies. One of those victims — his wife. As he gets closer to finding the killer, he falls deeper into an elaborate conspiracy.

A man wakes buried alive with no memory of who or what he is. In his pocket, a note: “Avoid the sunlight and don’t touch anybody.” Now he is being hunted by the FBI while trying to remember his monstrous past. He must control the darkness within before it consumes him and the child whose life he must protect.

11-year-old Abigail was dying slowly each day as the prisoner of a sick man. Until she is saved by the most unlikely of heroes — a vampire with a deadly touch. He is her only hope, and she may hold the key to unlocking the memories of his hidden past.

Past, present, fate, and future are on a collision course as the hours of AVAILABLE DARKNESS are ticking away and a force greater than anything the world has ever seen threatens humanity.

Available Darkness is an epic serialized journey that reinvents vampire mythology with a fast paced, character-driven thriller that blends action, mystery, fantasy, and horror in an addictive, tragically romantic story.


Author Bios
Sean Platt

Sean loves writing books, even more than reading them. He is co-founder of Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints, writes for children under the name Guy Incognito, and has more than his share of nose.

Together with co-authors David Wright and Johnny B. Truant, Sean has written the series Yesterdays Gone, WhiteSpace, ForNevermore, Available Darkness, Dark Crossings, Unicorn Western, The Beam, Namaste, Robot Proletariat, Cursed, Greens, Space Shuttle, and Everyone Gets Divorced. He also co-wrote the how-to indie book, Write. Publish. Repeat.




David W. Wright
David W. Wright is the co-author of the number 1 sci-fi and horror series, Yesterday's Gone, as well as six other series.

David is also a cartoonist who is working on a children's book.

David blogs about writing and stuff he likes at his personal blog, and about his books at Collective Inkwell.

He lives on the east coast with his wife, seven-year old son, and the world's most poopingest cat.











Review
Strong language: None
Drugs: None
Violence: Some
Sexual content: Some

The authors gave out a free copy of season one of this serial in their newsletter as an apology for messing up details in the previous letter. I decided to read and review this. Despite having the entire first series, 6 episodes, at once in front of me, I will stick to no more than one a week the same as they are initially released in America.

You can find links to all of my review of the series at the Available Darkness Archive


This episode steps back 12 years into John's past, a seemingly normal human one with a human partner. And yet there is something darker hinting from the corners, dreams and midnight painting sessions that seem to be connected to real events. Is John somehow killing in his sleep? Is his partner telepathic or psychic to feel the urge to paint the missing woman?

This episode had a very different theme and pace, allowing us to see John living and loving with very few cares. He seems like a different man, not weighed down by acts he has committed or restrictions of his species. It was bittersweet to read what he had here, compared to what we know will be in his future.

I enjoyed this episode, but felt it was weaker and a bit too much of a theme change, especially after the previous one was left on such high stakes. I hope to see more of the present in follow up episodes or at least some action in his past.


The 411
I was thrown by the change of pace, time, and theme of this episode. I found it hard to reconcile with what I had been reading up to this point. This I think changed my opinion more than the actual writing.

It was nice however, to see a different side to a character who was appearing to get increasingly dark. I look forward to seeing where the authors will take this

I give this episode a 3.5 but round it up to 4 stars for the sake of review sites

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Boy in the Mirror by Tom Preston

Title: The Boy in the Mirror
Author: Tom Preston
Publisher: Inpress Books
Read Type: eARC
Stars:StarStarStarStarStar


You can order a pre-release a copy of this book from Amazon (International)
The book will be released on September 17 2015


Book Blurb:
In January 2011, aged 21, Tom Preston was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma. His chances of survival were optimistically placed at around 40%. This short, autobiographical work tells the story of the fight in the months that followed – but this is no ordinary cancer memoir.

The Boy in the Mirror is written in the second person – so the events in this book are happening to you, the reader, living through the hope, love, suffering, death and black comedy encountered by Tom during the battle to save himself.



Review
Strong language: None
Drugs: Medicinal use
Violence: None (some graphic medical scenes, emotional rather than visual)
Sexual content: None

I received a copy of this novella via NetGalley and Inpress Books in return for an unbiased review.

Please note, any quotes from this book are from a pre-release version and subject to change.


To review this book from the heart is simple. Yet, to open my reviewer’s toolbox (consisting of characterisation, description, secondary character three dimensionality, point of view, emotion etc.) this becomes very difficult. The novel is written in second person, a rarely used perspective, with terms such as “you do this, you feel that, you want this” as if the reader is in the driving seat.

Who the character is is very open to interpretation. Through the entire book I think I learned little more than  the character is a young man, who was in university the year before, with parents, a sister and grandparents. While the treatment is well dealt with in detail, these were kept fairly gender neutral. This allowed me, despite being a woman with a slightly different family setup, to really become the character while I was reading. By large I had to discard my writer’s toolbox, because I realised that this wasn’t relevant to a second person book. Had aspects such as characterisation and description being present I would have had a harder time making the character into ‘me’.

I have spent a lot of time under the care of the NHS in the last decade, whether in hospital, as an outpatient or with them in my home. For people who aren’t familiar with the U.K.’s service, in recent years you can expect to wait a long time, even multiple years for a simple operation. If you are called in quickly for treatment you know it is serious.

They give you a queue-jump. A little red ticket.
‘What service!’ your dad says, half- joking.
You manage a weak smile; the faster they see you, the worse your chances are. Results will take up to three weeks.
They call you at home three hours later.


The plot is kept relatively simple, when the young man sees the doctor at the beginning of the story he is told his course of treatment, which is then followed fairly accurately throughout the book. This allows the book to work on emotions and feelings, to cover the more minor events that happen within the life of a hospital. It also allowed me to forget more about in-depth plotting and scheming of many books. It allowed me to put myself in the character’s shoes. This was all about the feelings from fear to relief, from anger to acceptance, from agony to release. Phrases such as:
Breathe normally.
Breathe normally.
Breathe in and hold your breath.
Breathe normally.

When used within the story, with only one sentence between them, drew me in and had me concentrating on my breathing as  if I was there.

I think the story will resonate strongly with everybody, but I felt it particularly hard because I have spent long spells in hospital away from family, the same as this character. My treatment was far different to this, thankfully, but the minor details, such as the awkward greetings with other patients, waiting for your next dose of painkillers when you can’t concentrate on anything, as well as many other little moments, especially those minor losses of dignity when you can no longer do personal things for yourself.

The story really throws you into the emotions, taking the time to go through one scene of treatment, at times almost second by second. The strain, fear and uncertainty can become yours for a moment if you open yourself up. Yet, despite this it is not an overly depressing book. There are the times of strange reminiscences you have, unusual things you notice and just the day-to-day fascination of life in a hospital and how it changes your perspective on everything.

I felt visitors, whether family or friends, were dealt with especially well. There was just the right mix of awkwardness false  brightness amongst the inane chatter over generic subjects.
The mood is all stubborn optimism and good humour. Your friends seem brittle but brave all at once.

As the book ramps towards the end it becomes a real heart in your mouth experience. Will the character live or die? What is real and what is hallucinations from medication and illness? The more you put yourself into the book the more you get out of it.

It is a book to take your time with, sit somewhere quietly away from others and imagine yourself there. I would highly recommend finding the time to be alone, and spend some time that way after every reading session. You’ll get a lot more out of it.

I didn’t realise until after I finished this work that is was true life, for me this lent extra poignancy to what I had experienced.

The 411
Regardless of whether I reviewed this book from the heart or as a reviewer, the rating and my opinion wouldn’t change. It is beautifully written, draws you in and really makes you a part of the world. Even in the darkness, there were moments of light, making it thoroughly enjoyable.

It is a truly eye-opening look into the world of a cancer patient, but also into the inner workings of the mind and how simple things can change our perspective.

No matter how I look at this it is a very easy 5 stars.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Available Darkness (Season 1, Episode 3) by Sean Platt and David Wright

Title: Available Darkness  (Episode 3)
Author: Sean Platt and David Wright
Series: Available Darkness (Season 1)
Publisher: Collective Inkwell
Read Type: Author request
Stars: StarStarStarStar

This book can be purchased from Amazon (International) as a full series of 6.
To find out more about the authors please visit Facebook and their Website.
Individually, you can find Sean on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon
Individually, you can find David on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Amazon




Season Blurb
From the writers of the post-apocalyptic smash hit serial, Yesterday's Gone, and Z 2134, comes Available Darkness, a new breed of vampire serial thriller.

The Darkness Has Awoken

FBI Special Agent Caleb Baldwin is on the hunt for a serial killer who has left a trail of burned bodies. One of those victims — his wife. As he gets closer to finding the killer, he falls deeper into an elaborate conspiracy.

A man wakes buried alive with no memory of who or what he is. In his pocket, a note: “Avoid the sunlight and don’t touch anybody.” Now he is being hunted by the FBI while trying to remember his monstrous past. He must control the darkness within before it consumes him and the child whose life he must protect.

11-year-old Abigail was dying slowly each day as the prisoner of a sick man. Until she is saved by the most unlikely of heroes — a vampire with a deadly touch. He is her only hope, and she may hold the key to unlocking the memories of his hidden past.

Past, present, fate, and future are on a collision course as the hours of AVAILABLE DARKNESS are ticking away and a force greater than anything the world has ever seen threatens humanity.

Available Darkness is an epic serialized journey that reinvents vampire mythology with a fast paced, character-driven thriller that blends action, mystery, fantasy, and horror in an addictive, tragically romantic story.


Author Bios
Sean Platt

Sean loves writing books, even more than reading them. He is co-founder of Collective Inkwell and Realm & Sands imprints, writes for children under the name Guy Incognito, and has more than his share of nose.

Together with co-authors David Wright and Johnny B. Truant, Sean has written the series Yesterdays Gone, WhiteSpace, ForNevermore, Available Darkness, Dark Crossings, Unicorn Western, The Beam, Namaste, Robot Proletariat, Cursed, Greens, Space Shuttle, and Everyone Gets Divorced. He also co-wrote the how-to indie book, Write. Publish. Repeat.




David W. Wright
David W. Wright is the co-author of the number 1 sci-fi and horror series, Yesterday's Gone, as well as six other series.

David is also a cartoonist who is working on a children's book.

David blogs about writing and stuff he likes at his personal blog, and about his books at Collective Inkwell.

He lives on the east coast with his wife, seven-year old son, and the world's most poopingest cat.











Review
Strong language: None
Drugs: None
Violence: Yes, frequent
Sexual content: One instance, graphic




 
You can find links to all of my review of the series at the Available Darkness Archive


The authors gave out a free copy of season one of this serial in their newsletter as an apology for messing up details in the previous letter. I decided to read and review this. Despite having the entire first series, 6 episodes, at once in front of me, I will stick to no more than one a week the same as they are initially released in America.


This episode had a big explosive entrance, but I felt it was let down by its writing quality. To keep the fast pace of the writing the author's often described complex emotions in one word rather than giving it the richness it deserved by using systems such as show don't tell. However, a couple of chapters in this smoothed out to the writing level I am used to from these authors using phrases such as "hair half as wild as the look in his eyes."

There has been an FBI agent appearing throughout the series I have commented on not being able to connect with him. In this episode I was very pleased to finally make a connection as his story unfolded in a rather dramatic and traumatic way for him. I now look forward to reading his chapters in future episodes, rather than considering putting the book down when I come to them.

I also liked that this episode finally switched to darker tones, showing what the vampires are and what they can do. Having seen this my thoughts about where this series could be going have seriously expanded. I feel like up til now we'd only seen the tip of the iceberg, and there's still more to discover.

For me the one thing that stuck out in this episode as a striking difference to other vampire media at the moment was how it treats children in the line of fire. Rather than suddenly turning into a super ninja with no childhood fears or reservations, Abigail is still allowed to be a scared kid, feeling alone, messing up and ultimately sometimes putting the group in more danger instead of less. I expect her to harden as the series goes on, but I hope it is gradual and for good reason.


Apparently this was the end of part one of the series (I wasn't aware it was in parts) so will be interesting to see how the second part differs



The 411
The writing threw me a bit at the beginning of the episode, however it smoothed out as the story went along. This was action packed, yet it took time to let the characters take a breath and be themselves, not be their situation.

I give this 4 stars