Saturday, 31 March 2018

Coming Darkness by Susan-Alia Terry

Archangel Lucifer lives a comfortable life of self-imposed exile with his vampire lover, Kai. When the other Archangels come to him with a problem — Heaven is gone and their Father is missing — he refuses to get involved because not only is it not his problem, but it's probably some elaborate ruse they've cooked up to lure him back into the fold. When he's personally attacked, he finds that he's wrong on both counts. There are other powerful gods at work, gods who believe the current creation is flawed and must be destroyed.

Kai is thrown off balance when Lucifer disappears, and his life begins to spiral out of control. In the past, he never cared that he was looked down upon and called Lucifer's pet. But with Lucifer absent, he's left to navigate a world that doesn’t respect him. Since the only true currency is respect, he must gain it the only way his enemies will understand, through blood.


         Roberta picked up the offending garment with two fingers and threw it back into the corner. The novelty of the man’s sudden disappearance had worn off soon enough; she had her own problems to deal with. One thing she knew for sure was that she had no plans to walk around mostly naked.
         She looked at the hated thing piled in a heap. It wasn’t even clothes. It was nothing but straps, chains, and… how was she supposed to put it on? She squinted at it from her vantage point in the middle of the room. He’d held it up for her, but looking at it now, she couldn’t tell the top from the bottom. Maybe a porn star or a prostitute would wear something with so much negative space—but not her.
         It wasn’t that she was a prude. She would wear lingerie—in private, with a lover. She would not, however, flounce around in public wearing that. It was doubtful that the thing would even fit.
         She plopped on the couch and crossed her arms, not wanting to think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, if she weren’t so fat she wouldn’t be so freaked out by the idea. Skinny women liked flaunting their bodies if the clothes they wore were anything to go by. The thing winked at her in all its strappy glory. If she were skinny maybe she’d wink back and take it for a test drive. Maybe the idea of wearing it wouldn’t terrify her. Maybe.
         Roberta could barely wrap her mind around the whole slave issue. Given the nature of the thing she was supposed to wear, she was pretty sure she knew what that meant, and she didn’t want to think about it. Wrapping her arms around her body, she fervently wished she could go home, even though she no longer knew where home was.
         Five years. She had lost five years. In her mind, it still seemed like she’d worked for The Asshole for only a month. The circumstances around getting the job had always been strange, but she’d thought it more serendipity than anything else. She had just come off of a long job and had planned to take some time off when Bree, her contact, had called.
         “I know you wanted to take some time off, but we’re in a bind, Roberta. We’ll totally make it worth your while if you could help us out.”
         “I don’t know.”
         “Look, he’s run off two temps already. No one’s ever complained about you. If we can put you in with him for a few weeks so you can get things running while he looks for a permanent secretary—that would be perfect. You’ll be doing us a real favor. Losing his business would be bad.”
         “Two weeks? I guess I can postpone my vacation.”
         “You’re a lifesaver. Look, we’ll sweeten the pot for your vacation too. How’s forty an hour sound?”
         “I’ll take it.” She’d almost fallen out of her chair when Bree had quoted the salary.
         The interview with The Iron Lady had been odd. She’d been asked questions that she was sure were illegal: did she live alone, did she have a lot of friends or a boyfriend. How was her relationship with her parents? They’d been asked during what appeared to be a brief chat afterwards, but still—hindsight, of course, told her why. Maybe there were warning bells. Looking back now, she could see the red flags, but then she thought of the money and the gold star on her resume that would be working for The Asshole’s company, and whatever hesitation she’d had evaporated.
         The black guy said that he could restore her memories of those years—did she want them back?
         Her body spasmed with a sudden spike of anxiety. She remembered a month of his abuse. Did she really want to remember five years of it? Her gut reaction was no. As to her friends, she assumed they’d just given up on her, and she had no boyfriend.
         But what about her parents? Granted, she wasn’t close to them but sent them the usual Christmas/birthday greetings. At least she had five years ago. What did they think happened to her? Were they still alive? The oddness of having dropped out of time left her feeling raw, and the only way she knew how to fix it was to again move her thoughts along to the next crazy thing she had to deal with.
         P2. Best. Drug. Ever.
         After rehearsals and classes she’d smoked pot with her actor friends, gotten drunk at the occasional party—but this stuff was totally outside her frame of reference. The high was amazing. It was like nothing she’d ever felt and everything she longed to feel for the rest of her life. So far the downsides appeared to be irritability, mood swings, and a ravenous appetite.
         But then all of that could easily be attributed to suddenly finding out she was a slave held captive in an underground city and not having eaten in who knows how long. What day was it, anyway?
         It was easier to think that it was the drug’s side effects that had made her go ballistic over that stupid thing she was supposed to wear. Because that really wasn’t like her. The man was trying to be helpful, and despite his condescension, he didn’t deserve to be yelled at like that. He was certainly better than The Asshole, and she’d never gone off on him. She really needed to apologize.
         Throughout her mind’s rant, Roberta paced the room. She could feel the agitation rising within her and took deep breaths to try to calm down. She was trying her best not to think about Uriel.
         What if he hadn’t enthralled her? Gregory would have disappeared, and maybe she’d still have her life. Okay she’d lost five years and probably would have continued to lose more—but at least she wouldn’t know. As disgusting as that thought was, it was better than her current reality.
         She could feel her desire to bask in Uriel’s presence warring with her desire to scream at him for ruining her life. What really hurt was that she knew he didn’t care now and hadn’t cared then. He’d gone right on about his business, intending to leave her like that. Bastard. He was an angel, for God’s sake. Didn’t he have a conscience—some kind of holy code that said fucking with human minds was wrong?
         There was a knock at her door.

Author Bio:

They say it’s never too late to find and pursue your passion. Turns out they’re right. Although Susan loved to read, she didn’t start writing until she was in her late 40’s. A stint in grad school helped her hone her craft, and now she happily spends her days making up stories and figuring out how best to emotionally (and sometimes physically) torture her characters.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Servant of Rage by A.Z. Anthony

Title: Servant of Rage
Series: Bloodrage Trilogy #1
Author: A.Z. Anthony
Publication date: April 3rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

To kill an heir is to claim their power. But at what cost?

As the khan’s fiercest headhunters, brothers Subei and Bataar are feared across the steppe. When they’re struck by lightning from a freak storm, however, they awake to find unnatural powers growing within them. And what’s more, they’re not alone.

All across the land other “heirs of the ancestors” have been imbued with these powers. Some call it a gift. Others, a curse. The khan calls it opportunity.

Under the tutelage of two infamous women – one a conqueror, the other a monk – the brothers are sent to the lands of the mighty Zhong empire to hunt heirs and consume their power for the good of the khanate.

With each kill, their powers grow. But so too does something else, boiling beneath the surface until it breaks free in uncontrollable fits of violence. As these so called bloodrages grow stronger and last longer, Subei and Bataar must weigh their duty, and their honor, against the unnatural madness growing within.


         Here was a problem. The power was growing stronger. He could feel it rising. What was once the faintest stirring deep down inside had become a constant, buzzing excitement. It was always on his mind, refused to be forgotten, as if begging to be used. Yet now, standing before the training dummy, his arm extended, nothing happened. The scars stayed the same dull silver. The energy buzzed within, but didn’t rise. Didn’t flood up through his chest and down his arm as it had in his fight against the old woman. Subei cursed and turned away, eyes cast down, avoiding the crowd of eager faces that looked on. Seemed the entire damned camp had turned out to watch.
         He’d wanted to practice in private, but the khan had insisted. Said it would embolden the men for the coming war. And so here he stood, Bataar beside him and half the training grounds cleared solely for them to learn to harness the power of the ancestors. The other half of the grounds might as well have been empty as well, the warriors there only pretending to train, swinging half-hearted blows at each other as they resisted the urge to stare outright.
         Subei raised his arm to glare at the scars. Damned things had worked when he least expected it. Now, when he needed to understand them, they remained defiant.
         “It’s okay to have performance issues,” Kashi said with a wink. “Happens to the best of us.”
         Subei grumbled and tossed a quarterstaff at his brother. Kashi danced away, laughing.
         “Do the orb again!” someone shouted from the crowd. A general cheer of approval followed. Subei pretended not to hear it, cheeks heated as he turned to Bataar.
         “Hunting I understand. Fighting I understand. But this…what is this?” Subei shook his head. “You feel it too, right? Like the power’s growing inside?”
         “Feels like indigestion, if I’m being honest.” Bataar frowned. “But yes, I feel it.”
         “Then what’s happening? A day ago I was throwing lightning from my hand. Now…” Subei looked at his open palm. Nothing but sweat-slick skin and a bit of dirt. “Now the only thing I’m throwing is quarterstaffs at my smart-ass brother.”

Author Bio:

A.Z. Anthony is best known for his genre-warping fiction whose popularity commonly crashes global markets. Also, his humility. More realistically, he is the author of several award-winning short stories. His debut novel, "Servant of Rage," releases April 3, 2018. He’s also hard at work on an additional standalone novel, the two sequels to "Servant of Rage," and is a contributor at The Fantasy Hive.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Elf King by Lorraine Hellier

Title: The Elf King
Author: Lorraine Hellier
Genre: Children / MG Fantasy

Bay Leaf is the new Elf King and must take his Oath of Allegiance. His sister, Sweet Pea, demonstrates her love and support on a perilous journey to the Mountain Shrine.
An enchanted book offers advice and guidance from their ancestors and warns Sweet Pea to take care of her brother. Will her interference resolve Bay Leaf’s heartache?

My Review:
 An enchanting, easy to read, fantasy aimed at middle-grade readers.
Join Bay Leaf, Sweet Pea, and their family and friends, on an adventurous journey filled with mystery and magic.
The characters were believable and charming. The support and friendly bickering between brother and sister was delightful.

The Elf King is the first book of a trilogy and I am looking forward to reading the other books!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

Author Bio:

Lorraine writes from her canal-side home near the cathedral city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. She visits local schools offering Author Visits and Creative Writing Workshops. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators supporting and encouraging other members.

Lorraine loves to travel, a visit to New Zealand inspired this novel.

The sequel “The Elf Quest” will be published April 2018.

The Grown Ups’ Crusade by Audrey Greathouse

Title: The Grown Ups’ Crusade
Series: The Neverland Wars #3
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Gwen has returned to Neverland with Peter Pan and the lost children, but this time, the adults are following close behind.
The Anomalous Activity Department has plans to finally conquer Neverland by bringing the final battle to the vulnerable island. The children will have to rally fairies, mermaids, and allies from other magical realms to stand a chance against the shadow-casting army of grown-ups heading for them.

The black-coat soldiers are far from their only problem. Lasiandra is missing. No one has seen her since Gwen left her at the lakeside with Jay, and the mermaids searching have found only grave omens in the stars. With the island on the cusp of a war that threatens to strip the land of its magic, the last thing Peter and Gwen need is the ancient flagship that appears on their horizon, sailing pirates straight for their shores.

When the battle begins amid old and new enemies, Gwen’s maturity will be a double-edged sword. She will either grow stronger or grow up… maybe both.

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A Mermaid Goes Missing

         Gwen gathered fruit as fast as she could in the dim of the early morning. Mangos and marionberries, peaches and papayas, star fruit and oranges… she shoved the land fruit into her bag, never breaking pace as she trekked weast across the island. She needed to get to the coast and back before any fairies awoke. The entire fairy population had indulged in joyful revelries the night before, celebrating some amorphous holiday unknown to humans. The dawn would find even the most temperate fairies still lolling in drunken dreams and merry slumber. But dawn had not yet arrived and not everyone slept; stars still speckled the bluing sky and certain inhabitants of Neverland were still speaking with them.
         Tromping over vines and fungi, Gwen bushwhacked her way through the forest-jungle on anxious feet. The mermaids had not been helpful as of late.
         The new mermaids she’d met wouldn’t even give her their names. Eglantine and Cynara had been snide at best, and contemptuous at worst. Gwen wouldn’t have minded it—she didn’t care what mermaids thought of her—but she felt certain they knew what had happened to Lasiandra and refused to explain. This drowsy morning offered her a chance to tempt them with an overabundance of land fruit without anyone noticing. She would persuade the mermaids to cede their starry secrets and hurry back before any stray fairy or curious child found her at the incriminating lagoon.
         Gwen reached the wood’s end and hurried down the steps carved into the chalky cliff face. She moved so fast she half-flew toward the slender figures half-submerged in the lagoon.
         Gwen had not seen Lasiandra since the night she escaped with Jay from Lake Agana. In the chaos, she had never retrieved the scale from Lasiandra, and thus lost her ability to call her friend. She hadn’t worried about it—until days and weeks passed without sight of her at the lagoon.
         “What business have you with Lasiandra?” Eglantine had demanded last time Gwen visited. “What matter is she to you?”
         “I’m just worried about her,” Gwen had answered, innocent and truthful. The region’s entire Anomalous Activity Department had been on duty that night, trying to apprehend lost children and capture whatever magic followed them. Lasiandra’s disappearance was ominous, to say the least. A few fairies had not returned from the mission, and there was no question of what fate had befallen them.
         In response, the mermaids had only mocked her, contorting their melodic voices into cackling imitations of her land-dwelling accent, “I’m just worried about her.”
         “Worried about her! Concerned about a mermaid?” Cynara had declared, insulted and amused. “We are not of such a feeble nature as you landmaids. Mermaids have more strength in a single scale than you have in all of your heart. You need not worry for a mermaid, girl. We can take care of ourselves.”
         Gwen had wanted to believe her.

Author Bio:

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Ouroboros by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

Title: Ouroboros
Series: Circuit Fae #2
Author: Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: LGBTQ+, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Syl’s a princess of the fair Fae.
Her girlfriend Rouen is a princess of the dark Fae.
Mortal enemies. Girlfriends.
Relationship status: It's Complicated

All introverted geek girl Syl Skye wants is to get close to her girlfriend. But when you can kill with a simple touch, a normal date night’s not really in the cards. As it happens, Syl is also a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae. Last year after a freak accident, her power Awakened, granting her white flame to purify the darkness.

Rouen Rivoche is that darkness—a dark Fae princess whose power to bewitch mortals is as terrifying as the violet lightning she controls. Rouen is Syl’s total opposite. Her mortal enemy.

She’s also Syl’s beloved girlfriend.

And even though they joined forces to defeat the evil Circuit Fae who harnessed the killing magic in technology to take over the school…that was so last year.

Now, Syl’s touch could mean Rouen’s death. Her increasing power is spiraling out of control, threatening to burn down everything she and Rouen have built together.

Their lives, their love, their very world..


Author Bio:

Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance--where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.

She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she's clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.

She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.

GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.

Guest Post by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge:

Ten Things I’ve Tried But Will Never Do Again.

  1.   Date a man
  2.   Wash a cat
  3.   Jump from a moving vehicle
  4.   Ride a horse bareback
  5.   Eat a “Fluffernutter”
  6.   Ride the Tower of Terror
  7.   Waterski
  8.   Camp in cold temperatures
  9.   Watch all the Twilight movies
  10.   Watch an ER crash team try to resuscitate a dead person 

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

One for the Price of Two by Howard Weiner

Title: One for the Price of Two
Author: Howard Weiner
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Fraternal twins are raised by an ambivalent aunt who provides an unusual childhood experience. One twin leaves home to join the armed forces and is ultimately assigned to a Special Forces unit conducting clandestine operations in North Korea. The death of one his unit members produces an introduction to an organized crime family specializing in murder for hire. The funeral for the family's son and an interest in their daughter brings new blood and methods to the family business.

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Opening the leather bag, he removed a smaller explosive device and a metal strap designed to hold it firmly in place beneath the bottom of the tank. The thick, blast-proof strap had tightening bolts at each end. By turning the bolts clockwise, Bell removed what little slack there was. When he could turn the bolts no further, the taut metal straps pushed the device firmly against the metal shell of the gas tank.

When he was finished and the leather bag much lighter, he paused before sliding out from underneath the vehicle. His intent was to exit from the same side he entered. But then he heard DeFaeo’s unmistakable voice.

He was trapped.

Bell could hear DeFaeo and Lenny disagreeing about some aspect of the new office. They came to a stop directly behind the rear liftgate.

“Boss, I’m only telling you what you already know.”

“Which is?” DeFaeo asked.

“The car is a safer place to work—all things considered.”

“Lenny, you’ve already made that argument. Let me see if I can recall? Oh yeah, we have a 360-degree field of vision. We can see anyone come and go. Right?”

DeFaeo was no more impressed with this argument now than when he first heard it. The irony wasn’t lost on Bell as he lay prone beneath the SUV and only feet away from both of them.

“Look, I’m hungry. We’re late as it is. Let’s go, now, please?”

Lenny lead the way to the rear passenger door. The car floor above Bell’s head crept an inch or so closer as DeFaeo’s weight was transferred to the thick, upholstered seat. Lenny closed the door and moved to the back of the vehicle on his way to the driver’s side.

Bell knew he had to make his move now, or risk being discovered—and worse.

As quietly as he could, Bell slithered to his right side—away from the garage’s exterior wall and in the direction of the Honda in the adjacent parking stall. Lenny opened his door and took his seat, starting the engine.

The engine noise prevented Bell from hearing the conversation inside the car. Lenny took the opportunity to look at his employer in the rearview mirror to continue his arguments against the new office space, but not before placing the transmission in reverse. The car lurched rearward for a foot, trapping Bell’s pant leg at the cuff beneath the tire.

Author Bio:

Howard Weiner is a recent addition to the literary genre of fiction. Writing mysteries, thrillers, crimes—with a touch of romance—an approach described by one reader as “one bubble off.” Many authors sharing the genre have characters whose fortune is determined by others. They literally have dodged the bullet that otherwise would have killed them. Weiner’s characters make their own fortune—good or bad—and they live with the results.

Weiner’s own experiences are blessed with no small number of noteworthy characters and events. He brings these slightly off-kilter individuals to life, complete with their own stories and dramas. Like the child prodigy in his first novel, "It Is Las Vegas After All", who comes to the starting edge of adulthood and then loses the approval of his doting parents, the sponsorship of one of America’s great institutions of higher education, and gains the enmity of his girlfriend’s father—an international arms dealer—to become a home-grown terrorist operating on U.S. Soil.

A survivor of rich, nuanced bureaucracies in the public and private sector, Weiner writes about characters whose career choices and decisions are morally questionable. A student of personal behavior in complex circumstances, Weiner brings these often cringe-worthy characters to life. Some are amoral, others immoral in a narrow slice of their lives, yet they otherwise look and act like people we all know from work or even childhood. Like one of the female leads in his novel, "Serendipity Opportunity", an out-of-the-box thinker who flunks most of life’s basic relationship tests, yet she is someone you never want pursuing you in the cause of justice. There’s a former foreign security official who uses his protected status as a witness for federal prosecutors to provide cover for his own mayhem and murder in Weiner’s third novel, "Bad Money".

Many of Weiner’s stories are born out of real life events: The mix-up in luggage claim at the airport in, "Bad Money", the chronic high school slacker in "Serendipity Opportunity" whose one stroke of good fortune creates his opportunity to perpetrate a complex series of frauds, or the brilliant student in "It Is Las Vegas After All" who uses his prodigious talents toward an evil end.

As a former federal official, Weiner can neither confirm nor deny having the highest security clearances in classified security programs. Yet, his knowledge of the dark web, criminal organizations, and security organizations takes stories from the popular press to the next level.

Howard Weiner is giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC during this tour.
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Monday, 26 March 2018

Jinxed by Thommy Hutson

Title: Jinxed
Author: Thommy Hutson
Publication date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult

High School Can Be a Real Killer

Break a mirror
Walk under a ladder
Step on a crack

Innocent childhood superstitions …

But someone at the secluded Trask Academy of Performing Arts is taking things one deadly step further when the campus is rocked with the deaths of some of its star students.

Layna Curtis, a talented, popular senior, soon realizes that the seemingly random, accidental deaths of her friends aren’t random—or accidents—at all. Someone has taken the childhood games too far, using the idea of superstitions to dispose of their classmates. As Layna tries to convince people of her theory, she uncovers the terrifying notion that each escalating, gruesome murder leads closer to its final victim: her.

Will Layna’s opening night also be her final bow?


My Review:

This book was a fun read, and brings to mind the horror/slasher films of the '80s and '90's. Think Nightmare on Elm Street... Friday the 13th... Scream... and you have the tone of this book.
The prologue sets the mood with a tragic accident.
Then fast forward to the present day, and a group of teens at a performing arts school on a remote island, being killed in imaginative ways.
The 'WHY' kept me reading right through to the last page, and the typical 'horror movie' ending!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.)

Author Bio:

Born and raised in Upstate New York, Thommy graduated from UCLA and launched his career co-writing the story for the Warner Bros. animated hit SCOOBY-DOO IN WHERE’S MY MUMMY? He followed that with co-writing the concept and additional material for CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO!

His career then took a thrilling turn when he wrote and produced several definitive genre film retrospectives for television and home entertainment: SCREAM: THE INSIDE STORY, NEVER SLEEP AGAIN: THE ELM STREET LEGACY, MORE BRAINS! A RETURN TO THE LIVING DEAD and HIS NAME WAS JASON: 30 YEARS OF FRIDAY THE 13th.

He was also a staff writer on Hulu’s daily web series “The Morning After,” a smart, witty, pop culture program aimed at getting viewers up-to-date on the latest entertainment news and celebrity interviews.

Thommy also produced the critically acclaimed feature THE TROUBLE WITH THE TRUTH, an insightful relationship drama starring Lea Thompson and John Shea. He also produced DREAMWORLD, a quirky, romantic dramedy.

He co-wrote and produced ANIMAL for Chiller Films and Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films. The project debuted in iTunes’ top ten horror films (reaching #1) and became the network’s highest-rated original movie.

Continuing his passion for uncovering the stories behind the story, he went on to produce CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF FRIDAY THE 13th, which is the most comprehensive look at the popular film franchise.

As an author Thommy crafted a limited-edition coffee table book detailing the making and legacy of Wes Craven’s 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. A trade version distributed by Simon & Schuster reached number one in’s Movie History & Criticism category. He also has a deal with Vesuvian Media to write a YA thriller trilogy with the first book due out spring 2017.

He produced and made his feature directorial debut with THE ID, an independent psychological drama/thriller. Filmmaker Magazine stated it was “a deeply unsettling thriller that’s as moving as it is frightening…with skillful, provocative direction that has echoes of early Polanski.”

Most recently, Thommy wrote the screenplay for CineTel Films’ supernatural horror film TRUTH OR DARE. He is also directing, writing and producing a documentary with Clive Barker’s Seraphim Films in addition to developing other film and television properties with the company.

As an author, he is currently writing another book that definitively details the history, making and legacy of another fan-favorite genre film from the 1980s.

A member of the Producers Guild of America, Thommy continues to develop unique, compelling and provocative projects across multiple genres for film, television, publishing, and home entertainment through his company Hutson Ranch Media.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Duck, Duck, Moose by Joy Heyer

Duck’s best friend Goose is gone for winter and Duck is lonely. The animals try to cheer Duck, but Duck, Duck, Pig is too messy, and Duck, Duck, Moose is too scary.
Will Duck be alone until Goose gets back? Or can Duck come up with a game they all can play?

Joy Heyer lives in Virginia with her loving husband and three of her four crazy children. Her oldest child now has a child of her own, making Joy a grandma.

Her family recently convinced her to get a dog. What was she thinking? The dog now follows Joy everywhere, waits loyally at the front window every time she leaves the house, and goes berserk when she comes back, even if she was only gone for 10 seconds to get the mail.

In her spare time….wait, what spare time? Whenever her children and dog permit, she loves to read, write, paint, and dream up home improvement projects.

Interview with Joy Heyer:

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing grew from my love of illustrating. I love how children’s books combine words and images to make a complete story. The words come to me as I draw the story.

So you designed the book cover and did the illustrations?
Yes, I am the illustrator. I actually love drawing more than writing and spend most of my time drawing. When I think of a story, it usually comes in the form of pictures first. The words come second.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
My favorite part of writing is creating sounds and rhythms with the words that are fun to read out loud.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
You know you have good characters if their personalities demand their own name. Sometimes those names have meanings that fit the characters personality. But it is always the character who chooses the name.

Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
I really like moose. He was my favorite to paint and I loved inserting a fun personality into the drawings.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would counsel myself to get to work! It took me a long time to put in the work required to reach the skill level needed to create professionally. It takes a lot of work and practice to become good at anything—including writing and illustrating.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I’m not drawing and writing, I love to spend time with my family. I also like to dream up home improvement projects but I know I don’t have time to do them so they are just dreams.

Which fictional character, book or film, would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Anne Shirley. She is so spunky, fun, and imaginative! 

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am a procrastinator. I would change that. It would save me so much stress…

What three words best describe your personality?
Happy, caring, and a little feisty.

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Saturday, 24 March 2018

Dominion by Julie Hall

Title: Dominion
Series: Life After, #3
Author: Julie Hall
Publication date: March 19th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

After defeating the red dragon’s legion of bloodthirsty demons, Audrey can finally settle into the afterlife with the knowledge her family is safe. But her quest for a perfect existence shatters the moment Logan is kidnapped in an attempt to bend her to Satan’s will.

Audrey must now travel to the one place no hunter has ever ventured to save the man she loves . . . Hell.

Savage demons, desiccated corpses, life sucking zombie trees, and a land of death and rot await Audrey and her friends as they battle through the fiery realm.

But Logan’s freedom comes with a price . . . the destruction of Audrey’s happily ever after.

As Satan schemes for dominion over all the realms, Audrey learns that some acts may be beyond redemption.


      I ran toward where I thought the demon was with my sword held out in front of me, the blade blazing like an inferno. I’m sure I looked like a complete idiot, but if I was going to accidentally run into something demonic, I wanted the pointy end of my sword to hit first.
      I skidded to a stop when the mist cleared enough to reveal the backside of the Goliath battling Kaitlin. My gamble paid off—the giant creature was too distracted fighting my friend to notice me—but its sheer size gave me pause.
      Thank goodness Kaitlin couldn’t see this thing, or she’d probably pee herself. Heck, I was close to losing bodily control, and that beast wasn’t even facing off with me.
One cut was not going to do it, holy fire or no. The thing was easily the size of a small house. Even if I plunged my blade right into the creature, it would most likely swat me away like a fly before I got the chance for a second blow.
      An idea formed in my head. Not one I liked, but the only one I could come up with. If I could take care of the tentacle-like appendages attacking Kaitlin first, there was a chance I could then climb up its back and sink my sword into something that would put the creature down.
      This was insane.
      Once I started cutting off appendages, this massive demon was going to start attacking me right away.
      Shoot, I’d better be fast. This was going to get messy.
      I bounced on the balls of my feet for a quick second before jumping into the fight.
      I managed to cut through two of the barbed tentacles in one swing. They flopped to the ground and wiggled as if still attached. Nasty. The stumps that remained squirted black blood. That was new. Usually my sword left only charred flesh in its wake. And the things I cut off weren’t turning to ash either. It had to have something to do with the realm we were in.
      Lost in thought, I ducked a moment too late, and one of the creature’s wiggly arm-like things clipped me on the shoulder. I slammed into the ground, hard. With a shake of my head I bounced back to my feet and charged.
      Now that I could see clearly, I zeroed in on the demon’s remaining limbs. They flailed through the air like knives aimed at my head.
      Time disappeared as I fought. Any blow I landed cut through its shell-like flesh without difficulty. Shrieks of pain and outrage rent the air.
      One more wiggly limb to go, and I would be on to phase two of my plan. The crazy part where I somehow managed to get high enough on the demon’s body to take off its head, or at least plunge my sword into its skull . . . repeatedly.
      With a satisfying swipe, I lopped off the last limb. I was covered in the demon’s slimy black ichor. I preferred it when the creatures charred and ashed. So this was what the other hunters went through when they fought with the enemy.
      Didn’t like it one bit.
      In a surprise move, the demon suddenly threw its body in my direction. I dove to the side to get out of its way. My sword flew from my hand and landed somewhere unseen.
      Did that fat demon just try to squish me?
      Dazed, I shook my head and looked up in time to see the creature lumber to its feet and come at me again.
      Scrambling for purchase on the parched ground, I only just managed to evade getting flattened a second time. The demon’s razor sharp jaws were only feet from where I lay, and it twisted and snapped at my feet.
      Holy cow, it’s trying to eat me!

Book #1

Book #2

Author Bio:

Julie Hall is a USA Today bestselling YA fantasy author and 1st place winner of the 2012 Women of Faith national writing contest. She was also was awarded "Best Debut Author" at the 2017 Ozarks Indie Book Festival.

Before writing her first novel Julie worked as a film publicist and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous . . . as in she would gently nudge them to let them know their meal had arrived during press interviews.

She now spends most of her "office hours" with her two furry writing buddies. Her daughter thinks that mommy's superpower is “sleeping all day,” but that’s because she’s often awake until the wee hours of the morning weaving tales of adventure in worlds of her own creation. When asked in an interview what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’s quoted to have answered, “to never have to grow up.”

She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her four favorite people--her husband, daughter, and two doodles (because dogs are people too).

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Long Live Dead Reckless by Safari Spell

Title: Long Live Dead Reckless
Series: Long Live Dead Reckless #1
Author: Safari Spell
Publication date: July 19th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Talor Gardin may be a princess, but her life is no fairy tale.

A year ago, her mother died and her father burned down their house. Now with a father in and out of a mental ward, she’s working a minimum wage job to finish her last semester of college. To make matters worse, she gets itchy every time a guy makes a move on her. The itch could be anything, really: a desire to escape her haunted hometown, a financial windfall, the name of some vampire…or all the above. Whatever the reason, she thinks the answers are written in the freckle constellations of her cute new coworker, Sage Talis.

Sage is the quiet, polite type with plenty of secrets – like fangs and a price on his head – and Talor can’t figure out what makes him so irresistible until she hears him sing. But when cryptic letters appear on her wrist, Talor is thrust into a world where fantastic creatures lurk just below the skin, strangers keep calling her a princess, and everything she’s been through is nothing compared to what’s coming.

Guest Post by Safari Spell:

The Best And Worst Things About Being A Writer

To me, the best thing about writing is being able to disappear in your own imagination. Here there be magic, my friends! There are few things as wonderful as getting lost in a really good book, and if we do our job as writers, that’s what happens to us when we write, too! If we aren’t absolutely obsessed with our characters, we aren’t going to incite anyone else to be, either. I think the possibilities are what make being a writer bearable. Not only can we write about anything we imagine, but we never know what influence our vision will have on a total stranger.

Most of us know we’ll never be a bestseller or even make a living wage from our novels, but that doesn’t stop us from sealing a bit of our souls inside a book that might never be read. Creating is what we do, even if no one ever reads a single word we write. And though it costs a good bit of our sanity and a whole lot of coffee, it’s just worth it.

The worst thing about being a writer is literally everything else - editing, revising, bad reviews, and rejection. You’ll want to write something you don’t feel qualified to. You’re always going to be aware of your limits and they’ll frustrate you. Editing is tedious work and you still end up with typos (every.single.time.). Your success can be dependent on a dozen things you can’t control, like moody publishing trends and whether or not you have a marketing budget.

Bad reviews will burn because your heart is made of paper by the time you expose it to the world. Agents will reject your work and never say why. Those closest to you might not be supportive of your writing. Being a writer is painful and tough, and getting better at it is a long process.

While it may seem like the negatives far outweigh the positives of writing, never underestimate the power of a single devoted fan. Authors benefit a lot from reader reviews, and you’ll never know how much we appreciate them. There have been several times I was so discouraged I nearly deleted everything I’ve ever written. I hardly have a substantial fan base, but right about then a glowing review would pop up or a sweet fan letter would nestle in my inbox. Kindness is powerful stuff, and you don’t even have to be a writer to wield it.

See? Magic.

Author Bio:

Safari Spell is a native of Albany, Georgia. She has a BA in Journalism from Valdosta State University. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband, hilarious daughter, and a backyard jungle harboring all the dinosaurs everyone thinks are extinct. Her dreams include chasing autumn around the globe, owning a wallaby, and riding a camel for at least nine seconds.