Featured

Grief For Heart: The Vincent Du Maurier Series, Book 4 by K. P. Ambroziak

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

Grief for Heart

Paige

Author K.P. Ambroziak

 

Genre – Paranormal Fantasy
Pages – 210

I was given the honor of reading “Grief For Heart: The Vincent Du Maurier Series, Book 4 by K. P. Ambroziak before its release on July 14, 2017. Thank you Paige for that privilege. With very few exceptions (Anne Rice, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Clive Barker among them) I read mostly Independent and Self Published Authors. I have quite a lovely library (digital and physical) of some of, in my opinion, the finest literature available in that category. K. P. Ambroziak is among one of the finest of those authors in my humble opinion. I have had the opportunity to read all of K. P. Ambroziak’s books and I believe “Grief For Heart” is the crown jewel among them. I am so glad that Vincent Du Maurier spoke to her and gave her more wonderful words to pen. If words were a painting or a piece of beautiful music, this would be a masterpiece. She etches every word and phrase in just the right cadence and with so much feeling and care. In a place and time unknown, but painted as Icelandic or Norse in this chapter of the series, she has brought to life some of the most beautiful characters in some of the most enchanting, chilling and exciting locations in her imagination. The prose in this chapter of the series is pure poetry, and her style of writing is magical. This is the reason I read. Very rarely will you find an author that fits the reader like a second skin, but in K. P. Ambroziak I have found that perfect fit. For anyone who has taken the time to read my little scribe I beg, implore, and hope that you will give authors like K. P. Ambroziak as much attention as you would your favorite mainstream authors. You will find that some of the best literature you will ever read it amongst those authors. Let the story continue…and it will in the next chapter “Sorrow For Soul”. Until then, I sit with the memories of these stories and in wonderment as to where we will go next in this series. Well done my literary friend, well done indeed.

(From back cove and beginning of this chapter):

Dearest Saba,

You cannot know how proud you make me, how fierce you’ve become in your transformation. You are the one to raise men, to create the world I have quit. This narrative is only a snippet, your beginning, the impetus that set you on this course. But you must see it for what it is, too, a testament to whom you have become since. I may have fallen away, but I’m not gone from our world. Our forefather has seen to that, and in my place he shall stand. Honor him as you have done me. Love him as you have loved me. Be the daughter to him you have been to me, one no father can deny.

Don’t be surprised at the knowledge I’ve acquired, the things I’ve uncovered here, words and deeds I’ve recounted. As a mortal, as the first descendant of man, I was not privy to omniscience, but now …

My change brings many insights, gifts from beyond. As my eyes were opened, so too were the paths to other worlds. Know this, my daughter, you are and always will be a goddess, a being knit from celestial thread, forged in the fires of other spheres, equipped with a grace too great for mortal material. So, too, are you as they said. You are His. You now belong to Vincent Du Maurier.

Dag

Metamorphosis: A Collection of Short Stories By Claire Fitzpatrick

Metamorphoses

Genre – Fiction

Sub-genre – Body Horror/Psychological Horror/Speculative Fiction/Short Stories

Pages – 245

Publication Information – IFWG Publishing International, September 2, 2019, ASIN: B07TCJX6X2

Format – Digital

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Having never read anything by Claire Fitzpatrick, or having really any idea what the sub-genre “Body Horror” is, I was anxious, thrilled and even a bit titillated to read something new – for me at least.  I think I now have an idea and a handle on what “Body Horror” is – and I think I should have considering Ms Fitzpatrick is considered Australia’s “Queen of Body Horror”.  A crown I believe she should wear with great pride, as it is for this reader at least, very well deserved.  Now, I finished reading this collection of seventeen incredible short stories a few days ago and have been left in a state of awe and wonderment at what I just experienced.  I cannot remember the last time horror short stories or a horror novel of any kind for that matter had such a profound or personal affect on me. I’ve been sitting with these stories marinating in my mind and embedded in my soul somewhere hidden for later retrieval.  As Ms Fitzpatrick explains in the introduction to these stories (and yes, you should read it as it is as heartfelt and as wonderful an explanation of her creative journey as I have ever read) the ideas of these stories come from her personal experiences with Epilepsy and Borderline Personality Disorder. “I am a crazy person who has seizures. Many of my ideas stem from my fears, my neurotic thoughts, my paranoia.”  I think I read things in much the same way as she writes.  As a person who has had to deal with mental issues, alcohol and drug abuse and who has been living with HIV for the last 25+ years and now drug and alcohol free for the last 16 years,  I find myself sometimes not very comfortable in my own skin or in certain situations. I have found that over the last twenty-five years or so that I’ve been going through my own kind of “metamorphosis”.  These stories are examples of nothing short of masterpieces of brilliant artistry, and I for one am a better person for having had the privilege to read them.  Brutally honest, visceral, moving, horrifying, sad, terrifying and even a little humorous – these stories are stories of life. Well played Ms Fitzpatrick – well played, indeed “Your Majesty” .  Writing is not my thing, I don’t have the vocabulary or the chops for it, but I’ve committed myself to reviewing all the books I read and the experiences that come along with those readings.  I hope I did this one justice.

Stories contained within this book are: Madeline, Eat, Mechanical Garden, Jacaranda House, Transplant, The Eagle, Scarab, Senses, The Dog, The Town Hall, Metamorphosis, Happy Birthday – Ebony, Synthetic, Andromeda, The Perfect Son, Thorne House and Deep-Sea Fishing.

From the back cover:  This short story collection includes 17 tales of terror. Madeline will never become a woman. William will never become a man. Does June deserve to be human? Does Lilith deserve a heart? If imperfection is crucial to a society’s survival, what makes a monster?

About the author:  Claire Fitzpatrick is an author of speculative fiction and non-fiction. She won the 2017 Rocky Wood Award for Non-Fiction and Criticism. Called ‘Australia’s Queen of Body Horror’ and ‘Australia’s Body Horror Specialist’, she enjoys writing about anatomy and the darker sides of humanity.

The Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories By Greg Chapman

This Sublime Darkness

Genre – Fiction

Subgenre – Short Stories/Horror/Psychological Fiction

Pages – 109

Publication Information – Independently Published, October 14, 2019, ASIN: B07YNH8DVW

Format – Digital (ARC)

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

From the London streets of 1887 to the underground tomb of a dead man and his last thoughts of a lost love, Greg Chapman takes his readers on a global and psychologically tormented pilgrimage through times past, present and unknown.  “The Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Tales” is a collection of seven very different and, some intensely disturbing short stories.  Gothic horror and psychological horror, two of my favorite genre in the vast horror genre, are aplenty in the pages of this brilliantly composed collection of short stories. You will soon find yourself immersed in, and

becoming a part of each story.  Not only are we entertained with some very  disturbing, haunting and masterfully structured tales, we are also privy to some incredible illustrations at the end of each chapter courtesy of Greg Chapman.  I’ve had the privilege of reading a few of Greg’s other works and I must say each time I read a new one I come away amazed at the fact that this guy gets better with each new publication.  I know when I pick up one of his short stories or novels that I’m in for an experience that I will soon not forget. Always look forward to his next adventure. Highly entertaining and thought provoking horror to be had here folks!

“This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories” by Greg Chapman, Illustrated by Greg Chapman, with an Introduction from James Chambers is now available for pre-order.  Release date is set for October 14, 2019

From the back cover:  This Sublime Darkness contains seven dark stories of grief, madness and nightmares, from Bram Stoker Award-nominated author Greg Chapman. In this collection, a small-town secret unearths itself, a stone drives a madman onto the streets of Whitechapel, a man takes a new wife – and the ghost of her mother, a photo album sends a grieving man into a spiral of nightmares, a creature collects the last words of death-row inmates, an insomniac fights nocturnal evils, unaware of the evil within, and a widow has one final embrace with his long lost love…

About the Author: Greg Chapman is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated and Australian Shadows Award-nominated author of Hollow House and the author of five novellas: Torment (2011 and 2016), The Noctuary (2011), Vaudeville (2012), The Last Night of October (2013 and 2016) and The Eschatologist (2016), and The Noctuary: Pandemonium, published by Bloodshot Books in December 2017. His debut collection, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares, was published in 2014.

His short stories have appeared in numerous publications, including Dark Eclipse, DevolutionZ, SQ Mag, Midnight Echo, and several anthologies. His short story, The Bone Maiden, was an Australian Shadows Award finalist in 2015, as was his novella, The Eschatologist in 2016.

He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013.

He also illustrated the comic series Allure of the Ancients for Midnight Echo Magazine and the one-shot comic, Bullet Ballerina, written by Tom Piccirilli.

Vampiro and Other Strange Tales of the Macabre By Kevin J. Kennedy

Vampiro

Genre – Fiction

Subgenre – Horror/Short Stories

Pages – (This book is in the final editing stages)

Publication Information – Independently Published, Release Date (This book is in the final editing stages)

Format – Digital (ARC)

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Have you ever been curious about how many levels of disturbing there are?  It’s something I ponder from time to time. However, in the case of “Vampiro and Other Strange Tales of the Macabre” by Kevin J. Kennedy the answer is seven.  Very much like seven deadly sins…but in this case it’s seven depraved and disturbing short stories.  These stories are not for the weak of heart, they are wonderfully nasty, deliciously depraved and at times downright licentious (case in point –  “The Game”, the first story in this wonderful collection).   The theme of disturbing continues with “Thirteen Voices”, “Don’t Grass”, “Would You Sell Your Soul?”, “Vampiro”, “A Town Called Easter” and “Christmas in Hell”.  Each of these stories stands alone in it’s excellence, but having seven in one book is just a gem worth having.  All you horror urges will be met and some will go beyond anything you could ever have imagined. I highly recommend getting your claws on a copy of this collection when it’s available in a few weeks.  No synopsis is necessary here, if you’ve read any of Kevin’s pieces before, you know what to expect, and you get it seven-fold.

About the Author:  Kevin J Kennedy is a horror author & editor from Scotland. He is the co-author of You Only Get One Shot & Screechers, and the publisher of several bestselling anthology series; Collected Horror Shorts, 100 Word Horrors & The Horror Collection, as well as the stand-alone anthology Carnival of Horror. His stories have been featured in many other notable books in the horror genre. He is an active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Other Project by Kevin J. Kennedy:  The Horror Collection: Gold Edition (THC Book 1); The Horror Collection: Black Edition (THC Book 2); The Horror Collection: Purple Edition (THC Book 3); Dark Thoughts: A Collection of Horror Stories; Dark Places, Evil Places Volume II; Carnival of Horrors: A Carnival Themed Horror Anthology; Collected Christmas Horror Short (Collected Horror Shorts, Book 1); Collected Christmas Horror Shorts 2 (Collected Horror Shorts, Book 4); Collected Halloween Horror Shorts: Trick r’ Treat (Collected Horror Shorts, Book 3); Collected Easter Horror Short (Collected Horror Shorts, Book 2); 100 Word Horrors: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles (100 Word Horror Collection, Book 1); 100 Word Horrors: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles (100 Word Horror Collection, Book 2); 100 Word Horrors: An Anthology of Horror Drabbles (100 Word Horror Collection, Book 3); Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2016; Hydrophobia: Charity Anthology for Victims of Hurricane Harvey;  Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2015; You Only Get One Shot: A Horror Novella; The Queuing Dead: A Very British Zombie Anthology; Screechers: A Post-Apocalyptic Novella; VS: U.S. vs U.K. Horror; Made in Britain; Fifty Shades of Slay; Tales from the Braided Pony; Unleashed: Monsters vs Zombies Volume II; The Gatekeeper: A Kindle Short; No Place Like Home: Twisted Tales from the Yellow Brick Road; The Reverend Burdizzo’s Hymn Book; The Speculative Book; et. al.

The Farm (The Emergence Mystery, Book 1) By Matt Moss

The Farm

Genre – Fiction

Subgenre – Speculative Fiction/Suspense/Thriller/Mystery/Science Fiction

Pages – 272

Publication Information – Independently Published, August 27, 2019, ASIN: B07VX7VWDR

Format – Digital

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Inner dialogue, second guessing and speculation on a grand scale were some of the experiences I had during the reading of  “The Farm (The Emergence Mystery, Book 1)” by Matt Moss.  I had little to no idea where this books was going, although I was anxious to find out just where this journey was going to take me.  It had a bit of a Soylent Green feel to it at times, and at other times I found myself reflecting on some of the other classic science fiction/dystopian type films of that same era.  It would be fair to say that I was bewildered and a tiny bit confused up until about the 80 to 85 percent point – at which time all hell broke loose, secrets were revealed and things started to come together and all the previous pages I’ve read up to that point made perfect sense.  I was blown away, surprised and shocked at the direction this book just took. If you like books that keep you in the shadows of speculation and second guessing (I love them), this is most definitely a book you will want to get your paws on! Matt’s ability to keep the reader in suspense, give the reader just enough information to hold their interest, and then with a sudden change in rhythm and tone take the reader down a very dark path to an explanation and revelation is masterfully done.  I was flabbergasted, gobsmacked, confounded and more importantly, entertained as hell by this book. So looking forward to the next chapters in the exciting odyssey.

From the back cover:  One mysterious farm. Five slaves with no memories from their past.

A shocking discovery that none of them saw coming…

Waking up on a farm that appears to be out of the early 1800’s, Cole has no recollection of the past. He stands in line as the landowner and his two farmhands explain the rules of the farm along with the consequences of breaking those rules.

But for the sweet taste of freedom, questions will be asked and rules will have to be broken to find the truth, leaving Cole in the fight for his life as he seeks to fulfill the dying wish of an old man who longs to see mankind back on top of the food chain once again.

Will Cole find the answers to all of his questions and obtain the freedom that he so desperately wants?

Or will he die trying and rest in peace on the farm?

Packed full of mystery and suspense, The Farm is a page-turning, character driven thrill ride.

Note: This book contains graphic language, violence, and sexual content.

About the Author:  Matt Moss is an older millennial who found a love for reading in his mid-twenties. After three years of devouring fantasy and historical fiction novels, he decided to try his own hand at writing. The Path of Man was written by hand during his breaks while working construction. He currently lives with his wife and three toddlers in the mountains of North Carolina and writes around the edges of the day.
Other Books by Matt Moss: The Path of Man (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 1), The Shepherd of Fire (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 2) & The End of Days (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 3),  The Legion of Soul Stones, The Rebellion, Alterlife I (Alterlife, Book 1),  Alterlife II (Alterlife, Book 2) and Alterlife III (Alterlife, Book 3).

Alterlife III (Alterlife – Book 3) By Matt Moss

Alterlife III

Genre – Fiction

Subgenre – Fantasy/Action/Adventure/LitRPG/Virtual Reality

Pages – 356

Publication Information – Independently Published – September 24, 2019 – ASIN: B07XYC68RB

Format – Digital

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

The Countdown to the Blood Moon has begun in “Alterlife III (Alterlife – Book 3)” by Matt Moss.  You can feel the urgency and the excitement building as the clock is ticking down to a final battle between Guildmaster of the Saviors John Crussell (Ace the Great) along with his fellow guild members and the guild members of Soldiers of Justice and the King’s Blood as they go against the gods and attempt to stop the virus before all humankind is destroyed.  Of the three books in this series this is the meatier of the three in both substance and form. Matt continues to find ways to entertain his readers with great characters, plots, story twists and wonderfully imagined world building. As we teeter between the virtual world and the real world we feel the lines start to bleed together. It’s an action packed to the edges of the pages kind of odyssey that will transport you to unimaginable places.  A brilliant addition to an already stellar series. Very entertaining!

From the back cover:  John Crussel lost. And his family paid the price. He’s through with Alterlife.

That is until Deakins convinces him to meet Giovisi – a strange and meticulous man who operates a cleaning business. It also happens that he’s the Guildmaster of the Saviors – a mysterious guild in an even more mysterious place.

Giovisi convinces John that the threat still remains; the virus is still in Afterlife. He warns that, soon, the Gamemasters will raise Thal, the God of War, and when they do, the virus will be unleashed upon not only all of Alterlife, but the real world as well, ushering in the demise of the human race.

The countdown to the Blood Moon has begun; the gods’ rite will bring mankind’s doom. And they’ve got the aid of the Soldiers of Justice and the King’s Blood – the two largest guilds in Alterlife.

With tremendous odds stacked against them, it’s up to John Crussel and the Saviors to stop the gods before it’s too late.

About the Author:  Matt Moss is an older millennial who found a love for reading in his mid-twenties. After three years of devouring fantasy and historical fiction novels, he decided to try his own hand at writing. The Path of Man was written by hand during his breaks while working construction. He currently lives with his wife and three toddlers in the mountains of North Carolina and writes around the edges of the day.

Other Books by Matt Moss: The Path of Man (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 1), The Shepherd of Fire (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 2) & The End of Days (The Soul Stone Trilogy, Book 3),  The Legion of Soul Stones, The Rebellion, Alterlife I (Alterlife – Book 1),  Alterlife II (Alterlife – Book 2) and The Farm (The Emergence Mystery, Book 1).

The Woman Under the White Tree (Father Michael Agnew, Book 1) By Jamie Stewart

The Woman Under the White Tree

Genre – Fiction

Sub-genre – Horror/Occult/Suspense/Short Story

Pages – 65

Format – Digital (ARC)

Publication Information – Independently Published, October 1, 2019 – ASIN:B07XQLKSF3

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Once again Jamie Stewart gives us a great tale with his latest short story “The Woman Under the White Tree (Father Michael Agnew, Book 1)”.  A very quick, comprehensive and cohesive read.  In hell-for-leather form, Jamie Stewart is becoming, to this reader at least, the Prince of Short Story Horror.  This little ditty has an eerie, evil “Route 666” meets “Preacher” sorta vibe to it.  Great characters along with a fluid, quick flowing and intricately formatted  narrative allows the reader to travel along on one “hell” of a journey. I’m always curious and anxious to see what Jamie will conjure up for us next.  A fun, exciting and entertaining little read.

From the back cover:  Frank Morris, a young man looking to enter into the Catholic priesthood, is offered the chance to accompany Father Michael Agnew on what he thinks will be a routine task. You know the sort of task priest’s do, such as having tea and buns with old ladies too afraid to leave the house.

Frank quickly discovers he is wrong.

Father Agnew isn’t like a typical member of the Church. Nor is the nature of his job.

In the rolling hills of the Northern Irish countryside, the Ballygore Road has the highest fatality rate in all of the United Kingdom. It’s history and that of the land around it is long and bloody, stretching back to famine times. Having listened to those fortunate enough to survive; Father Agnew suspects that there is more to the accidental deaths that occur on the road than bad driving.

He believes it’s haunted.

Frank Morris thinks the Father is joking. He thinks he’s being pranked. Surely, there’s no such thing as ghosts. Is there?

The Woman Under The White Tree is perfect for horror fans, especially those that enjoy stories that feature two members of the Catholic priesthood, Ford Cortina’s, exorcism, time travel and everything else but the kitchen sink. It is also the first story in the Father Michael Agnew series.

About the Author:  About the Author: Jamie Stewart is the author of Amazon Best Sellers Insular and Trick or Treat. Jamie Stewart started writing stories at the age of nine inspired by R.L Stein’s Goosebumps series and old horror movies that he was far too young to watch in hindsight. His novel Mr. Jones is set for re-release late summer 2019.

His favourite authors include Stephen King, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Joe Hill, J.K Rowling, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett to name a few.

Other works by Jamie Stewart:  “Insular”, “Trick or Treat”, “Mr. Jones” and “Alfie & The Dead Girls”.

The Weight of a Moment By Michael Bowe

The Weight of a Moment

 

Genre – Fiction

Sub-genre – Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Pages – 268

Publication Information – Independently published (September 24, 2019), ISBN-13: 978-1797405681

Reviewed by William C. Bitner, Jr.

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

“The Weight of a Moment” by Michael Bowe, is one of the most compelling and thought provoking pieces of literature I’ve read in quite some time. It’s conceptually original, and at the same time relatable and familiar.  Relatable and familiar because we all as human beings have these emotions and daily trials and tribulations. Original because there really are not enough books dealing with how men deal with everyday, as well as devastating past circumstances in their lives.  It’s really a study into the male psyche; what happens when our fates align, friendship, redemption and forgiveness. It’s a story of true friendship on a whole different level. A chance meeting of two men in a small Pennsylvania town who make each other’s acquaintance at just the right time in each of their lives.  They each have their own separate journeys to go on. Along the way secrets are uncovered and and family pasts are unveiled. It really is one of the most moving, brilliant and emotionally filled and beautifully written books I’ve ever read. This is Michael Bowe’s second book which is written as skillfully and as seasoned as any multi-titled author.  I am so looking forward to his debut novel “Skyscraper of a Man”.

From the back cover:  The Weight of a Moment is a beautiful story about the fragility of life and the redemptive power of friendship. Nick Sterling, a Fenwick Prize winning journalist, can’t move beyond a tragedy caused by one of his articles. Tom Corbett, a successful antiques dealer, is humiliated and shamed by an internet video that damages his business, marriage, and family. After their blunders, one shameful and one fatal, the two men run from their pasts, meet in a small Pennsylvania town, and, despite—or because of—the most unusual circumstances, help each other find redemption. Together, they make an unusual discovery that changes everything, one that unwittingly puts them back onto the national stage. Joined by fate, each man’s journey is remarkable in its own right and only exceeded by their shared journey. In a profound final scene, Nick confronts his tragic mistake, asks for forgiveness, and the novel’s title, The Weight of a Moment, is fully realized. Contrasting elements: big cities and small towns, modern and historic, priceless and valuable, compassion and condemnation, add to the richness of the tale. Critically acclaimed, this second novel from the author of Skyscraper of a Man is a brilliant sophomore effort.

About the Author:  Michael Bowe is a graduate of Georgetown University and a recipient of a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He is an accomplished businessman, entrepreneur, investor, writer, novelist, poet, and a resident of Vashon Island, WA, a short ferry ride from Seattle. His first novel, Skyscraper of a Man, was heralded as “a stunning and inimitable debut with Silver Screen potential” by the San Francisco Book Review. His second novel, The Weight of a Moment, was called “a beautifully written and inspiring story that is filled with realism and pathos” by Readers’ Favorite. In closing their review, RF added, “[The novel] is emotionally rich, psychologically exciting and inspiring.” Both Mr. Bowe’s novels have been well-received by both literary critics and the reading public alike.