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

The Warning by Michelle Lowe

The Warning

Genre – Techno Thriller/Dystopian Mystery

Pages – 452

Publishing Info – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, March 16, 2012

Format – Digital

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

It’s a little difficult to put The Warning by Michelle Lowe into any one particular genre, it really is a combination of cyberpunk, techno thriller, dystopian, mystery, adventure thriller and a bit of a love story with elements of family politics and structure (good and bad). It’s about making sacrifices for love, family, friends and civilization no matter the consequences. And the consequences in this thrilling read are dire and seemingly final. Some wonderfully creative characters and well flushed out plot make this a most engaging and edge of your seat read. From start to finish Michelle has the reader sinking further into the pages and filled with anticipation of what’s going to happen next. I really love Michelle’s writing style and her ability to mix genres so masterfully and with what seems like little effort. This book reads itself. It was just a fun read. I loved it.

Having read a few of Michelle’s more recent books The Legacy Series Books 1 – 3 for example, it was a fun experience to read something from her earlier days of writing. The aforementioned series are beautifully written steampunk/fantasy adventures.

From the back cover: The longest night in Nikolai Crowe’s life begins when he’s framed for murdering his ex-girlfriend, Jade Sho. To save himself and clear his name he must search for the reason behind Jade’s assassination. He’ll have to do so without getting caught by crooked cops, who would rather see him dead than captured.

Detective Lucas Knox, assigned to hunt down the fugitive, turns his investigation in another direction when he has suspicions about Crowe’s guilt. His hunch will take him on a long, twisted road that’ll put his own life at risk.

What will Nikolai and Knox discover and can it bring them to Jade’s true killer?

Luckily, Nikolai has help from a human clone identified as Alpha Replica 3007. This clone—and a band of others like him—have escaped their creator on Mill Rock Island. Now this particular clone is guiding Nikolai toward something Jade left for him before her death. What did Jade hide and will Nikolai find it before the cops find him?

About the author: A Georgia born native, I’ve spent most my life near the Atlanta area before pulling up stakes and moving clear across the country with husband, Ben, and our two daughters. History piques my interests, especially European history. I’m a big nerd at heart. I read science-fiction and fantasy stories, and I love old B horror films. I also get a kick out of playing classic Atari video games, and I do oil painting as a hobby.

I’m a daydreamer and animal lover. I have a very old kitty named October, and one very demanding guinea pig. I took up writing as a serious career choice twenty years ago, learning a lot and sharpening my skills along the way.

Other books by Michelle Lowe: Legacy, Legacy: The Reunion, Legacy: The Underground, Atlantic Pyramid, The Hex Hunt Volume 1, Spine Shivering Stories, Poe’s Haunted House Tour, Cherished Thief, The Hex Hunt: The Island of the Sleeping Volcano, The Hex Hunt: Surviving the Sea.

Ugly Beautiful by Sean-Paul Thomas

Ugly Beautiful

Genre – Psychological Thriller/Horror

Pages – 158

Publication Info – Paul Thomas publishing; 3 edition, December 22, 2013

Format – Digital

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

After I finished reading My Sister and I by Sean-Paul Thomas I decided that since I enjoyed it so much I’d read another title by this author. Interestingly, I decided to pick Ugly Beautiful. The interesting thing was that I do believe this book is were the birth of the previous book was borne! Written in 2 parts…part 1 being dedicated to character introduction and criminal activities and the such…part 2 goes totally off script and down a whole different path, and gets into the meaty nitty-gritty contained in this very suspenseful psychological thriller. As in the previous read, Sean-Paul Thomas blends the gory messy horror bits so masterfully with my favorite type of horror, the psychological elements. Sean-Paul illustrates that you don’t need an endless list of names or a entire village of named individuals to come up with a compelling and interesting story. Few characters, great story, twist and turns enough to make you car sick (but who cares when you have a barf bag?). I saw some reviews reflecting the opinion that the errors and typos were a bit much, I did not find that problem with my edition. I do know that there is a newly edited version as of 2018, so you can be rest assured that that isn’t a problem. Entertaining, edged of your seat reading from start to finish.  I am enjoying so much, getting to know this author. This is my third read now, and I’m looking forward to many, many more.

From the back cover: A Scottish gangster with a tormented past goes on the run after an earth-shattering tragedy that rips his world apart. Running for his life he disappears into the heart of the gorgeous Scottish highlands to lay low in a secluded cottage before plotting his next move.

But when he discovers the body of a young amnesiac woman lying unconscious near his hideaway retreat, things take a chilling turn for the worst, especially when he tries to coax the mysterious girl into unraveling her own forgotten past, unaware of the sickening acts of terror which are about to be unleashed.

About the author: Sean is an author from Edinburgh in Scotland. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years on the move with his Scottish and Irish Parents (No they weren’t bank robbers 😉 growing up in the likes of Cyprus, Germany, Wales and England, as an army brat.

With a keen interest in both reading and writing, he was diagnosed with the travel and writing bugs very early on in life. Now, writing, traveling, reading, cinema and Scottish football (Supporting the mighty Hibernian FC for his sins) are his main passions in life, along with cooking, yoga, meditation and health, and fitness.

His main inspiration for writing today comes from living in such a beautiful, charming and hauntingly, Gothic city, such as Edinburgh. An awe-inspiring wee city that has given Sean so much amazing inspiration to write the more time he spends there.

At this moment Sean is working on a couple of screenplays adaptations of his books. one of which ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ has made the final three at the Nashville Film Festival.

Other books: The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill (The Fairy Boy Chronicles Books 1, 2 & 3), The Wrath of David (Parts 1 & 2), Once Upon a Time in Edinburgh, Sarah Smiles, Lust for Life (Parts 1 & 2) , Alone, My Sister and I, Cafe Independence, The Old Man and the Princess (Soon to be a major motion picture).

My Sister and I by Sean-Paul Thomas

My Sister and I

Genre – Horror/Psychological Thriller/Scottish

Pages – 211

Publication Info – Paul Thomas Publishing; 1 edition, August 25, 2018

Format – Digital

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

If you’re looking for a twisted tale that takes place in the Scottish Highlands, My Sister and I, by Sean-Paul Thomas is just the answer. This is one truly messed up and sick family drama. Twin sisters, one evil and one trying to not be evil, and a father who is nothing but pure unadulterated  evil. I like psychological horror a bit more than I like blood, guts and gore horror; and with this you get a little bit of blood, guts & gore, and a lot of the psychological horror elements. The author weaves quite an interesting and intriguing tale with only a few characters, but characters with lots of meat. It’s a quick read, but it’s a read from hell and creepy as all get out. This is only my second time reading a Sean-Paul Thomas piece. My first read was The Old Man and the Princess which was an entirely different kind of read from this one. Sean-Paul seems to have a pretty wide berth between genres and creative ideas. I have about four or five of his books on my Kindle and I think I’m going to get through them before the year’s end. So, if you’re looking for dark, creepy and wicked nasty this is the read to pick up.

From the back cover: A young teenage girl and her twin sister have been growing up in the Scottish Highlands with their cruel and twisted father for as long as they can remember. A sick and violent, narcissistic man who is obsessed with the end of the world and one hundred percent convinced that an apocalypse is fast approaching.

Since they were old enough to walk he has been training and preparing the girls to survive in the wild, by taking them out into the brutal Highland terrain, sometimes for weeks on end, where he teaches them how to survive in a world without people and technology and how to hunt and kill, animals at first then humans later.

One of the sisters has her secrets though. And unlike her sinister twin who worships the very ground their dad walks on, she carries a hatred towards him and his way of life that slowly begins to consume her from the inside out. She harbors dreams of one day fleeing her father’s brutal, dictatorship grasp to live a normal, happy life in some far-off, safe haven place with her troubled sister and perhaps, even, their estranged mother too. A mother neither sister has seen nor heard from since their birth, and a mother that their father refuses to even acknowledge without striking out.

When the girls’ father decides to put the sisters through their biggest challenge yet, though, leaving the girls alone and to fend for themselves in one of the furthest and remotest regions of the Scottish isles, hundreds of miles from their home, the two inseparable sisters are given one last chance to make their father proud and convince him that they are finally ready to live in his vision of the new world.

But tensions soon escalate and spiral out of control between the two siblings and finally come to a devastating conclusion as the sisters are forced to make a series of brutal, life-changing decisions on their homeward bound journey, especially regarding where their opposite life paths are leading and where their true loyalties really lie. With their father or each other?

About the author: Sean is an author from Edinburgh in Scotland. He spent most of his childhood and teenage years on the move with his Scottish and Irish Parents (No they weren’t bank robbers 😉 growing up in the likes of Cyprus, Germany, Wales and England, as an army brat.

With a keen interest in both reading and writing, he was diagnosed with the travel and writing bugs very early on in life. Now, writing, traveling, reading, cinema and Scottish football (Supporting the mighty Hibernian FC for his sins) are his main passions in life, along with cooking, yoga, meditation and health, and fitness.

His main inspiration for writing today comes from living in such a beautiful, charming and hauntingly, Gothic city, such as Edinburgh. An awe-inspiring wee city that has given Sean so much amazing inspiration to write the more time he spends there.

At this moment Sean is working on a couple of screenplays adaptations of his books. one of which ‘The Old Man and The Princess’ has made the final three at the Nashville Film Festival.

Other books: The Fairy Boy of Calton Hill (The Fairy Boy Chronicles Books 1, 2 & 3), The Wrath of David (Parts 1 & 2), Once Upon a Time in Edinburgh, Sarah Smiles, Lust for Life (Parts 1 & 2) , Alone, Ugly Beautiful, Cafe Independence, The Old Man and the Princess (Soon to be a major motion picture).

Particularly Dangerous Work – Part Two – Lost at Sea by G. Russell Overton

Lost at Sea

Genre – Historical Fiction/Gay Fiction

Pages – 259

Publication Info – Blue Water Tales, LLC, August 24, 2018

Format – Kindle

Rating – 📙📙📙📙📙

Reading Particularly Dangerous Work – Part Two – Lost at Sea, by G. Russell Overton was, even though it’s filled with action and suspense a very calming read. It’s beautifully written and as so much honesty. A tasteful and respectful look at the lives of not only gay men during the World War II era, but what it was like to endure in those circumstances. While filled with espionage, spies, adventure and thrills, there is also a feel for family and human relationships. Book 2 begins where Book 1 left off in 1941 Berlin. Once again there are many travel escapades from Germany to Spain and other countries throughout the European Block. This book is filled with atmosphere and beautifully descriptive narratives. Imagine if you will traveling on a train between Berlin and Madrid in 1941 – 1943 (the time period of this part of the series). You don’t really have to do much imagining on your own, because the author does that for us in a most skillful and beautiful way. This is a story of life and all that entails in order to survive in not only bad situations, but in what seem like at time impossible situations. I was touched on many levels while reading this book, from tears to laughter – from anger to glee. The research done for this book is off the hook crazy and very accurate.  I loved Book 1, I fell in love with Book 2, and I’m anxious and hopeful that there is more of the story to tell about these wonderful characters. A truly beautiful bit of storytelling…highly recommend. Thank you Russ for this beautiful story.

From the back cover: Part 2 of this trilogy opens at the beginning of 1941. Spanish diplomat Vizconde Rodrigo Mendoza has just been recalled from his post in Brazil to assume a new position as chief of staff at the Spanish Embassy in Berlin. In part 1 of this trilogy Rodrigo’s world was turned upside down when German Abwehr agents, using their knowledge of his sexual orientation, blackmailed him into conducting espionage on behalf of the Third Reich. Rodrigo broke free from their manipulation and used the skills they taught him against the Nazi regime. In Part 2, Lost at Sea, Rodrigo returns to Berlin where he has a golden opportunity to inflict the most damage on the German war machine and help turn the war to favor the Allied cause. Rodrigo finds himself in constant danger. To survive he must juggle romance, sexual relationships, cunning wit, and physical agility. This part of the trilogy ends at the beginning of 1943, just when German invincibility is beginning to crumble.

About the author: G. Russell Overton is an American author and historian, who lives in Lansing, Michigan, with his long-time marriage partner, Bill. He has produced a number of works, both fiction and non-fiction. He is currently writing a trilogy of historical fiction. The first part has recently been published (click on his web link for more information). He enjoys sailing, cross-country skiing, and biking. His fictional style is to create romantic adventure, unbounded by the dictates of political and cultural agendas, but his love of the Great Lakes and all things marine is an apparent influence in most of his writing. He is a member of the National Writers Union, Historical Society of Michigan, Detroit Institute of Art, Publishing Triangle, and Michigan Writers.

Other work by this author: Particularly Dangerous Work – Part One – At Water’s Edge, Running by Night, and has contributed to Hard Hats, and Paws and Reflect: Exploring the Bond Between Gay Men and Their Dogs.

Warm by Eric Kapitan

 

Genre – Dark Fantasy/Horror

Pages – 106

Publication Info – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 17, 2018)

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I have read Warm by Eric Kapitan twice now. The first time I read it was about a year ago at the request of the author, the second time was just the other day for two reasons. First I lost my original review and wanted to refresh my memory and rewrite a review, and secondly, this book is due to be released in just a few days and I loved it. I have read everything by Eric Kapitan at least once and have loved each reading. At second glance of this particular story I am struck at how very raw and in your face the horror element is while at the same time giving the reader something to consider about the characters. It seems that no matter how horrific the narrative, you are always considering the well-being and mental health of the doer of the deeds. Good and evil reign supreme in this plot line and the war of right and wrong is front and center. Eric doesn’t seem to have any barriers or lines he will not cross, and if they are crossed they are totally and completely blurred – that’s what’s so refreshing about his writing. His books like I said in other reviews of his work  are not for the weak of heart or digestive system. He allows the reader to go right along with him on his journey of debauchery and elegantly delicious and macabre narratives. Eric has the ability to make the reader like and dislike a character all in the same breath on many different levels. As it should be with horror Eric’s approach is hard hitting and leaves a really big impression. I’ve said this about Eric before but will repeat it here “there are not enough adjectives available in my vocabulary without the aid of a thesaurus to explain or understand the mind that is Eric Kapitan”. Be it a bit of horror poetry, short story, or in this case a novella, you will find that Eric will most definitely leave an impression. We can only hope that this author will continue to come up with even more disturbing and horrifying prose for many years to come. It appears when you have very few rules and just write what’s on your evil mind your come up with some great bits of horror. Until the next time, you scare the hell out of me Eric Kapitan!

From the back cover: Only a truly broken soul can be possessed by the ruler of hell. Unfortunately for Adam, every second of his life has molded him into the perfect host.

Adam is a killer. There’s no getting around that. The state doesn’t care that he was a child of abuse, that he was beaten near daily by a father who never wanted him. They don’t care that he truly wants to change, more than he’s ever wanted anything. For his crimes, Adam won’t see the sun until the day he’s dead and buried.

Deep below Adam’s restless heart, the king of hell has a new name, and he’s desperate to prove himself worthy. In his previous life, Timothy was a serial killer haunted by an all-consuming obsession with death and destruction. Now that he’s dead, he’s determined to rise through the ranks and earn a power like no other. As the king of hell, he’ll be able to re-enter the human world at last—and then tear it down, piece by bloody piece.

But for that, he needs a soul just as corrupt as he is. And Adam is ripe for the taking.

Warm by Eric Kapitan is a dark fairy tale of disturbing proportions, a gory tale of revenge that will keep readers up all night, haunted by the horrors within.

About the author: Eric Kapitan fell in love with the horror genre at a young age. Binge watching Horror Movies such Halloween and Night of the Living Dead. It wasn’t long before Kapitan wanted to tell Horror stories of his own. Never afraid to push the boundaries, Kapitan believes Horror should be hard hitting and leave an impression.

Eric Kapitan currently resides in Vermont. He enjoys spending time with family/friends, drinking a nice cold Vermont beer, and going to Horror conventions.

Other books: Fireflies of the Dead, Burning Down Paradise, As the Blade Cuts, Trapped in the Rituals, and Darkness: Poems of Extreme Horror.

Elude: Part One by Derek Barton

Elude Cover

Genre – Crime/Suspense/Horror

Pages – 109

Publication Info – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 6, 2018)

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Elude: Part One by Derek Barton, is a bit of a departure from the usual horror/fantasy books of his that I’ve read. He defined this to me as a dark crime/horror story. Part One most definitely touches on the dark and the crime. The horror element has yet to be established or explained. There is something afoot and unexplained happening in Phoenix and its suburbs, and the possibility of something nefarious and/or other worldly or evil is taking place but yet to be explained. Note that this is indeed only Part One – there’s is much more story to be told – if you’re expecting a full stop ending you may be disappointed, this is a continuing story (it’s in the title folks Part One). I am left wanting to know more and am anxious to keep following this intriguing story filled with some very interesting characters, some with very questionable motives. It’s a quick read with a steady pulse that keeps giving. Part Two should be lots of fun.

Synopsis (from back cover):  Stepping blindly into a horrific murder scene, a young ex-con, Vicente Vargas, must flee from the police while eluding the real killer who continues to pin more bodies on him in this intricate cat-and-mouse game.

Cut off from all friends and family, tried and convicted by the press, Vic must survive on his wits and cunning on the gritty streets of Phoenix, Arizona long enough to clear his name.

About the author: Derek Barton was born in northeast Indiana in 1970. The typical introvert kid; closer to books than people, but grew up with a fascination for horror novels (Stephen King, Dean Koontz) and medieval fantasy (Piers Anthony, R.A Salvatore).

In April of 1996, he moved out to Phoenix, Arizona to find his own path.

He has been married to his wonderful wife, Erika since October 5th, 2012. They have three children, Jenna, Johnny and a one-year-old baby girl, Jessiena!

Recently he has completed his first novel, Consequences Within Chaos, as well as the sequel, The Bleeding Crown. Also on Amazon & Kindle, In Four Days: A Horror Suspense Novella and Seyde In Blood: Consequences Within Consequences Prequel Short Story.

Men and Monsters (Nightfall – Book 2) by Elena May

Nightfall Men and Monsters

Genre – Dystopian Fantasy/Historical/Vampire

Pages –

Publication Info –

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I had the great pleasure to be able to read Men and Monsters (Nightfall, Book 2), by Elena May before its November 2018 release. After reading Elena’s debut novel Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall, Book 1) last year about this time, and absolutely loving it,  I was so looking forward to the continuing story and adventures of Myra, Vladimir, Tristan, the Resistance and the different Vampire covens and eclectic cast of characters. Elena blends history and fantasy with such ease and skill. These books, so far have in my opinion, been nothing short of masterful pieces of dystopian historical fantasy. A bit of mythology and lore from a few different areas of the globe, from Scandinavia to Slavic, Bulgarian, and Anglo-Saxon, with names like Khan, Ragnar Lodbrok, and King Ӕlla just to name a few. The history and lore ooze from and flows through the pages of this well researched piece of fantasy. If not for the fact that this is fiction, you’d think you were reading a well researched history syllabus. Elena blends the real and the unreal in such a way that makes it almost impossible to tell where reality begins and fantasy ends. I absolutely love the Gothic feel, and the authentic and descriptive narrative of the characters and locations. These are not your sparkling, shimmering vampires – these are the Gothic Vlad the Impaler and Prince Lestat and Louis (from Anne Rice novels) type vampires. I am falling in love with these characters and this story is fast becoming one of my favorites. The book ends with some stunners, there are twists that turn, and return and turn again. Give it a read, I’m almost positive you’ll love sinking your teeth into it.

Synopsis (from the back cover): The stakes have risen. For fifty years, Prince Vladimir has tolerated the Resistance, but now they threaten what he holds dear. The vicious vampire will no longer hold back. A plan he has been working on for decades will finally reveal itself and entangle everyone standing on the way.

For the first time after the Nightfall, the Resistance holds a true bargaining chip. For the first time, they have a chance to tip the scales of the war and ensure humanity’s survival. But Myra has made a promise, and breaking it will destroy all that is human in her. She is loyal to the Resistance, but nothing is black and white. Long-buried secrets emerge, showing her that vampires can be more honorable than humans, and humans can be more monstrous than beasts.

A desperate nobleman, fighting to save a doomed culture. A reclusive poet, choosing art over immortality. A vampire, rejecting her raw nature. Past and present weave together in an action-packed tale of power games, a hopeless fight for survival, and the indestructible human need to create art.

About the author: Elena May is a fantasy and science fiction author. Born and raised in Bulgaria, she has studied in New Zealand and the US, worked in Germany and the UK, participated in various research or volunteer projects in Israel, Liechtenstein and Turkey, and traveled to over forty countries. After years of moving around, she has settled in beautiful East Berlin.

Out of all the places she has visited, the one that provided the greatest inspiration for her Nightfall vampire series is foggy London. She spent a year there, sharing a tiny basement room with a humongous rat and wishing her landlord allowed cats. In the absence of cats, she faced the rat in battle, armed with both modern and traditional weapons, including ultrasound, garlic, chili peppers, and fresh mint. The rat wasn’t impressed, but at least all vampires stayed away.

She holds a B.Sc. degree in Physics and a M. Sc. degree in Mathematics, but her one true love remains speculative fiction. Her debut novel, Nightfall: Kingdom of Ashes, was published on Halloween 2016 and received stellar reviews from multiple bloggers. She is currently working on the sequel, Nightfall: Men and Monsters, and on a standalone Greek mythology retelling, Taste of Pomegranates.