Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie by Jaime Johnesse

What you get here is the three previously released Bob novellas, a new never-before-seen novella, and a BONUS short (actually its quite long!) story.

Love, Love, LOOOOVE these covers! They really show the fun that is all Bob.

Bob the Zombie (book 1):
From his unfortunate demise to his eternal rising, issues with rejection, bits dropping off, some exceptional dance moves and an ongoing need for staples we are introduced to Bob!

The humour ranges from smirking to a few Pepsi nose snorts, yes parts of it are pretty gruesome too! (hello! its a zombie novel) but Ms Johnesses writing is so clever, she uses nearly zero profanity, a feat that seems darn near impossible in the horror genre (I would go so far to say that it is suitable for the YA market).

Lots of introduction to a variety of creatures of the Super Natural kind - which bodes well for many, many more books to come! Yippee!
Plus you get a little glimpse of Holly Andrews (which is going to be an AWESOME story!)

A great start to a brilliant new series.... looking forward to the next body part flinging, dance extravaganza adventure!

Bob the Spy (book 2):
Another brilliant (and well written) chapter in the life of Bob the dancing Zombie!

He is such a well fleshed out character, pun intended! With his back story and friends you can't dispute that he is real! In fact he is on facebook, so he must be.

JJ manages to think of every little loop-hole that might be for his strange existence. With the aid of staples and Super-super glue he is able to go on adventures and dance the night away!

This story is of the Warlock/Witch plot to overthrow the human world. It's fast paced with loads of humour along the way, but also some great tension moments.

Yes, as is Bob's way there are some sentimental moments too, but not enough to be sickly.

So make sure you follow Bob in real life on his FB page; Bob the Zombie.

I loved the idea of a Dorothy door and there are some really clever pop-culture nods.

Bob the Valentine  (book 3):
So the wonderfully cheerie Bob (the Zombie) is off on a date with the potential love of his un-dead life. Careful tactics and few body part staplings have brought him to the moments before she walks in looking as stunning as any zombie girl can – JJ does a fabulous job of making the death pallor sound intoxicating.

At the “posh” restaurant our love birds choose their dishes, suitably with a brain tasting theme. However, no date-night is complete without a bit of drama, as Hunters burst in the door and Bob manages to give his usual accurate view on human nature and some kind advice for us all.

There is a plot twist with a smiling ending that had my own heart in my mouth, thankfully I don’t need to Kachunk it back into place!
If you want a good giggle and snort for Valentine's Day, this lovely little short story is for you!

Fall in love with Bob.

Bob the Hero (book 4):
Lilly is still very much in the picture and Bob is still totally smitten. The way JJ describes her does have a certain appeal.

The little social media and pop culture references are rife and fun.  The thought of Z-Harmony or hahaha!

Every nuance of Bob’s undead life is thought out by JJ and she gives such a rounded picture you can’t help but believe it’s all real.

In this chapter of Bob’s life he manages to avert a hold up at the local Laundromat; funny how he still feels he is not a hero.

He might be dead but Bob is still a brave and morally correct guy.

Bob the Mentor (bonus feature):
The story of how he met Holly Andrews – a girl I really want to read more about. This is such a huge part of the book it’s hard to call it a bonus feature – its more like the main attraction.

A Vampire, Troll and Zombie all gathered around a prone body…. Sounds like the start of a joke! But that’s how this new group of friends all meet and go on this new adventure.

Bob and his new friends, Victor & Flea (yes, Flea!)  guide and teach Holly how to use her new and often overwhelming gifts. He does find himself in some weird pickle situations – as only Bob can.

I was so enchanted to read that he had met Jane (the vampire – a Lisa Lane creation).

JJ introduces the reader to whole supernatural world and its glory!  Can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the next instalment.

I love the way JJ writes the humour in, I am always reading about Bob with a smile on my face and the occasional snort. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Into the Velvet Darkness: An Eclectic Collection of Shorts by Kat Yares

What a brilliant and generous set of stories all wrapped up in this one book. Such great value for money.

Kat Yares has excelled herself with this collection.

A Child is born:

What a fantastic way to start this book of short stories. Perfection turns to destruction in this tale of a perfect child. So well written I really felt as if I had read a whole novel, I had emotions for the family and even some insight to the “child”. Great final line.

A Matter of will:
Cal is immortal but he has a mentor, Alex, to guide him and he warned about this type of women. Lucy, total perfection and a possible killer. Who will win out? Felt there could have been more to this story, so was a little disappointed for it to end so soon.

Anywhere by here:
Picking up a hitchhiker never seems to be a good idea! But this one comes with a story, are you sure you want to read about it? Because after I had I wished I hadn’t, talk about give you the chills.

Bed Rocks:
New warming rocks for the bed, that’s all his loving wife asked for that morning, his last day on the job before retirement and such pretty ones he found her too.

Another fantastic ending to this story, I was so enamoured with this perfect family that I was horrified at the outcome – great emotion wrangling Ms Yares.

Murder by modem:
Chat rooms apparently are the new singles bars, but with the same desperate people and same predators hunting them.

Totally loved all the build up and the fabulous ending. Another brilliant dust biter!

Country Plumbing:
Poor Myrtle (I love that name!) she has such a useless son, he cant manage to fix one problematic blocked sink, although with her moaning I was surprised he had not stuffed her down the sink hole.

Although I suppose the moral of story is be careful what you DO stuff down there!

Not sure this was supposed to make me giggle but it did 

The Crystal:
Well this story just left me staggered, what is real and what is imagined. I really enjoyed reading it though and was totally engrossed in Dragons and Knights.

Cleanliness is next to….:
I read this story awhile ago and loved it so much although it did make me jump out of bed and clean like a wild thing; Ms Yares has added to and updated and if possible, its even more brilliant.

Maddie hates to clean, one night after a violent storm certain bits of fluff start to appear.

This is has to be my favourite story as it makes me shudder and giggle every time.

Unrecalled Memories:
This story really upset me, it was so tragic but also terrifying. I cant really explain it without giving the story away and therefore spoiling it, but it does have a huge twist which left me feeling stunned at what people hide.

No more, Mama:
If the last story left me feeling stunned this had me feeling a whole host of emotions from the first to last line. Sadness mostly at what people chose to ignore.

However, the over ridding emotion was joy at the outcome. I am glad that Ms Yares wrote this story, its harrowing but it made me feel strong.

That old saying “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you” really rings home in this little horrific tale of a women terrorised by her fears.

This left me with goosebumps!

Practical Joke:
When the opening line is about a Chicken King taking a bath you have to giggle but that’s not what I was doing by the end of the story. My feet were off the floor by the end and I like furry things!

The Sinkhole:
Poor Tommy he has a life of Do’s and Don’ts. But then he falls down the sinkhole and his life is changed forever.

Short and sharp this left me a bit wide eyed and edgy. Fantastic reading!

Suddenly Sober:
Eeeeek and ooooh! Love how this is related to another story previously told! No spoilers here, brilliant!

The Changelings:
Teenagers or Demons? Hard to tell the difference sometimes; but this little tale should remind you!

The Fan:
It started with Carin getting little notes, stupid ones, nonsensical ones. Then…….

So short you can hold your breath whilst reading, which you will be.

The Tree People:
Oh my, so haunting and sad. A story told of horror, terror and murder.

The Ridge:
Hells Bells I hope this one never comes true!! It made me giggle at the possible source for this story. Wonderfully written, don’t we all dream of murdering our spouses at some point in married life!

A women trying to keep her youth, a man trying to keep his younger wife happy, a new magical face cream, untried, untested – what could go wrong!

The build up is brilliant and finale is expected by still scarymary.

Wishful Thinking:
Poor Mae wants to die, but everyway she can think of would be intentional suicide and whilst she wants out of this life she does not want eternal damnation either. In her dreams she fantasies of far off worlds and exploring them all. Then Zot happens….

I was expecting more from this story but as the book is far from over…..

Miss Amy’s ghost:
Oooh a murder, a bit of intrigue, a haunting and a fabulous little story. Ms Yares at her best.

The Church on the Hill:
A damned town, a damaged township; only Stella knows the truth. Hard to describe without giving the essence of the story away but I really enjoyed the telling and was left a little curious – think this would make a great novella if stretched and filled a little.

Answered Prayer:
Oh my good lordy – be careful what you pray and wish for. What a horrifying ending to a sad little tale.

Eat, Drink & Make:
Big Bertha has several appetites! Whilst I felt the ending coming on this one it was still with a wicked kind of giggle that I enjoyed it! Just beware what you are eating for lunch!

The Truth of Becoming:
Poor John, his life, family and friends wasted and taken by bugs, especially fat little ticks. Or was it?

As he recounts his story to a Dr in the local “nut house” I felt a sort of tension rising, the climax gave me another sinister grin. I love how Ms Yares winds her way into a story and then blasts you out the other side with a differing emotion.

Waiting for Winter:
Knowing how Ms Yares fears snakes I have a feeling this is one of her personal nightmares. It’s a sad and terrifying one on so many levels.

Lost Souls:
Amos has a plan to reunite with his lost love Laura, he just needs Timothy’s help.
What could have been an obvious ending was turned on its head with a little dig of fear in the last line.

Delicate Balance:
Jerry vs Deer. As each attempt to keep them from his garden crop fails his attempts become more and more elaborate and revolting.

The climax was a complete surprise and I loved it!

The Well:
Eaily the longest story in this book. Ms Yares spends her time building the characters and laying down a really believable back history.

Sarah has a problem with her well; she appears to have been housing a rather mean water fairy down there. Strange things that you find down wells apparently!

Threats are made and a sacrifice promised, however Sarah is not sure she can pull it off but in the nick of time she is helped by a very handsome Professor called Jack; but then her son goes missing and crunch time comes for delivering the sacrifice that the water fairy has demanded.

The ending is all very tense and nail biting, what a story to leave until almost last!

I Wait:
Oh! What a way to end the book, with a quick slap to the face basically.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

DEAD: Reclamation (10) by TW Brown

Another smash hit from TWB, I have to pace myself with his books (including the Ava series) as when I pick them up I tend to read straight through. Which can be really irritating as I read it in one, maybe two days if I stop to eat, and then have to wait another six months!

I really enjoyed the opening paragraph. Little Thalia has been on the scene from the first chapter of this series and I have grown to love her. Now that she is growing up it’s such a shame to see her life so sad; although she does not see it this way, she is so upbeat and excited by everything around her. She is now mid-teens as TWB as advanced the book about 8-10yrs.

La Grande township has now made massive changes and is now Platypus Creek. As is usual with the DEAD series there are lots of new people too. I enjoyed Paula Zin the new kick ass chick, not to mention Jim and his bombs! And a new threat is coming to town.

Juan has never been a likeable character for me but even his story line broke my heart a little; but hope is on the horizon for him and the other families he has managed to meet up with, at least I hope so – you never know with the DEAD series, as no one is ever safe.

I have really missed Gemma but I was glad to see she has survived with Chaaya, a biologist she was thrown in a cage with! Yup another horrific story line from TWB and even worse we get to find out what happened to Harold. She eventually finds Vix though and has some closure to her traumatized young life. 

Chad and Ronnie have been settled, to a point, with new character Caroline, again they have all moved forward but we are soon left on a cliffhanger with them. 

Kevin is now with Catie, who has a little surprise in store, I felt sad that he is not with Aleah anymore but that kind of makes sense, his life just goes from conflict to clash!  I was surprised they wanted to settle down in such a fraught neighborhood! But when an old acquaintance shows up all things must change. He was starting to get on my nerves always thinking he could talk his way out of any dangerous situation and liaise with even the maddest of dictators.

One of the new characters, told in an interesting journal style, is the avenging chappie Adam V; so hope we get more of this guy in the final two books.

Immunes seem to be getting it in the neck from all over the place in this books as the zombies themselves have taken a back seat.  But what happened to the funky kid zombies?

I really enjoy how all the characters and places have grown, some have strange tangents to their lives and some have gone off the deep end but then that is “normal” in this new world.

I also enjoy the emotions, feelings etc that TWB gives his characters, not only does he put them through the wringer but you as a reader; if this book does not make you gasp and shake your head then you haven’t been following closely!

The rotating storylines kept me on my toes and wanting to read on as I was desperate to find out what happens next to each group. The catch up, then the story, then the cliffhangers started. Mixed in all the horror, tears and gruesomeness there are some very humorous moments. 

Yes, there are deaths in this book and apart from being spectacular I was more devastated by one in particular than even Steve, although maybe I have mourned him now and have moved on.

To get to no.10 in the series and still hold my interest is quite a feat, it’s still a full on ride of terror but no longer are the zombies the issue, just us normal humans. I used to think I wanted to survive an apocalyptic event – but not so sure now when reading these books, when you think of all the horrors of today’s society and then magnify them with no law or order…. No thanks. Not to mention the lack of hot water, chocolate and cheeseburgers!

I am keen to see how TWB ends this series but also sad to see it finish. Oh well, another six month wait for the next installment!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Hyde by Vince Churchill

Hyde is a dark, erotic thriller that is most definitely twisted, tortured and a great read. Vince Churchill has many titles published but this is my first read by him and I have to say I am impressed. 

I do enjoy erotica, but don't read it often because a lot of those stories tend to get boring, repetitive or have no real plot line, not so with Hyde. 

We are first introduced to Sam, the main character, at the gym and its obvious she can take care of herself; so she should, she is a Detective in a  Major Crimes unit, her personality is a little cliché but works well due to VC writing skills.  

Cut to Simone and VC launches straight into some mind boggling rough sex, finished with a sms text.  Not sure about this as an opening chapter, that much in my face was a little hard to take and took me several attempts to get into, I was also a little confused. However, all becomes clear when we find out how the two are related and Hyde or The Keeper, as the police like to call him, has his next victim.

But The Keeper is not your usual kidnapper, he is on a mission, Hyde is sexy, thrilling, and just weird enough to almost believe, to almost want to  be kidnapped yourself, almost.

The hunt and the game are soon on and it makes for riveting reading.  Naively I thought I understood the plot line and how this would soon pan out along the usual lines and become obvious but VC soon twisted that on its head! 

VC's imagery is creative, making reading Hyde an almost visceral experience; fear and sex are given equal attention and the writing of each is powerfully effective and emotive. 

The story, in my opinion, lends itself to being longer, it could have been expanded and still not felt drawn out, it was almost the clipped and edited version, like editors used to do to SK; put your foot down Mr Churchill.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Shifter Wars: Mind Sweeper by AE Jones

The prologue is heart breaking – are Dalton and Kyle together? Or is Dalton truly gone from her life?   

AEJ is clever to catch up the reader in a few quick sentences, even if the beginning is a little disorientating to start with. 

Kyle has tried to move on with her life after the horrific ending to book one and is now in Nevada post quitting the Supe Squad and an unmentioned but well hinted at row with Nicholas her ex-boss. 

She is now a casino security person and this is how she soon runs into trouble in the shape of Kevin Doyle the Dalmot Demon, who is back and he seems to have a nice character fix! But he remains a demon; slimy and a thief!  

Kyle is still trying to deal with the new added bonus of absorbing people’s memories after her mind sweeping which is playing havoc with her emotions regarding Dalton and showing her all sorts of weird memories which she is trying to piece together.

When Griffin the super sexy leader of the Pack calls out to her for help to solve the current mystery, she is soon back into the swing of things with her old team and I was pleased to be back in the world of Misha and Jean Luc.  

So who or what is plotting against his leadership? Who is Thomas Wilson? And is she now half of the prophesied “Key of Knowledge”? 

Some great new characters too, I totally loved Beatrice, Griffins kick ass sister and little Trina is becoming a major player in this series. Glad to see that Booger/Mathew is back and playing a pivotal role as he is also able to give some light comic relief to some of the darker elements of this story.

Marie the ghostly Grandma of Dalton seems to now be Kyles “Guardian Angel” and boy oh boy does she need one, floating in and out of Kyle’s life with the hint of roses, she is a brilliant character with some great one-liners.

The brilliant TV references are still there and afford little smiles amongst the tension.

Loved the idea that despite being in a “pack” not all shifters are the same type of animal, which of course lends itself to some fantastic storylines.

All of AEJ characters have flaws, they have emotions, they do unpredictable yet normal human things (and some demon ones too!) which makes the story easily readable and not too farfetched, this has to be a believable world to be able to fully immerse yourself in and I just sunk to the bottom of the pool. I can easily get lost in these books, AEJ has such an easy way of writing and there are no errors to distract and her continuity line appears to be perfect, outstanding for such a new author.

So happy to read that books 4 and 5 are on their way!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Angel Manor:Lucifer Falls by Chantal Noordeloos

The tension is pumping from the first pages as CN tells of a small chapter in Angel Manors history, a small but bloody and violent one that sets the mood for the entire book. CN does not shy away from the gore element, moreover she kindly shows you the wet bloody scenes and then slaps you around the face with them a bit to ensure you are equally covered in blood, guts and tears.

Once I was finished reading how the “Order” kept whatever is below sealed in the house I felt quite exhausted; but then CN starts the physiological path of the book, she introduces the main characters and breathes life into them.

Freya is one of three best friends, joining her are Oliver and Bam. Freya has inherited Angel Manor from her batty old Aunt, all families have them but my, oh my this family has spades and buckets of them!

Between them they have a plan to make the huge house into a hotel, famous as much for its beauty, surroundings and food as well as the local legends regarding hauntings and the fall of Lucifer.  It soon becomes clear that the house has other ideas and it bonds with them and starts using their energy to reawaken the horrors that lie within.

Oliver and Bam are from random characters, they too have their own huge sub plots which enhance the terrors and emotional rollercoaster for Freya.

Logan and the Chancers, a group of troubled teenage boys who are working as building apprentices, are employed to help with the renovations, he soon become the lust/love interest for Freya which allows for some hot sex scenes, CN revels in many of these as several of the house occupants are seduced in various ways, she does them well with just the right about of intrusion to make you feel a little uncomfy.

As the house begins to claim more souls to torture in so many unique ways the gore, murder, blood, death and ghostly goings on begin to get more intense by the page but is this all in their minds?  Apparently not! As when Ms Florifera arrives with her paranormal searcher crew it all becomes a little more real as science is proving what the guests are feeling.

Impossibly CN is able to increase the tension as the equinox approaches and all sorts of horror starts to occur, but whatever is floating around in the house does not compare to what is buried underneath, will they be able to keep the seal intact and not unleash this horror into the world.

I loved all the depth to the characters, so much time was spent on their history, development and emotions that I could not help but feel involved which made for some truly shuddering and breath holding moments. The characters are so believable that they drew me into caring and hoping that they made it out alive, or at least in one piece.

CN is brilliant at gaining your attention and then scaring the skin of you, sometimes with subtlety and others with plain all out horror, the ultimate chill is this is book ONE, hells bells what else is coming!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Zombie Fallout 8 by Mark Tufo

LOVE the new style cover!!

This is book no.8 (not including the 3.5 or Lycan Fallout books) and you would think that the series would start to lose its luster or get stuck in a rut, nope!    The craziness that is Talbot and his mad moments, family, friends and dog make for riveting reading. There is no shortage of zombie action, gore and heartbreak. The finale was particularly gross. Many loose ends still hanging in the wind, but MT also opens doors for new story lines, which is quite exciting.

In this chapter of the story Talbot and his family have escaped the huge zombie horde only to find out they have been captured and imprisoned by the Demense group run by Dixon who clearly has a screw loose in that he once loved Deneaux and wants world domination!

In the cell next to Talbot is Dennis, the poor chap who suffered at the hands of Deneaux in the last book. However with the ever present Tommy’s help escape seems, and is, possible, they even find time to utilise some everyday things for some unique uses; the fireman’s hose was both amusing and disgusting in equal measures!

Meanwhile, Will and June in the lab’ have been fascinated by Talbot's blood and are trying to make sense of it, June appears to have found the cure but also, finally, her conscience. Sometimes Karma comes at just the right time.

BT and Justin are now healed but at what cost; just what else have these two nasty lab' rats been experimenting with and what on.

I really enjoyed the other members of the group getting more of a chance to “speak” and be their own entities, especially Tracy. It was interesting to see how they functioned without Talbot directing them. Also fascinating to have those characters expanded and not just have them as window dressing to Talbot; seeing why he fights so hard for them.

Poor Porkchop, what a terrible history and current situation he finds himself in, there was some really horrific things in this part of the story that didn’t include zombies or Deneaux.

How certain people survived is beyond me and I can only hope that MT has some wonderfully spectacular deaths planned for them.  There was also some great back story information on Tommy and Eliza that almost had me feeling sorry for her, almost.

Zombie writers and their cat hatred, what is that?  But, that is made up for with the clear love of Henry and all things dog/other animal.

Trip was his normal hilarious self. The trees when he is looking for coconuts had me in fits of giggles at the mental image. Although that was soon superseded with Bobby Blaze his hotdog and blueberries!

Zombies, fires, floods, warheads, Knights Templar and impending doom – of course Talbot survives! But what spooked me more was the comment Tommy makes near the end of the book about what is coming…..

I really enjoyed all the epilogues, but why oh, why do I now have to wait forEVER for the next instalment.