Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Review: Brutal/Perfection – Joel M. Andre

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Today we are pleased to review two short stories by Joel Andre. Mr. Andre is currently on tour with Partners in Crime. This time he has two books, Brutal and Perfection.



I found the primary character in this book to be very dark, but very real. I could tell there were real emotions behind his actions, and I truly felt the fear that Mr. Andre tried to create on the page. The story was very brief, but left me wanting much more. There were loose ends, and I felt that this was just the first chapter in a much broader overall story. With the plot that goes on, this would definitely be aimed at the young adult/adult market. I think it would definitely be NC-17. But for a horror story, it really grabbed me and kept me there.


One dark and warm October night in the heart of Arizona, a group of friends are out for an evening of fun. It was a night for celebration, and to draw them away from the world.

As they drink the night away, a dark and handsome stranger watches them in the distance. His observations going unnoticed as the girls focus on their own conversation.

Too drunk to make it home on their own, the stranger offers the group a ride home in his taxi. Reluctantly, the girls agree.

What follows is a dark and brutal act of revenge decades in the making.



This story while equally brutal in it’s telling, struck me as more along the lines of a more horrific outer limits or twlight zone. Like Brutal, Mr. Andre leaves you at the end of the story wanting and desiring more. I want to know what the story is behind these people, I want to know why they are doing what they are doing, and yes, in a strange twisted way, I want to see what else they have in store for people.

Again, I’d give this one a young adults/adults rating of NC-17 just due to the overall content of the story. Both stories can easily be read in one sitting, but you might want to leave the light on afterwards.


Carol and Tammy Long have fought a constant battle with their weight all their lives. When a stranger on the television offers an amazing new diet plan with a weight loss success rate of 100 percent, Tammy feels like it was an answer to their prayers.

As the pair ventures off to the Verde Valley Weight Loss Clinic things start to take a darker turn. The owner Kathy Black gives them a new take on the classic idea of perfection.

Now, placed in a medical facility where they are constantly monitored, the women learn there is something wrong with perfection.

About the Author

Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981. At a young age he was fascinated with the written word. It was at fourteen that Poe blew his mind, and Andre began to dabble with darker poetry.

Between the years of 1999 and 2007 Joel was featured in various poetry anthologies and publications. In 2008 he released his first collection,Pray the Rain Never EndsImage Blocked.

Knowing there was something deeper and darker inside of his soul, Joel decided to take a stab at commercialism. Releasing the dark tongue in cheek, A Death at the North PoleImage Blocked, created a dark world among the death of Kris Kringle. Ultimately providing a tale of redemption.

October of 2008 saw Joel release his second book, Kill 4 MeImage Blocked. A tale in which a woman is haunted by a vengeful spirit through text messages and instant messaging.

Taking some time off and doing a lot of soul searching, Joel took things in a new direction and dabbled in the Fantasy Genre with, The Pentacle of Light. The tale dealing with five major races battling for control of Earth, and the acceptance of their God.

Finally, after missing his detective Lauren Bruni, he released the book The Return in October 2009, this time moving the action from the North Pole and placing it in the small Arizona community he was raised in.

Andre’s latest book is The Black Chronicles: Cry of the Fallen about a dead man who seeks revenge on the woman that tormented him in peaceful Northern Arizona.

Currently, he resides in Chandler, AZ.
You can visit his website at

Tour Participants:

February 15-Interview@ Let’s Book It
February 18-Review (Brutal+Perfection)@ Kickin’ Back With Kiwi
February 20-Guest Post@ Mama Knows Books
February 23-Review (Brutal)@ A Good Day To Read
February 27-Guest Post@ Book Addict Kim
February 28-Guest Post@ Moonlight Lace & Mayhem + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
February 29-Guest Post@ Reviews By Molly
March 1-Review (Perfection)@ A Good Day To Read
March 1-Guest Post@ Fighter Writer  + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 5-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ Writing Crazy Me
March 7-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ Book Addict Kim + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 9-Guest Post@ Celtic Lady’s Reviews
March 14-Review(Brutal+Perfection)@ Rhode’s Review
March 15-Guest Post@ Life In Review + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me
March 16-Review (Brutal + Perfection)@ I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach
March 17-Review(Brutal)+Guest Post@ Read2Review
March 17- St. Paddy’s Day Short Story Guest Post@ Cafe Of Dreams Book Reviews
March 18-Guest Post@ Kickin’ Back With Kiwi
March 23-Guest Post@ Writing Crazy Me
March 27-Review(Brutal+Perfection)+Interview@ Hardcover Feedback + Giveaway of The Pentacle Of Light
March 31-Interview@ Reviews By Molly + Giveaway of Kill 4 Me

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Cheryl at Partners in Crime Tours and Mr. Andre for a review copy of these books. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss them here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Cry of the Fallen – Joel M. Andre

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


 Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (August 21, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1453782745
ISBN-13: 978-1453782743
Order book here:



Order E-book here:

Lauren Bruni
Miguel Sanchez


All around her Lauren Bruni is faced with destruction. Her marriage has ended, and her professional life is at the breaking point. For Lauren, this is only the beginning of her pain.

In the small town of Cottonwood, AZ everything seems to be headed in the same direction. A serial killer is on the loose, and his trail of victims holds no connection. His rampage escalates and becomes far more brutal with each murder he commits.

As Lauren attempts to prevent her own life from collapsing down around her she must stop a killer with supernatural strength. But there is something far more sinister in the works than she could ever imagine. In the end it is up to Lauren to make the ultimate sacrifice to save a community from the purest form of evil.


I enjoyed this book. I really wasn’t prepared for the turn it took into horror and paranormal mystery. But it was an enjoyable spin. The characters were well drawn out and very dimensional. The author managed to convey enough about the different characters, even the victims, to make the reader care about them and their fate.

Some of the scenes were very intense, and the imagery put me in mind of something I would have seen in a Ray Harryhausen movie, particularly in the graveyard scene.  Other scenes were reminiscent of The Lawnmower Man or other paranormal movies, particular the scene in the new house. 

If you like horror or dark paranormal mysteries, then I definitely recommend this book. As usual, I’d recommend it for older readers due to adult language, situations, and violent imagery.  It’s hard to say too much about this, because it would distract from the ride that the author takes you on, but I’ll just say purchase the book, and go for your own ride.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

About the Author

Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981. At a young age he was fascinated with the written word. It was at fourteen that Poe blew his mind, and Andre began to dabble with darker poetry. Between the years of 1999 and 2007, Joel was featured in various poetry anthologies and publications. In 2008 he released his first collection, “Pray the Rain Never Ends”. Knowing there was something deeper and darker inside of his soul, Joel decided to take a stab at commercialism. Releasing the dark, tongue in cheek, “A Death at the North Pole”, created a dark world that resulted from the death of Kris Kringle. Ultimately, it proved to be a tale of redemption. October of 2008 saw Joel release his second book, “Kill 4 Me.” This was a tale that found Casey Dwyer being haunted by a spirit through text messages, and instant messaging. It was far more brutal than anything he had released before. Taking some time off and doing a lot of soul searching, Joel took things in a new direction and dabbled in the Fantasy Genre with, “The Pentacle of Light”. This tale dealt with five major races battling for control of Earth, and the acceptance of their God. As times continue to change, so does the tales he has to tell. This October he will bring back Lauren Bruni in a prequel, and come 2011 there will be the next book in his Fantasy series “The Pentacle of Light”. Currently, he resides in Arizona.

Tour Participants:

July 25: Character Interview~April @ Cafe of Dreams Book Reviews
July 26: Guest Post ~Roseanne @
July 27: Review~Giovanni@Gelati’s Scoop
August 1: Review~Michael@ The Book Shelf Review
August 4: Guest Post~Nicole@ Tribute Books Blog
August 5: Character Guest Post~Charlotte@
August 8: Review~Stacey@ The Write To Make A Living
August 11: Guest Post~Cheryl@A Good Day To Read
August 11: Interview~Cheryl@The Book Connection
August 12: Guest Post and Review~Darlene@Darlene’s Book Nook
August 15:
August 16: Review~Stephanie O @Romancing The Book
August 17: Review~Molly@Reviews By Molly
August 18: Review~Cheryl@ A Good Day To Read
August 18: Spotlight~Cheryl@Books, Products, And More
August 22: Interview~Blog Talk Radio’s G-Zone
August 24: Review~Rick@Rhodes Review
August 25: Interview~
August 25: Review~Cindy@Oodles Of Books

*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.

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Review: Blood Prophecy – Stefan Petrucha

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Grand Central: November 1, 2010
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446555991
ISBN-13: 978-0446555999
Order book here:
Order E-book here:


Jeremiah Falls – A man struggling with an inner beast.
Hylic Kirillov – Russian Mercenary
Skog – Main antagonist trying to bring about the end of the world.
Amala Dhul-Nun Al-Misri – Interpreter. Takes care of Jeremiah when he’s injured.
Nathan Falls – Jeremiah’s Father
Atticus Falls – Jeremiah’s Grandfather


In 1644 Jeremiah Falls and his father are leading the normal Puritan life. They are out tending their fields when his father is attacked by a creature neither have seen before. His father was killed, and the creature is injured and runs off. Later Nathan returns from the dead, kills his wife and injures Jeremiah. Jeremiah is turned into a creature of the Night. His grandfather helps him control this new blood thirsty beast raging within him. He spends the next 150 years learning from Indian neighbors as well as knowledge gained from books. Through this self-study he learns about a black rock that may set free him.


This book was full of action and adventure. It was written similar to the style of King Solomon’s Mines and Indiana Jones but with a vampire. The author covers a lot of history though in a fictional content. The history spans everything from the birth of mankind to the 1790s. One of the interesting aspects is how the author ties biblical concepts into the story to explain vampires..

If you are a fan of historical fiction, and like vampire tales, then I think you’d like this book. It’s not for you viewers, definitely older teens/adults, but was a nicely written action/adventure/historical book. There were some issues, such as Jeremiah always finding extra power within himself, but I took that as an analogy that just when time looks dark, if we push just a little harder we can overcome..

All in all a very interesting story that kept me interested from page 1 all the way to the end of the story..

*Thanks* goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Group for a review copy and also for giveaway copies. You can enter our giveaway here

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

Review: Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole – Kristi Petersen Schoonover

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: Admit One Literary Theme Park Press (September 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0615402801
ISBN-13: 978-0615402802
Order book here:

This book is a series of short stories set around Disney World. The stories range from a woman obsessed with buying Disney paraphernalia, some of which might be haunted, to a woman haunted by the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. While there are at times mild language, the whole book puts me in mind of Goosebumps, or similar books. While they might be scary for very young viewers, I think they’d find their appropriate age group in 13 and above. And I think fans of Disney would definitely enjoy these haunted tales.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Ms. Schoonover 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.

Interview – David Fingerman, Author Edging Past Reality

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

We’ve been given the opportunity to interview David Fingerman. David is the author of numerous short stories. He’s currently doing a blog tour to promote his new book, Edging Past Reality. This is a book of a collection of his short stories. You can see our review, here. David has worked almost 20 years in the Hennepin County Court System. We’d like to thank David for taking the time to answer some of our questions.

Rhodes Review: Who are some of the writers you enjoy? Books?

David Fingerman: Harlan Ellison is my favorite writer, and I’ll read whatever he puts out.  A friend of mine recently turned me on to Christopher Moore and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying his books.  I also love reading Walter Mosley, Neil Gaiman, John Meaney, Stuart Kaminsky, just to name a few.  As far as individual books – “City of Thieves” by David Benioff and “31 Hours” by Masha Hamilton are two of my recent favorites.

 Rhodes Review: How do you get your inspiration/muse to write?

David Fingerman: Usually it’s just a voice in my head telling me to get to work.  I’m very fortunate in that I’m now doing what I’ve always wanted to do – write full time.  That’s pretty much all the inspiration I need.  All-in-all, I can’t imagine not writing.

Rhodes Review: How do you come up with Story Ideas?

David Fingerman: I’ve been blessed, or maybe cursed, with a very overactive imagination.  I can overhear a snippet of conversation, or look at anything mundane, like a car rolling through a stop sign, and think ‘What if . . .?’  My imagination will take it from there.

Rhodes Review: How did you get interested in writing for this genre?

David Fingerman: I’ve always had a love for horror and an avid (or morbid) curiosity for the unknown.  Plus, I’m kinda lazy and hate doing research.  Horror and speculative fiction come straight from the imagination.  There’s not a whole lot of verification that needs to be done.  That being said, I just finished writing a mystery which needed a lot of research.  I guess I’m expanding my horizons.

Rhodes Review: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

David Fingerman: The discipline.  Even though I’m doing what I love to do, there are still days I’m just not in the mood to write and I have to force myself to do so.  I compare it to exercising – if you let it slide it’s very hard to get back into it again.  On the not so much about writing, but publishing aspect – marketing is very difficult for me.  I really dislike having to sell myself, but it’s a necessity if you want to get your work out there.

Rhodes Review: What’s the best thing about being an author?

David Fingerman: I love the solitude.  I’ve heard that some writers get lonely – not me.  I’m not really a ‘people’ person and not having to answer phones or deal with people face-to-face on a daily basis is wonderful.  I also love that the only person I have to answer to is me. 

Rhodes Review: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

David Fingerman: More important than anything is to write every day.  Then join a writers group.  If there’s not one in your area – start one.  The man who started one of the writers’ groups I regularly attend told me that for about three months he sat for two hours alone or with maybe one to two others before writers started showing up.  Now it averages about fifteen people per meeting and often there is not enough time to get everybody in who wants to read.

Rhodes Review: What is your current writing project?

David Fingerman: I’m working on a horror novel and also just started a suspense/thriller novel.

David, Once again thank you for taking the time to talk to us. You can visit David at his website

You can read a review of Edging Past Reality by clicking here.

Edging Past Reality: A collection of short stories – David Fingerman

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010



Paperback: 263 pages
Publisher: Two Harbors Press (November 14, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935097075
ISBN-13: 978-1935097075
Order from here:

Have you ever watched The Twilight Zone or Night Gallery. If so, you’d be the type who would probably enjoy David Fingerman’s Edging Past Reality. This books is a collection of short stories. It’s divided into four sections. There is Too Young to know better, Old Enough to know better, Is this a mid life Crisis, and Senior Moments. Each section of stories deals with people in that specific category.

Some of my personal favorites were:

  • Marty’s Toy –  A boy’s toy seems to have a mind of it’s own.
  • Grandpa’s Watch – A pocket watch has a curious connection to a young boy and his grandfather.
  • The Scream Box – Ever wanted to go in a room and scream, this presents customers at a bar with that opportunity, but will they get the relief they want.
  • Anybody got a Smoke – A man dies and goes to Heaven where he’s given everything he wants.
  • Edging Past Reality – A Man’s Life seems to be changing beyond his control. Sometimes with good, sometimes bad consequences.
  • The Blue Light – A man checks into a secluded motel late one night.
  • The Perfect Jury – A tale of jury duty, talk about your nightmares.
  • The Last Patch of Wilderness – A cautionary tale about damaging the environment.
  • The Verdict’s In – For this story, think American Idol meets Judge Judy.

With each story, there were twists and turns I never expected. Mr. Fingerman sets you up to think the story is going one way, then throws a curve ball at you. While I had my favorites, I have to say I really enjoyed all the stories. Each had a different feel to it, and as a collection, it was very good.

If you like Suspense, Horror, or stories with strange twists, then definitely pick up this book. I think you’d enjoy it. Most of the stories were 3-10 pages long, which made it a good book for reading right before bedtime. Some stories has stronger language or situations, so I’d recommend it only for older teens (17+) or adults. You can visit Mr. Fingerman’s site here.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brandi at BK Walker Book Services and David for a review copy of this book.

Please See our Interview with David here.

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

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Blog Tour: David Fingerman – Edging Past Reality

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Be sure and stop by tomorrow and check out our review of Edging Past Reality by David Fingerman. We will also be having an interview with him. You can see the review here and the interview here.

Death Troopers – Joe Schreiber

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


 Death Troopers

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Lucasbooks (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345509625
ISBN-13: 978-0345509628
Order from here:


Aux Myss
Jareth Sartoris
Kale Longo
Trig Longo
Zahara Cody


I first heard about this book coming out, by a friend in Star Wars Galaxies. My first thought was what in the world could they be thinking. This type of thing has no place in the Star Wars Universe. But when the book was released, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a chance. The story starts on board the Imperial Prison Barge Purge. The ship comes into contact with a derelict Imperial Star Destroyer. Scans show that where there should be thousands of life forms on the Destroyer, there are very few. A decision is made to send a party of 10 people over to the destroyer to salvage parts and repair the barge. The trip goes uneventful, and no working parts are found. On the return trip, several members of the boarding party start coughing, and throwing up. Soon, whatever has been picked up on the ship is spread to the rest of the crew. Prisoners and jailers alike start dropping dead. Then something even more dark and terrifying starts happening on board the ship. I won’t go into any more details than that, because I don’t want to spoil the story.


I thought this book was pretty good. I wasn’t quite prepared for this type of story in the Star Wars universe, and had my doubts. The characters, not being characters we were familiar with, weren’t quite as developed, and things went so quick that things were left out when they should have been. Sometimes emotions that one character felt, didn’t seem to be there. There was a moment of surprising sacrifice. Narrow escapes. A lot of the things you’d expect in a Star Wars story. Some things were anti-climactic. For instance a fight between the Longo brothers and Aux Myss I felt should have gone longer. Here’s an evil gangster, who’s managed to survive some of the worst criminals, and a face-off with him is over in the blink of an eye. It just seemed to wrap things up too easily so the author could get on to the story he wanted to write. Also, there was the introduction of two characters that seemed gratuitous and not really needed for the story. In fact, by placing these characters in the story, it disrupted the literary timeline, and inserted a major event (like what happend in Shadows of Mindor) in the life of characters that is never referenced in future stories.

Overall, if taken as a standalone Star Wars story with a different twist, it was a good story. I’d recommend it, but would more strongly have recommended it had all the characters been throw-a-ways. Pick it up, I managed to read it in about 2 days, so it’s a quick read, and quite appropriate to have released it around the halloween season. There also is a tie in currently going on in the Star Wars Galaxies game. I’m not sure if the book was written to promote the game, or if the game was changed to help promote the book, or if both were just done in order to cash in on the holiday, but check it out and let me know what you think.

You can discuss it here