Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Review: Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part Two – Robert Kirkman

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Series: The Walking Dead (Book 4)
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (March 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250052017
ISBN-13: 978-1250052018
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
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Characters:

Phillip Blake – Leader of a group of Zombie Apocalypse survivors in a town called Woodbury. Known as the Governor.
Bob Stookey – Alcoholic and Veteran resident of Woodbury.
Lilly Caul – Survivor and resident of Woodbury.

Synopsis:

After being brutally attacked by outsiders, the governor lies on the brink of death. As a result, the town of Woodbury finds itself without a leader. With no other choices, Lilly Caul steps up to fill the governor’s shoes. When he recovers though, Rick Grimes and his group will have hell to pay.

Review

This is a truly fitting conclusion to the 4 novel ARC of The Walking Dead that begin with Rise of the Governor. Through the 4 books we’ve seen the Governor go from his more peaceful beginnings to a man ready to do whatever it takes to protect those under his protection. While in his mind, he’s the good guy, his methods very often leave a lot to be desired, and he’s more of an anti-hero than a heroic figure.

We get to see a lot more parallels to the events contained within the pages of the Comic Series, and to see some of what occurred after Rick Grimes and his band of survivors are forced out of the Prison they’d been living in. Once again filled with a lot of Zombie Action, and characters in peril, this novel kept me reading from page one, and I truly couldn’t put it down.

I’d rate it for adults and older teens due to the savage violence, imagery, and adult situations presented. But for fans of The Walking Dead who love the character of The Governor and would like to see his whole story, then you should definitely pick these novels up. If you’ve read the comic though, be warned that some events may be spoiled.

Robert Kirkman is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics and SKYBOUND.

He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on AMC’s critically acclaimed television series The Walking Dead.

 

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE says, “Jay Bonansinga has quickly and firmly established himself as one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers. His twisting narratives, with their in-your-face glimpses of violence, are set in an unstable, almost psychotic universe that makes the work of many of his contemporaries look rather tame.”

His novels — which include THE WALKING DEAD: THE ROAD TO WOODBURY (2012, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR (2011, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), PINKERTON’S WAR (2011), PERFECT VICTIM (2008), SHATTERED (2007), TWISTED (2006), and FROZEN (2005) — have been translated into 9 different languages. His 2004 non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as THE WRITER, AMAZING STORIES, GRUE, FLESH & BLOOD, OUTRE and CEMETERY DANCE, as well as a number of anthologies.

Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film CITY OF MEN was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his feature-film debut, STASH (based on his short story of the same title collected in CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals. STASH was shot in Chicago and stars Tim Kazurinsky (POLICE ACADEMY) and the late Marilyn Chambers (INSATIABLE), and has appeared on On-Demand nationwide in 50 million households. Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (THE UNIT).

The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University. He can be reached at jaybona@aol.com.

You can discuss this book here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One – Robert Kirkman

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Mti edition (October 8, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312548176
ISBN-13: 978-0312548179
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Phillip Blake – Leader of a group of Zombie Apocalypse survivors in a town called Woodbury. Known as the Governor.
Bob Stookey – Alcoholic and Veteran resident of Woodbury.
Lilly Caul – Survivor and resident of Woodbury.

Synopsis:

Philip continues his reign over the city and residents of Woodbury until he’s threatened by outside forces. Violence and tragedy follow, in what could lead to the end of Woodbury.

Review

This novel really started to parallel the events of The Walking Dead Comic series. While the comics present the story from the view of Rick Grimes and the band of survivors he is with, these novels present the story from the other side, the people of Woodbury. Like the comic there is a lot of excellent zombie fighting action, characters you’ve gotten to know may live through it, they may not, the suspense gets intense.

While there may be spoilers for those who’ve read the comics, I found that knowing what is going to happen didn’t detract from my enjoyment. I loved getting a glimpse into the mind of Phillip Blake, a character darker than some of the great literary evils.

That is where the beauty of The Walking Dead, and these books really take off. The Walking Dead is character driven. You get to know the characters, you get in their heads, and when they die, or those they love die, you feel for them. You grow to despise the governor, feel for Lilly, and hold your breath when the characters you like find themselves in danger.

Overall a great entry in The Walking Dead series, and a great followup to the previous two. If this is any indication, I’ll be sticking with this novel series for as long as they want to crank them out.

I’d rate it teens and older adults for blood, gore, guts, and general zombie mayhem. May be too violent for some readers, but for fans of The Walking Dead and zombie flicks in general, I heartily recommend it.

Robert Kirkman is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics and SKYBOUND.

He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on AMC’s critically acclaimed television series The Walking Dead.

 

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE says, “Jay Bonansinga has quickly and firmly established himself as one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers. His twisting narratives, with their in-your-face glimpses of violence, are set in an unstable, almost psychotic universe that makes the work of many of his contemporaries look rather tame.”

His novels — which include THE WALKING DEAD: THE ROAD TO WOODBURY (2012, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR (2011, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), PINKERTON’S WAR (2011), PERFECT VICTIM (2008), SHATTERED (2007), TWISTED (2006), and FROZEN (2005) — have been translated into 9 different languages. His 2004 non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as THE WRITER, AMAZING STORIES, GRUE, FLESH & BLOOD, OUTRE and CEMETERY DANCE, as well as a number of anthologies.

Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film CITY OF MEN was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his feature-film debut, STASH (based on his short story of the same title collected in CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals. STASH was shot in Chicago and stars Tim Kazurinsky (POLICE ACADEMY) and the late Marilyn Chambers (INSATIABLE), and has appeared on On-Demand nationwide in 50 million households. Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (THE UNIT).

The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University. He can be reached at jaybona@aol.com.

You can discuss this book here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Doctor Sleep – Stephen King

Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: Scribner (September 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1476727651
ISBN-13: 978-1476727653
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Danny Torrance – Middle Aged, recovering alcoholic with psychic abilities.
Abra Stone – A young girl with psychic powers of her own, powers that make her a target for evil.
Rose – Leader of the True Knot, a band of traveling, “spirit sucking” vampire types.

Synopsis:

The last time we saw Danny Torrance he was escaping the burning Overlook Hotel. Now he’s much older and following in his father’s tragic footsteps. A young girl named Arba is being discovered to have her own special abilities, much like Danny did when he was young. This young girl though is in danger from a group know as the True Know who wants to feed on her energy.

Review

This novel is a sequel to, and one I consider a worthy successor to The Shining. You can feel the terror emanating from the True Knot, and see how vicious they can be when they are turned lose on one of their victims. At the same time, you see a now middle aged Dan Torrence, trying to recover from alcoholism, while working in a hospice. In this hospice, he’s became known for being able to help those who are dying cross over. Then he is contacted by a young girl named Arba. This is when he’s pulled into something very reminiscent of his young childhood.

This has actually been one of my favorite Stephen King novels so far, though I’ve only read this, the Shining, and Carrie. I found there to be a lot of tension, dark characters in The Knot, and you really care about the main characters and want them to survive. After reading this, I’m very interested in going back and reading other novels such as It, and Under the Dome. However, with the Halloween Season coming up, I’d definitely recommend this for all you horror fans, particularly you fans of The Shining who have wondered what became of Dan Torrance.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS.

His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association.

He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury – Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250028884
ISBN-13: 978-1250028884
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Josh Lee Hamilton – Former Executive Chef, Survivor of Zombie Apocalypse
Lilly Caul – Apocalypse survivor and friend to Josh Hamilton
Phillip Blake – Governor and ruler of the community of Woodbury.

Synopsis:

A small group of people are ostracized from the community of Apocalypse survivors that they’ve been living in. They find themselves on the run, and trying to survive from hordes of Zombies roaming the countryside. When they find the small community of Woodbury, the thinking their nightmare is over, but it may just be beginning.

Review

I’m a huge fan of all things Walking Dead. I’ve read some of the comics. Read the first novel in this series, and watch the TV show every week. I loved the first book in this series, and I wanted to love this one. I ended up merely liking it. It was good, it was a nice horror story, and there were parts that were very suspenseful. However, it often felt disjointed and I think that may have been because of two writers. There were parts that were very great at building the suspense, and then there were others where the suspense was ruined by too specific text. One example was “he failed to notice the smells of rotting flesh getting closer.” That was much less suspenseful then times where the attacks weren’t telegraphed.

Overall it wasn’t a terrible story. The characters were likeable and many were straight out of the comics. The character of The Governor though, while you get to see his viciousness, you don’t get into his head as often as in the previous book. For a great Halloween story though, you can’t beat it for just good old zombie action. I’d rate it as being for older teens and adults due to a lot of carnage, death, and destruction. But grab a copy for your Halloween festivities, curl up, and don’t worry about that scratching at the door, it’s probably just the cat. Be sure to drop by and let us know what you thought of The Road to Woodbury.

About the Author

Robert Kirkman is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics and SKYBOUND.

He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on AMC’s critically acclaimed television series The Walking Dead.

 

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE says, “Jay Bonansinga has quickly and firmly established himself as one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers. His twisting narratives, with their in-your-face glimpses of violence, are set in an unstable, almost psychotic universe that makes the work of many of his contemporaries look rather tame.”

His novels — which include THE WALKING DEAD: THE ROAD TO WOODBURY (2012, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR (2011, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), PINKERTON’S WAR (2011), PERFECT VICTIM (2008), SHATTERED (2007), TWISTED (2006), and FROZEN (2005) — have been translated into 9 different languages. His 2004 non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society. His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as THE WRITER, AMAZING STORIES, GRUE, FLESH & BLOOD, OUTRE and CEMETERY DANCE, as well as a number of anthologies.

Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film CITY OF MEN was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2008, his feature-film debut, STASH (based on his short story of the same title collected in CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals. STASH was shot in Chicago and stars Tim Kazurinsky (POLICE ACADEMY) and the late Marilyn Chambers (INSATIABLE), and has appeared on On-Demand nationwide in 50 million households. Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (THE UNIT).

The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois. He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University. He can be reached at jaybona@aol.com.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: The Shining – Stephen King

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
Paperback: 688 pages
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (August 27, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345806786
ISBN-13: 978-0345806789
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Jack Torrance – Winter Caretaker of Overlook Hotel.
Wendy Torrance – Jack’s Wife.
Danny Torrance – Their 5 year old son with a special ability.

Synopsis:

When Jack Torrance set out with his family to spend the winter being caretaker for the Overlook Hotel, he never anticipated the horror that would be hiding within it’s walls.

Review

I had never read this novel before, it’s length was a bit of a deterrent. But with the sequel, Doctor Sleep, looming on the horizon, I decided to break down and give it a shot. I wanted to have a small Halloween Special of some horror themed novels. While the book started out a little slow, once it picked up, and Jack started his descent into madness, I was hooked.

The reader gets into the minds of the different characters. With Jack you get to see his gradual loss of sanity, and the reader is left to wonder based on events prior to the books setting, if maybe Jack didn’t have a firm grip on sanity to begin with.

While I’d seen the movie numerous times, it failed to do justice to the eerie events going on around the Torrance family. For a great story to welcome in the dark Halloween eve, whether you’ve read it before or not, grab a copy of The Shining and enjoy the fright. For obvious strong situations and topics, I’d gear this towards much older teens and adults. If you give it a read, be sure and drop back by to let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers.  His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS.

His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association.

He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

You can discuss this book here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor – Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga

Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; Fifth or Later Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312547730
ISBN-13: 978-0312547738
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Phillip Blake – Leader of a small group of survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse.
Penny Blake – Phillip’s seven year old daughter.
Brian Blake – Phillip’s Older brother. Has an aversion to killing.
Nick Parson – Religious friend of Phillips.
Bobby Marsh – Old High School friend of Phillips.

Synopsis:

Part one of a trilogy details the rise of Phillip Blake from survivor to being Governor over the entire town of Woodbury.

Review

I love The Walking Dead. I’m a faithful viewer of the TV show and read a large part of the comic series. That made me very familiar with the character of the Governor, and the character was captured well in novelization form. A lot of the events that occurred off screen or outside the comic series we get to witness as Philip begins his reign against the Zombie army.

While I was somewhat confused at times on whether this was the comic governor or the TV show governor, I think those answers were settled by the end of the novel. There are all the usual surprises, ie. Zombies popping out of nowhere and some characters you get attached to may not make it to through the wholes story.

Overall, it was a great novelized prequel to both the comics and the TV show that I’d highly recommend to any Walking Dead fan, or to someone just wanting a decent Horror novel to read for the Halloween season.

I’d rate it PG-13 or stronger due to the violent and horrifying content. For older teens and adults though, grab you a copy and enjoy. Be sure to drop back by here and let us know what you thought. I look forward to the next entry The Road To Woodbury and entry 3 The Fall of the Governor should be out soon if not out now.

About the Author

Robert Kirkman is best known for his work on The Walking Dead and Invincible for Image Comics and SKYBOUND.

He is one of the five partners of Image Comics and is an executive producer and writer on AMC’s critically acclaimed television series The Walking Dead.

 

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE says, “Jay Bonansinga has quickly and firmly established himself as one of the most imaginative writers of thrillers. His twisting narratives, with their in-your-face glimpses of violence, are set in an unstable, almost psychotic universe that makes the work of many of his contemporaries look rather tame.”

His novels — which include THE WALKING DEAD: THE ROAD TO WOODBURY (2012, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), THE WALKING DEAD: RISE OF THE GOVERNOR (2011, co-author, with Robert Kirkman), PINKERTON’S WAR (2011), PERFECT VICTIM (2008), SHATTERED (2007), TWISTED (2006), and FROZEN (2005) — have been translated into 9 different languages.  His 2004 non-fiction debut THE SINKING OF THE EASTLAND was a Chicago Reader “Critics Choice Book” as well as the recipient of a Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society.  His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in such magazines as THE WRITER, AMAZING STORIES, GRUE, FLESH & BLOOD, OUTRE and CEMETERY DANCE, as well as a number of anthologies.

Jay also proudly wears the hat of indie filmmaker: his music videos have been seen on The Nashville Network and Public Television, and his short film CITY OF MEN was awarded the prestigious silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.  In 2008, his feature-film debut, STASH (based on his short story of the same title collected in CANDY IN THE DUMPSTER), won the Gold Remi at the Houston International Film Festival and Best Comedy at the Iowa City and Queens International film festivals.  STASH was shot in Chicago and stars Tim Kazurinsky (POLICE ACADEMY) and the late Marilyn Chambers (INSATIABLE), and has appeared on On-Demand nationwide in 50 million households.  Jay has also worked as a screenwriter with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, and Dennis Haysbert (THE UNIT).

The holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois.  He is also a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, as well as the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University. He can be reached at jaybona@aol.com.

You can discuss this book here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Hellfire & Damnation II – Connie Corcoran Wilson

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
Paperback: 168 pages
Merry Blacksmith Press (August 1, 2012)
English
ISBN-10: 615677819
ISBN-13: 978-0615677811
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Synopsis:

A journey in short story format through Dante’s 9 circles of hell.

Review

This book wasn’t quite what I expected. When I read about people in the 9 circles of Hell, I was thinking of their punishment at that level. This seemed to be a collection of short stories of people living in the here and now going through one of the circles of hell. That put a bit of a different and interesting twist on the story.

For the bad: Some of these short stories felt incomplete. Some of the stories felt rushed for the ending. Other stories felt like they were more assignments for a writing workshop than polished stories.

For the good: The stories were well written and kept my attention. Some thought, due to content, might trigger unpleasant memories in readers. Some felt familiar such as Resurrection Mary but still came across as entertaining.

For a quick read over the Halloween season, I’d say grab a copy of this if you’re a fan of quick bizarre stories. For age rating, I’d say definitely older teens or adults. If you purchase a copy, be sure and stop by and let us know what you think.

About the Author

Connie graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in English and Journalism, but she began writing for her hometown (Independence, Iowa) newspaper at the age of 10 and was Editor-in-Chief of her high school newspaper. She continued her education, including a Ferner/Hearst Journalism Scholarship and a Freshman Merit Scholarship at Iowa, and then at Berkeley, WIU, NIU and the University of Chicago. Connie holds a Masters (+30) in English, Journalism and Education. Her career path led to teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts (Silvis, Illinois) and teaching writing at 6 IA/IL colleges or universities, including a class teaching film at Black Hawk Junior College. She then established the second Sylvan Learning Center in the state of Iowa and a Prometric Testing site, in conjunction with ETS of Princeton, NJ. She has taught writing and literature classes at all 6 IA/IL Quad City colleges.

A life-long film buff, Connie began reviewing for the Quad City Times newspaper (Davenport, IA) in the ’70s and continued reviewing into the ’80s. She also reviewed books for the Times and interviewed local celebrities for the (Moline, IL) Daily Dispatch and wrote humor columns for Metro East and the (Rock Island, IL) Reminder.

Connie left the labor of love reviewing film when she founded the first of two businesses in 1987, Sylvan Learning Center #3301, and her second business, a Prometric Testing Center (Bettendorf, IA), in 1995. Both businesses and two children kept her busy during the years 1987 – 2002, but, since selling the two successful businesses she founded and served as CEO, she has produced 10 books in 9 years. An active voting member of HWA (Horror Writers’ Association) Connie’s novel Out of Time was released in December of 2009 by Lachesis, and several other solo projects are in the works (see BOOKS section).

Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their newborn twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, has been living and working in Australia since February of 2012.

In addition to HWA, she is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Professional Society for Women Educators, IEA/ NEA, IWPA (Illinois Women’s Press Association), AWP (American Writing Program), MWC (Midwest Writing Center) and MWA (Midwest Writing Association). She maintains her own blog (www.weeklywilson.com) and was named 2008 Content Producer of the Year for the 400,000 member Associated Content blog for her on-the-spot reporting of the 2008 Presidential campaign, fodder for her next nonfiction book. She covers film, television and politics for Yahoo as a featured contributor.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Teddy at Virtual Authors Book Tour for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Revenant – Allan Leverone

Thursday, September 27th, 2012
 
Print Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Rock Bottom Books; First edition (June 29, 2012)
English
Order book here:
amazon

Characters:

Mike McMahon – Chief of Police.
Sharon Dupont – Rookie cop, partners with Mike.

Review

Strange things keep happening in Paskagankee.   This time around Mike McMahon and his partner Sharon DuPont are called upon to solve the disappearance of Earl Manning.  They are also brought into a story on the theft of a magical Native American stone.  This stone allows the possessor to bring back and control the dead, a zombie puppet or what’s called a Revenant.

It’s difficult to tell too much of this story out of my desire not to spoil things for readers.  I will say like it’s previous encarnation, Paskagankee, I found this one delightful in it’s darkness and the depraved characters the author is willing to come up with.  If there were one complain it’s that some of the events happened possibly too quickly compared to what we see in the opening of the book.  Certain parts seemed a little rushed and anti-climatic.

If I were to rate it, I’d say older teens and adults due to the content and language.  If you are a fan of zombie stories, or horror stories in general pick this one up.  Be sure and come by to tell us what you think.  With the Season of Ghoblins and Ghouls quickly approaching, this would be a great story to read on the chilly Halloween night.  And if you happen to hear a knock on the door while reading it, it’s probably just somebody l0oking for Candy.

About the Author

Allan Leverone is the author of the Amazon bestselling thriller, THE LONELY MILE (StoneHouse Ink), and the thrillers, FINAL VECTOR (Medallion Press) and PASKAGANKEE (StoneGate Ink), as well as the horror novellas DARKNESS FALLS and HEARTLESS(Delirium Books). Allan is a 2012 Derringer Award winner as well as a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. His short fiction has been featured in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, A Twist of Noir, Shroud Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Mysterical-e and many other print and online magazines, as well as numerous anthologies. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sue, three children, one beautiful granddaughter and a cat who has used up eight lives. Connect with Allan at www.allanleverone.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter, @AllanLeverone.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to at Molly – Partners in Crime for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.


Review: Children of the Fog – Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Paperback: 278 pages
Imajin Books (March 22, 2011)
English
ISBN-10: 098663106X
ISBN-13: 978-0986631061
Order book here:

amazon

Order E-book here:
amazon

Characters:

The Fog – Child Kidnapper
Sadie O’Connell – Mother going through marital and drinking problems.
Sam O’Connell – 5 Year old son of Sadie.
Leah Winters – Sadie’s best friend.
Philip O’Connell – Husband to Sadie, their marriage is fractured.

Synopsis:

As a parent how would you react if your child was kidnapped. What would you do if you were forced to allow it to happen. That is what happens with Sadie O’Connell one night when she enters her son’s bedroom and finds him in the arms of serial kidnapper the Fog. A fight ensues, Sadie is injured, and The Fog with gun pressed against Sam’s neck threatens to send him back to her in pieces if she tells the cops what he looks like.

Review

This was an emotionally driven tale. At some points you think it’s a tale of a mother’s love, at other times a thriller, and still other times a supernatural tale. There were times with the character of Sadie that I wanted to slap the snot out of her, and other times I felt really sad for her.

The characters are very well crafted, they draw out the intended emotions, and there are many twists and turns in the storyline as the pages are turned. It’s not quite like any other book I’ve read, so it’s hard to say if you like x author you’ll like this, but if you’re a fan of dramatic stories, thrillers or the like, then pick this up. I think you’ll really enjoy it. It was my first time reading something from this author, but she’ll definitely bring me back for more of her writing.

If I’d write it, I’d say for extremely adult situations, some language, and violence that it would be rated PG-13 or above. Definitely not for younger or more immature readers.

About the Author

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a Canadian author, whose is best known for Whale Song, which is now available in its third edition, the 2010 ebook edition.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which Cheryl wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment.

Cheryl is now in negotiations with a respected film producer/director.

The 2007 paperback edition of Whale Song went out of print as of February 1, 2009. All rights have been returned to the author.

In 2009, Cheryl branched off into romance with her debut romantic suspense Lancelot’s Lady, which will be released as an ebook in late September 2010. Since romance is a different genre from Cheryl’s usual suspense/thrillers and YA, she wrote Lancelot’s Lady under the pen name of Cherish D’Angelo. Lancelot’s Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor’s Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories is slated for release in August 2010.

In September 2005, Cheryl’s gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This carefully researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man’s obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

Cheryl is also the author of the 2004 “sizzling psychic suspense” Divine Intervention, a ‘psi-fi’ suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb’s ‘In Death’ series.

All of these novels have made Amazon.com’s bestsellers list.

In 2006, Cheryl Kaye Tardif participated in a hilarious new TV series ‘A Total Write-Off’, hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, Cheryl was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, she wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. Her PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

Cheryl has not only held hundreds of book signings, she has organized multi-author signings, held a virtual book tour and taught others how to do their own, and she has presented at conferences in Canada and the US. Cheryl is known amongst her peers for her creativity and knowledge regarding book marketing, and in 2009 she embarked on a new venture as a Book Marketing Coach. She is a member of various social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, AmazonConnect and Chapters Online Community.

Cheryl has been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and she has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries. According to photojournalist, Heather Andrews Miller, who interviewed the author for a Real Estate Weekly article, Cheryl is a “gem in the literary world”. And according to Graham Hicks of the Edmonton Sun, “Cheryl Kaye Tardif specializes in mile-a-minute pot-boiler mysteries, usually set in Western Canadian locales.”

As a teen, Cheryl was a journalist with a weekly newspaper column. Years later, she completed a course in Journalism and Short Story Writing and graduated with Highest Honors. She has worked as a motivational speaker for a respected international company, written material for a number of companies, and worked as a consultant in telemarketing, sales and promotion. But writing fiction with passion and vision is her dream.

Cheryl has completed her next novel, Children of the Fog, a terrifying suspense that asks, “how far are you willing to go for your child?” She has also completed Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, and has started another thriller, plus a YA novel, Finding Bliss, the first novel to be written on the iPhone 3G using the Notes application.

Born in Vancouver, BC, Cheryl Kaye Tardif was a “military brat” and a “military wife” who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. Now residing in Edmonton, AB, with her husband Marc, daughter Jessica and the family dog, she is an author that Booklist calls “a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border”.

Cheryl is a member of the following associations:

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Author for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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Review: Paskagankee – Allan Leverone

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012
Publisher: StoneGate Ink; 1 edition (January 27, 2012)
Language: English
Order e-book here:
amazon

Characters:

Synopsis:

Mike McMahon – Chief of Police.
Sharon Dupont – Rookie cop, partners with Mike.
Kenneth Dye – Professor of Native American Studies at Maine University.

Review
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An ancient Indian Curse. A monster bent on revenge. Body parts strung hither and yon. This book had everything you could want in a good horror story. The story concerns Mike McMahon newly hired chief of Police. He assigns Sharon Dupont to be his partner and show him the ropes. On his first day he’s drawn into a murder. Then another.

Professor Kenneth Dye from the nearby University contacts Mike and tells him about an ancient curse in Paskagankee. The curse involves the murder of a young Indian woman and her child by Puritans. This attack is actually shown as the opening of the book.

The bodies start to pile up, and it’s tried to be explained away as a wild animal attack. The FBI is called in and does their own investigation concluding that it’s a bear. But Mike doesn’t believe a bear could be doing the damage this is doing.

This book was full of suspense and kept me glued to the storyline. I really began liking some of the characters, not liking others. I also enjoyed the ride trying to figure out how they were going to end up stopping the creature. In the end it was a very satisfying horror story, and makes me want to read more of Mr. Leverone’s novels, particulary any of this genre.

I’d give it a PG or R rating for blood, gore, violence, and language. But if you are a fan of horror, grab this book, crawl into bed, and pull the sheets tight. And don’t worry about that scratching at the window. After all, it’s probably just the cat.

About the Author

Allan Leverone is the author of the Amazon bestselling thriller, THE LONELY MILE (StoneHouse Ink), and the thrillers, FINAL VECTOR (Medallion Press) and PASKAGANKEE (StoneGate Ink), as well as the horror novellas DARKNESS FALLS and HEARTLESS(Delirium Books). Allan is a 2012 Derringer Award winner as well as a 2011 Pushcart Prize nominee. His short fiction has been featured in Needle: A Magazine of Noir, A Twist of Noir, Shroud Magazine, Morpheus Tales, Mysterical-e and many other print and online magazines, as well as numerous anthologies. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sue, three children, one beautiful granddaughter and a cat who has used up eight lives. Connect with Allan at www.allanleverone.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter, @AllanLeverone.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Molly at Partners in Crime Tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.