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

This is the post excerpt.


Grief for Heart


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.


Origins (The Nosferatu Chronicles – Book 1) by Susan Hamilton

Origins (The Nosferatu Chronicles #1)

Genre – Science Fiction/Fantasy/Vampire

Pages – 295

Publication Info – Independently published – May 6, 2015

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


I have to admit that I was first attracted to this book because of the stunning cover. Then after reading the synopsis, I thought if she can pull this off this will be something special. Having finished “Origins (The Nosferatu Chronicles – Book 1)” by Susan Hamilton, my verdict is that she has indeed pulled it off. She combines science fiction with the retelling of the 15th century vampire legend brilliantly. Some of my favorite things are contained in one book, science fiction, vampire lore, colonization, and alternative history. We have some of the more familiar characters that we will all recognize from reading books about Vlad the Impaler and the Ottoman Empire. Susan then introduces the alien vampire-like characters to the mix in a way that rewrites the whole legend. I was thoroughly engrossed from page one, and am anxious to get to the next installment to see where it leads. It’s a fast, smooth paced read, that builds with anticipation with each new page. I absolutely adored this book. If vampire lore, and science fiction are your thing, you must add this series to your library. An impressive debut. This is my first read by Susan Hamilton and I am so looking forward to many more reads from her.

Synopsis (from back cover): After aliens crash-land in fifteenth century Transylvania, their first contact with humans goes horribly wrong.

The Vambir are a species that resemble demons. They inadvertently discover human blood is a nutrient (but also highly addictive). Ingesting blood brings about a physical transformation that enables them to pass as human. Impressed with their superior strength and vicious fighting skills, Prince Vlad Dracula welcomes them into his inner circle, where they attain power through him.

One Vambir, Kevak, refuses to ingest blood. When spotted by villagers, he is blamed for the sudden string of mysterious deaths, and the legend of Nosferatu begins.

About the Author (from Goodreads bio): I grew up in a time when cartoons were only shown on Saturday mornings, followed by ‘In Search Of’ with Leonard Nimoy, and on weekends the late night tv movies would either be a science fiction film from the 1950s or a horror classic. After seeing the original silent Nosferatu film and the ‘king vampire’ character in ‘Salem’s Lot’, I thought he looked more like an alien than a demonic being. I kept waiting for a movie to come out that would portray him as such. In 2014 I began to write my own story around this theme, which resulted in a self-published trilogy.

I work full time as a mathematics lecturer and at first would try to find time for writing on the weekends, but I’ve decided to make 2018 the year that I don’t let a day pass without writing. I have so many stories yet to tell…

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley

The Beloveds

Genre – Mystery/Dark Humor/Psychological Thriller

Pages – 336

Publication Info – Gallery Books, April 3, 2018

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐

“The Beloveds” by Maureen Lindley had oh so much potential…I fear it fell apart for me with an ending that fizzled and really should have exploded. I loved the dark humor, and I hope I never run into the likes of Betty, (a Hyacinth Bucket escaped from the looney bin, Mayfair Lady type). She is seriously demented and in need of professional help. I fear that she would not take said help however, and would continue on her crazy path of talking to “House” and planning ways to get rid of her brother-in-law, sister and noisy Mayfair neighbors. She is a true psychopath that I loved following all the way through the book. The ending however left me less than satisfied and a bit disappointed.  This was a strong 4 or 5 star read up to that point, and left me saying what the heck just happened. I admit I was saying what the heck is happening all through the book, but in the good way of being amused and entertained. Captivating and dark.

Synopsis (from back cover): An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.

Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.

Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.

Erafeen, Volume 1: Books 1-3 (The Erafeen Series) by David F. Farris


Erafeen Volume 1

Genre – Epic Fantasy

Pages – 1104

Publication Information – Sphaira Publishing, May 19, 2018

Format – Kindle

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


With “Erafeen, Volume One: Books 1-3 (The Erafeen Series)” by David F. Farris, what you get are 3 fantastic epic fantasy books. “The Jestivan, Book 1”, “The Untenable, Book 2”, and “The Uprising, Book 3”. I have each of these books separately in paperback, however, if you don’t own them and would like to, this is a great deal for this set.

“The Jestivan (Erafeen Book One)” debut novel by David F. Farris. This is the beginning of what in my opinion is going to be a fabulous series. When I first started reading this book I thought it might be a little too “young” for my liking. However, once I started getting into the meat of the story I found myself so thoroughly engrossed in the wonderful world and characters that this young writer conjured up. I hate to make comparisons, but if I were to, I would say this book is somewhere between “Harry Potter” and “Game of Thrones” with an Asian (Anime) touch to it. Take a journey you’ll not soon forget to the world of Kuki Sphaira with all its kingdoms and realms, where you will find characters who use special abilities and powers in the time know as K.H., as in 1400 K.H. (Known History). Keep your eyes and ears open for this exciting new artist of words, and the future books in this Epic Fantasy Series, and whatever else he may bring to us. Well done David…

“The Untenable (Erafeen, Book Two)” by David F. Farris is one of the reason I read new, self-publishing and independent writers. This is only David’s second book, but you’d think he’s been at this writing thing for years, as there is a certain maturity to his wordsmithing . It’s a joy to see the growth from one book to the next and you can tell from reading this piece that his heart and soul were left on the pages for us to enjoy and wonder! I was so looking forward to this book after reading the first book in this series “The Jestivan”. This book had more weight to it in substance, quality, and quantity, as it is almost twice the size longer than the first one. His storytelling and world building are phenomenally good and well thought out. The plot and characters are unique and interesting even for a epic fantasy. The flow of the story is smooth, fast and keeps your interest from start to finish. I will be happy to say in the years to come that I read this author when he first started out, and I think he is a writer to be reckoned with as long as his growth continues in the direction it’s going. I highly recommend that if you haven’t read the first book that you do so if you are going to read this one. There is a lot history to the plot and characters that you will most assuredly need to know to keep up with this brilliant piece of fantasy. There is a lot disclosed in this edition of Erafeen and there is much more to come I’m sure.

Excellence and adventure continue in “The Uprising (Erafeen, Book 3)” by David F. Farris. I must start off by saying how much I’ve noticed, and appreciate the growth in David’s work from book one through books two and three. As the characters mature and continue on their adventurous journey they seem to have brought David right along with them, or vice versa. Book one was fun and I thought it had a lot of possibilities and history to be written. Book two showed growth in the abilities of the characters and the storyline. Book three became a major epic fantasy with battles of not only the field but of the mind and heart. The characters are many and some are complicated and complex and require the reader to pay close attention to the background noise and take part in the experience. This is not just a sit back and take in the words kind of read, this really will require you as the reader to become aware of and be educated on each character, kingdom, realm, and plot line. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you cannot allow yourself to be fully invested in the series you are missing out on a complete and utterly moving experience in reading. David is young in age but his word smithing ability shows he is well beyond those years in his imagination and skill. I always look forward to the next installment of this series and as a matter of fact I have already started reading “The Chronicle, Erafeen, Book 4” (not yet available as of this writing, I’m reading it as an advance reader’s copy) and I can tell you that the growth continues. If epic fantasy is your thing this is a must read, if it’s not your thing I think you should give this one a look see, it might just bring you to the dark or light side…David takes world building and character building to a whole new level.

Synopsis (from back cover): Two empires, ten kingdoms, a school of magic, and a world on the brink of calamity.

The world is crumbling, and it’s up to ten elite students of magic to stop it.

Bryson only wants to surpass the legend of his dead father—a fairy tale hero whose name holds weight throughout the Light Realm. But after sixteen years of mediocrity, the world has given up on Mendac’s son.

Despite his failures, he is invited into a group of elite students known as the Jestivan and elected one of two captains with nothing to show for it but his last name. Requesting the respect of his peers is one thing; talk is cheap. As they are thrust into a millennium-long feud between two kingdoms, he must earn their respect by leading with composure.

Pressure mounts as the real identity of his father-figure is exposed and powerful royals are slaughtered. He will infiltrate foreign kingdoms, hunt kings, and fight celestial beings to dispose of those who wrong not only him, but his friends.

But can he stop one man from resurrecting the most dangerous king to ever live?

Here lies an epic tale of triumph, tragedy, and the purpose of existence.

David Farris

David F. Farris was that kid who spent all of his birthday money on Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards. They started his love of storytelling. He’d create his own Pokemon, draw them, give them a biography, physical measurements, attacks, etc. As he grew older—into a bigger kid—he began to draw cartoons through the same process, except in more detail this time. He even drew a block-by-block detailed map of an imaginary city across eight sheets of graph paper. He’d dabble in writing short stories because of his love of Harry Potter, but his specialty was drawing.

Creative writing didn’t become a strong passion until 12th grade, when he wrote a mock epic; The Pokemon Master … Surprise, surprise. But still, he elected to attend Emory University in hopes of bettering his future with something more practical: Organic Chemistry. It took no more than three years for David to realize his mistake and bail.

He became lost after that, as he submerged himself into the depths of competitive gaming. This included double-digit hours of sitting on a chair entirely too close to a monitor with a bottle of Mountain Dew and a box of Nerds by his side at all times. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was working in retail.

Thankfully, he met a friend while gaming. And this friend introduced him to anime. And anime reintroduced him to his passion to build worlds and tell stories. The likes of One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and Fairy Tail and their massive worlds inspired him to create something just as big. And when he read The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, it solidified his desire.
That’s how the epic fantasy series, Erafeen, came to be. 7 years of development and writing has gone into the story.

A Subtle Way (Beth Singer, Book 2) by Greg Roughan

A Subtle Way

Genre – Young Adult/Fantasy/Action-Adventure

Pages – 117

Publication Info – GregRoughan.com, February 3, 2018

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Well, that was special. I love when good things come in small packages. And “A Subtle Way (Beth Singer, Book 2)” by Greg Roughan is jam-packed with a lot of good things. Another quick read filled with adventure, action, secret societies, ancient legend, and moments of self discovery and acceptance of one’s own self. In this edition of the Beth Singer series Greg navigates between the two different realities. One set in the present day where all seems to go along a normal path, and the other in a “valley” where time isn’t measured quite the same as that in the  other reality. While book 1 was pretty much an action/adventure, book 2 welcomes the fantasy genre to the mix giving the book a completely different feel. This series is filled with surprises at every turn and is turning out to be a whole lot more than what I first expected. What I thought was a story about a strong, young, female protagonists adventures in a foreign land is turning into a complex and compelling fantasy adventure. Much has happened thus far, but I feel much more is yet to come in the upcoming “Kushan Empire (Beth Singer, Book 3). It’s not hard to imagine after reading 3 of Greg’s books where he might take us in the next one. He proves that one’s imagination is the only barrier standing in our way. If you open up to the idea of something new and exciting,  you can indeed imagine it. Great characters, a fantastic story and quite simply put, great writing ability that gives you much to think about. If adventure/action and a bit of fantasy is your idea of great entertainment and reading you will not want to miss this little gem of a series. I am anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Synopsis (from back cover): Driven far into the wilderness of Isfastan, Beth escapes into a valley sealed off from the outside world. She discovers a ragtag group of refugees gathered around a withered old man lost in an endless silent meditation. With the help of Oesha, the ten-year-old leader of the group, and Jarrett, an Englishman hiding from the outside world, Beth must learn to thrive in their primitive community if she is to unravel the mystery of her family’s past – and escape the enemy closing in on her trail

Greg Roughan

Greg Roughan is an author and editor who lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Currently the managing editor of a content marketing firm, he’s also worked as newspaper and magazine editor, travel writer, and sub-editor. He loves the outdoors, knows more about wildlife than he needs to, and loves to dive, hunt and hike – especially with his two young children and partner. His first novel, Effra, was set in London where he worked for several years and is set around buried waters such as the Fleet, Effra and Wandle – the ‘lost rivers’ that still flow beneath the famous streets to which they’ve loaned their names. His upcoming books are part of a Young Adult series about Beth Singer, a 14-year-old girl kidnapped in the Far East.

The Valley Apart (Beth Singer, Book 1) by Greg Roughan

The Valley Apart

Genre – Young Adult Action/Adventure

Pages – 64

Publication Info – GregRoughan.com, January 28, 2018

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“The Valley Apart, Beth Singer Book 1” by Greg Roughan is yet another example of excellence in the Young Adult genre. A quick read, not only because of the word count, but because you will get so involved that before you know it you are finished and ready for book 2. A compelling and adventurous story with well defined characters, including a strong young female protagonist. Book 1 sets the scene and the foundation for what looks like a very exciting and intriguing adventure in the Far East land of Isfastan. This is my second read by Greg Roughan. I am already into the second book in the series “A Subtle Way”,  and am happy to have had the opportunity to read his work. Highly recommend for adult and young adult alike who are looking for a quick read stuffed with lots of action and adventure.

Synopsis (from back cover): Kidnapped in a country far from home, 14-year-old Beth Singer faces a cruel test of survival. Alone and in a dangerous land, Beth must find the strength to endure – and unravel the mystery of her family’s fate. A Valley Apart is the first Beth Singer book, and the second novel from author Greg Roughan.

Greg Roughan

An author, journalist and editor, Greg Roughan’s notable stories range from an investigation of the quirky-yet-true history of occultism in New Zealand, to an account of a first-time hunter’s kill.

His first novel, Effra, is a contemporary story of young people in London that weaves in the history of the lost rivers – the city’s buried waterways. He is currently writing a young adult series about a 14 year old British girl kidnapped in the Far East. The first book, The Valley Apart: Beth Singer Book 1, is out now.

Greg lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Visit http://www.gregroughan.com or follow GregRoughan.com on Facebook to stay up to date.

The Unforgotten by Laura Powell

The Unforgotten

Genre – Murder Mystery

Pages – 304

Publication Info – Gallery Books, February 6, 2018

Format – Digital

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐

I received a copy of “The Unforgotten” by Laura Powell through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to say first off that this really isn’t the type of book I would normally read. I was a bit mislead by the fact that this was being advertised by a few vendors as a  “Ghost/Paranormal” read. Alas, there were not ghosts nor were there any paranormal experiences. There was however confusion and a story that was a bit convoluted. I really had a hard time following the story that spanned 50 plus years and kept going back and forth from 1956 to the present. I was confused by the Mary/Betty character. The identity of the killer comes at the very end of the book, which is fine, however it was baffling and I just could not get to that place or understand the reasoning behind the killings. An ambitious debut, but it came up a bit short for my liking.

Synopsis (from back cover): For fans of Louise Penny and Tana French, this haunting debut novel “with a slight Broadchurch feel” (Sunday Herald) explores the devastating repercussions of a long-ago crime as it delves into forbidden relationships, the emotional bond between mothers and daughters, and the dark consequences of harboring secrets.

It is the summer of 1956, and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St. Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the Hotel Eden, the slightly ramshackle boarding house run by her moody, unpredictable mother. But Betty’s world is upended when a string of brutal murders brings London’s press corps flooding into the village, many of whom find lodging at the Hotel Eden. She is instantly transfixed by one of the reporters, the mysterious and strangely aloof Mr. Gallagher—and he, fully twice her age, seems equally transfixed by her.

The unlikely relationship that blooms between Betty and Mr. Gallagher is as overlaid with longing and desire as it is with impropriety and even menace. And as the shocking death toll rises, both Betty and Mr. Gallagher are forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives—and the life of an innocent man—forever.
With narratives that shift from 1956 to the present day and back, The Unforgotten is a mesmerizing and eerie portrayal of two people bound to each other by a secret that has the power to shape, and destroy, lives.

The Sea Was a Fair Master by Calvin Demmer

The Sea Was A Fair Master (Cover)

Genre – Horror/Short Story

Pages – 83

Publication Info – June 5, 2018

Format – Kindle

Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Calvin Demmer is an author that is fairly new to me. I’ve read some of his short stories in other anthologies that were authored by various authors and was quite impressed. So, when I was asked to read and review “The Sea Was A Fair Master” by Calvin Demmer I jumped at the opportunity. This book consists of 23 short stories touching on various sub-genres within the horror genre. Some of the horror is subtle, some is outright brutal. There also a bit of humor thrown in,  which I absolutely love in horror. There are twists, turns, stabs and many horrific surprises in each of these stories. I would have, and could have read 23 more dark tales by Calvin. You may think by the title that all the stories have a nautical theme, but only a handful actually do. This read starts with a bang and continues throughout to entertain, thrill and whet your appetite for more his macabre tales. I highly recommend this if horror is your thing and I look forward to many more reads by this skillful craftsman.

Synopsis (from back cover): “The world’s fate lies with a comatose young girl; an android wants to remember a human she once knew under Martian skies; men at sea learn that the ocean is a realm far different from land, where an unforgiving god rules; a school security guard discovers extreme English class; and a man understands what the behemoth beneath the sea commands of him.

The Sea Was a Fair Master is a collection of 23 stories, riding the currents of fantasy, science fiction, crime, and horror. There are tales of murder, death, loss, revenge, greed, and hate. There are also tales of hope, survival, and love.

For the sea was a fair master.”


Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His debut collection, The Sea Was a Fair Master, was released in June 2018. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com or follow him on Twitter @CalvinDemmer.