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

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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

Balance of Estubria (Brobots, Book Three) by Trevor Barton

Balance of Esturbia

Genre – Science Fiction/GLBT/Trilogy

Publication Date – December 24, 2017 (Kindle Edition),  December 08,2017 (Paperback Edition)

Format – Kindle

Pages – 293

Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

In “Balance of Estubrria (Brobots, Book Three)” by Trevor Barton we get the final installment of a fantastic trilogy. From book one, through book 2 two, and the up to the final words of book three we have a complete and total  journey, and thought provoking story. This is Science Fiction that just so happens to have some gay characters. Those characters are simply a part of the story-line. Trevor gives  a voice, heart and soul to all his characters regardless of their genesis or their specific species or origins. Human, automated, robot, alien, artificial intelligence, gay, straight or yet to be determined all have equal say in the adventures of the worlds in which they coexist. In these three books we have gone from Earth to Mars and galactic systems in, around and between. We have a bit of comedy, some politics, family situations, friendships, wars, disagreements, drama, thrills and adventure. I have read my fair share of trilogies or series’s and I can say without doubt that this is one of the finest examples of that format. I was lucky enough to read them one after the other, but I believe if read over time and not continuously that you will get just as much out of them. They should however be read chronologically to get the full and complete story and understanding of events. While I think each of these book could be read as stand alone books why do yourself a disservice by not reading the entire trilogy. Highly enjoyable and entertaining. Well thought out and the research done in putting these books together is abundantly clear. Also, you get a sense that the author really enjoyed putting these stories, quests, journeys and emotions to page for our enjoyment. I highly recommend all three of these books regardless of your species or sexual orientation.

Synopsis (from back cover): Brobots is substantial science fiction with gay characters told across three continuous books.

Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial big guys. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots.

They’re easy to treat like trash. But they’re not so easy to ignore; especially the ones experiencing “the wake up.” The idea was that they could work hidden in society’s plain sight, allowing humanity time to get used to the fact of sentient machines.

But it’s all too easy for others to take advantage of those who live on the edge. What they, and their allies, must do is work out who, and why, before it gets too late.

Plug them in. Wish they never end.

Brobots Book 3:

The Brobots (dehumanized non-humans) seek a way for everyone to win; even if in doing so they die. A super-advanced AI travels the cosmos considering how much, or how little, she likes humans. Fleshing out plans to enslave all humanity, the super rich jeopardize everyone else’s future dreams. When all humanity finally gets the future it deserves, what sort of future will that be?

The Brobots trilogy concludes.

Red Gods Sing (Brobots, Book Two) by Trevor Barton

Red Gods Sing

Genre – Science Fiction/Glbt

Publication Date – Published Independently September 15, 2017

Format – Kindle

Pages – 402

Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

In “Red Gods Sing (Brobots, Book Two)” by Trevor Barton, “The Singularity” is a upon us. Having just finished Brobots, Book One I still had a familiarity of the characters and story. In the first book we are introduced to the brobot community and their fight to be recognized as  individuals. There was a lot of humor and high jinx…book two is darker, a lot more serious and much more political. (Not to worry, there is still plenty of dry comic relief). If not for the fact it’s taking place in the 2060’s you’d think you were reading about the political climate in the United States today. Fake News abounds and there is corruption and defilement of the highest degree. In this episode we are doing a bit of space travel to Mars, all the original characters and a few new ones will have you entertained and wanting more. Gay or straight, robot, human, AI and alien alike will be in awe of the brilliance that is Trevor Barton, who is quickly making it to the top of my favorites list. So looking forward to the next installment.

Synopsis (from back cover): Brobots is substantial science fiction with gay characters told across three continuous books.

Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial big guys. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots.

They’re easy to treat like trash. But they’re not so easy to ignore; especially the ones experiencing “the wake up.” The idea was that they could work hidden in society’s plain sight, allowing humanity time to get used to the fact of sentient machines.

But it’s all too easy for others to take advantage of those who live on the edge. What they, and their allies, must do is work out who, and why, before it gets too late.

Plug them in. Wish they never end.

Brobots Book 2:

You’re a robot man living in 2060’s America. You’re off on a hot date. Forget fake news and flying saucers. What’s the one thing you should’ve packed?

Josh could be forgiven for being a little forgetful. In his world, the problem isn’t with AI. It’s with humans. (Some of them, at least.) A threat is looming, and with it an ultimatum. Brobots like Josh can rise up. Or they can face extinction. Josh has decisions to make. But where will they leave a post-singularity world?

Brobots (Brobots, Book One) by Trevor Barton

Brobots

Genre – Science Fiction/Glbt
Publication – Published Independently December 9, 2016
Format – Kindle
Pages – 352
Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
 
I totally and completely enjoyed “Brobots (Brobots, Book One)” by Trevor Barton. Original and relatable. This read had a little bit of everything…a bit of humor, a love story, coming of age, family/community, turmoil, forgiveness, betrayal, friendship, jealousy and some treachery and double dealing to name a few. While geographically the story takes place on U.S. soil it has many British nuances, especially in dialogue…which I found charming and very much in line with how our society is put together in the real world. You will no doubt find yourself comparing your actual friends and extended family to some of the characters in this book (I sure was…and having a wonderful time doing it and remembering some of my past adventures). All in all, for a debut and the first book in a series this was a win, win on all counts. I am so looking forward to the next books in the “Brobots” series. I recommend this to anyone…gay, straight, robot or human. It’s just a lot of fun and great entertainment.
 
Synopsis (from back cover): Rod burners. Scaff dawgs. Laggers. Bucket dumpers. Lerps. Duct monkeys. Tin knockers. Lumbergs. Artificial men. Product of a troubled firm. Brobots. Cheap manual labor. Invisible.
 
Easy, then, to trash.
 
A spark, an ultimatum, and a journey. Three books. One epic tale. One year in the making.
 
Not being human, it’s easy to dehumanize them. Are they even alive?
We’re getting the future we deserve. Did you think AI ethics was about how we program them?
 
Jared takes home a cute man he finds in a dumpster and then gets drawn into a world of robots, parenting and conspiracy.
 
Artificial intelligence can’t be programmed. It has to be grown. Some machines are learning who they are, and humans could do with a bit of that, too.

Lifers by M.A. Griffin

Lifers

Genre – Young Adult/Alternative History/Thriller

Publication Date – April 7, 2016

Format – Paperback

Pages – 352

Stars – 🌟🌟🌟

“Lifers” by M.A. Griffin was a bit of a miss for me. I had a very hard time following the storyline and I was not quite sure how to categorize this in any one genre as it was a mash of a few different genres. The story was slow and lacked continuity in my opinion. I understand that sometime the story will not come together until later in the book, but this one only got exciting for me towards the end when it started to make sense to me as to  what was going on. I would have liked to have know more about the world that exists below ground and the backstory of some of the more prominent characters. It is a very interesting concept but just missed the mark for me.

Synopsis (from back cover): Fear haunts the streets of Preston’s city: a girl has disappeared. Preston is drawn to investigate, exploring the city in the hunt for his missing friend. And deep in the bowels of a secret scientific institute, he discovers a sinister machine used to banish teenage criminals for their offenses.

Captured and condemned to a cavernous dimension, Preston is determined to escape. But this is no ordinary jail. Friendships will be forged and lives will be lost in a reckless battle for freedom, revenge–and revolution.

 

Brutal Bedtime Stories: A Supernatural Horror Story Collection by David Maloney, Tobias Wade, Ha-yong Glenn Bak and Kyle Alexander

Brutal

Genre – Anthology/Horror
Publication Date – October 30, 2017
Format -Kindle
Pages – 328
Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
 
I’ve read my fair share of anthologies and “Brutal Bedtime Stories: A Supernatural Horror Story Collection” by David Maloney, Tobias Wade, Ha-yong Glenn Bak and Kyle Alexander (the order they appear in the book) is by far one of the very best. I’ve said this before about other anthologies, it really is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to authors you’ve not read before. Here we have one book, four talented authors, a genre (horror), and forty short stories in that genre, told according to each author’s idea of said genre. In my opinion no matter how you like your horror you are guaranteed to find something to your liking in this collection. From sarcastic tongue in cheek horror to how is that possible kind of horror, the afterlife and ghostly and ghoulish characters, these four authors cover all the bases in a masterfully artful way. There is a smooth and even transfer of the quill baton from one author’s collection to the next. While each author has their own distinct style and writing skills they blend well from one to the next. Having read this collection, and not read anything else by any of these authors prior to this, I am very much in the frame of mind to seek out more of their work. A must read for anyone who is into horror, the unexplained and psychological and emotional roller coaster kind of thrills. Highly recommended for all you creepy needs and desires.
 
From the back cover: WARNING: Contains mature and graphic material. Not for the faint of heart
 
Spine-tingling terror from horror writers around the world. Dozens of diverse short stories containing gruesome murders, supernatural mysteries, grotesque hellscapes, and deranged psychopaths to keep you up at night. Surprise twists ensure you keep guessing until the last page.

Witch by Jill Benson

Witch

Genre – Supernatural/Psychological/Crime Thriller
Publication Date – September 18, 2016
Format – Kindle
Pages – 666
Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
 
“Writing ability is this process/cognitive-oriented approach is, therefore, defined as the ability to initiate and evolve ideas and then use certain revising and editing practices to develop them to maturity in a given context.” In her debut novel “Witch” Jill Benson has demonstrated she has an abundance of that ability. It is at times like this where I wish I had just a minuscule of that ability in order to do it any justice with my review. That being said here goes. Jill combines the occult and crime thriller genre in a most masterful and artful way. The characters are fascinating and very relatable and easy to get behind or against depending on their role in the plot. As I was reading I found myself thinking about Baba Yaga long before it is mentioned by Jill. If you are not familiar with Baba Yaga In Slavic myths, Baba Yaga is the wild woman or dark lady of magic and in Russian folklore there are many stories about her. Understanding this lore even in the most basic form as I do will go a long way in the enjoyment and understanding of this read. Although a beefy read in pages and information, I found the rhythm and cadence of the story to be symphonic, well balanced and beautifully written. I just absolutely loved this book, the format and the mixture of all the different genres. I am so looking forward to future works by Jill Benson. If psychological thriller and the occult are in your reading wheelhouse, this is a must read. There are a few topics that may be triggers to some readers including child kidnapping and pedophilia to name a few. (Full disclosure: Jill provided me with an eCopy of this book and that in no way is a reflection of my review.)
 
Synopsis (from back cover): When children start going missing in three small towns on the outskirts of Kansas City, KBI field agents Rick Holland and Lucy Stuart are assigned the cases. While searching for the first child, the team stumbles across the body of a young woman. The circumstances of her death are eerily similar to a cold case that Agent Holland has been working on for years, a case that holds special significance for him.
 
Can this 31-year-old unsolved murder have a connection to the missing children? Holland begins to think maybe it does, and he and Stuart enlist the help of Dr. Maggie Fry, a specialist in folklore and oral history, who happens to believe she is the reincarnation of a 17th century witch.
 
After a series of unexplainable events, the agents must suspend their disbelief and travel into the bizarre and frightening world of witchcraft in order to discover what happened to the children and grapple with their own personal demons.

Dark Deaths: Selected Horror Fiction by William Cook

Dark Deaths
Genre – Psychological Horror/Anthologies & Literature Collections
Publication Date – October 7, 2017
Format – Kindle
Pages – 191
Stars – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
 
“Dark Deaths: Selected Horror Fiction” by William Cook is yet another masterpiece of macabre psychological horror from one of the most talented authors in this genre. If you’ve read William’s work before you know what to expect and you get it in spades. If you haven’t read his work you haven’t experienced this genre to the fullest extent…and you really should check him out. William has the ability to put the reader in the room with some of the most beautifully written madness’s…being a voyeur of his work is something you will not soon forget. While some of the stories in this collection are being read for the second and sometime third time by me (if you know his work you will recognize the stories), it felt like I was reading them for the first time. When you can say “I’ve read this story before but I’ve got to read it again” that’s saying something about the talent of this author. 16 brilliant, thought provoking stories, that you will find yourself revisiting time and time again. Each story is followed by a wonderful illustration, which I found just as thought provoking as the prose. Thank you William for another unforgettable reading experience.
 
From the preface:
 
“In Dark Deaths: Selected Horror Fiction, I hope that you find something that resonates with you, the reader. Perhaps one of the stories might make you check the locks on your doors before turning in for the night? Maybe one of the tales in this collection will make you contemplate something you may not have thought about, or wanted to think about, before? You might think twice about keeping the doll that sits in a box in the attic, or take a second look at the guy across the road who sits in his upstairs window watching passersby. Whatever the response, my goal is to get you involved with the story – for you to suspend disbelief, if only for a short while as you read these tales. Be warned, this is a mixed bag – a distillation of stories written over the course of a number of years – whimsical childhood nightmares sit among the bloodied remains of serial murderers and revenant spirits. Each story is a dark death, an epitaph of sorts, as I lay them to rest in this collection.”
– William Cook
New Zealand. October, 2017.