Lifeboat by A.B. Shepherd #review @ABHPShepherd

Lifeboat, A.B. Shepard

 

Lifeboat synopsis:
Cass has lost everything; her husband, her son, and her will to live. She walks in the dark when sleep eludes her. One sleepless summer night she spies a UFO and discovers a new obsession. It gives much-needed focus to her empty life.

When natural disasters destroy the Earth, Cass and other survivors are rescued and taken to a new world where the human race can begin anew. But something is wrong here. This may not be the paradise they’ve been promised. Survivors are vanishing without a trace.

Can Cass unravel the riddle in time to save herself?

 

Lifeboat is a book that I look back on with a smile. I won this book in a giveaway and having read the authors second book a short story called The Beacon which was whoa! I was eager to get to the authors first book and full length novel.

Having read it, its one I’ll think of fondly as I recall sitting on the train absorbed in the story only to have a guy a few seats over snoring like a bear in hibernation. Hard to focus on the book but I did, and from time to time sat there with a smile on my face because of this guy and his afternoon snooze.

The story is about a woman who you has had a hard time, to overcome or at least cope with her grief she starts wandering a field nearby and spots a UFO. This moment in her life changes the rest of it as she now has a focus, a direction, a passion. She meets fellow UFO spotters and this leads to a journey of little green men and sucks the reader in like you would not believe.

The characters are well written and while the alternating points of view and time line was slightly confusing I just went with it instead of sitting worrying about it. Cass our protagonist was one who you’ve gotten behind and I went wherever she took me. I liked that I was so absorbed by the story that I just let the story flow and the tight grip it had on me there was no way out till the end, which while I felt was a bit abrupt was so damn shocking you just sit there going oh no no no no wtf no she didn’t the author didn’t omg no why no what huh omg omg omg omg wtf wow wow geez really wow < surprise ending you don’t see coming

I won’t say its not the ending I expected as I didn’t plan it out or try and work it out ahead of time like one is will do with some books. Like I said I let the author and Cass just take me, so just running with the story and yet still being gobsmacked should say a lot about how amazing a job the author does. There is a point where I felt and its hard to get in to without giving a lot away that I felt the characters should have asked a ton of questions and had a confrontation which didn’t take place. After the endless questions earlier in the book which isn’t surprising considering the circumstances this later was to me a bit off.

Gripping, enthralling and highly entertaining. This book rocked. I highly recommend it.


A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia in 2009. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world. A.B. Shepherd author photo BW

Lifeboat is her debut novel. The Beacon, her second novel, has an anticipated release date of Christmas 2013.

If you’d like to learn more about A.B. Shepherd please visit her website at abshepherd.net.

A.B. loves to hear from readers. Feel free to contact her at TheRealABShepherd@hotmail.com with your thoughts regarding Lifeboat, or anything else that takes your fancy.

You can also connect with her on Twitter @ABHPShepherd and on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-and-Blogger-AB-Shepherd/336336493057737.

Buy links – Amazon print / Amazon ebook / Amazon UK / B&N / Smashwords / Kobo

 

 

Blue Lights by Hollow Frazer review

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‘One villain, a white room and the deadliest creature he will ever meet.’ 

Swallowed by the harsh sea, Morgan Sanders finds himself trapped in a white room with no entry or exit. Upon awakening, he is greeted by the ghosts from his past. ‘Blue lights’ is a fantasy and supernatural short story that follows the struggle of an antagonist in a fight against his dying body and a sinister realm between life and death. 

Can he beat the odds stacked against him or will he forever be trapped?

I commend the author for trying the effort was clear but I don’t think the execution was quite there. A ghosts of Christmas past type story, only really unpleasant to say the least. While done differently this felt like it tried to do too much in a short span. Perhaps this should have been stretched to a novella

Blue Lights is currently free on amazon

Last Winter We Parted by Fuminori Nakamura #review

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A young writer arrives at a prison to interview a convict. The writer has been commissioned to write a full account of the case, from the bizarre and grisly details of the crime to the nature of the man behind it. The suspect, a world-renowned photographer named Kiharazaka, has a deeply unsettling portfolio—lurking beneath the surface of each photograph is an acutely obsessive fascination with his subject.

He stands accused of murdering two women—both burned alive—and will likely face the death penalty. But something isn’t quite right. As the young writer probes further, his doubts about this man as a killer intensify, and he struggles to maintain his sense of reason and justice. Is Kiharazaka truly guilty, or will he die to protect someone else?

Evoking Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s “Hell Screen,” Fuminori Nakamura has crafted a dark and twisting house of mirrors that philosophically explores the violence of aesthetics and the horrors of identity, asking a deceptively sinister question: Is it possible to truly capture the essence of another human being?

 

I subscribe to the Soho Press newsletter and when I received an email letting me know about Last Winter We Parted I took notice. The premise was interesting so I decided to request a review copy from Edelweiss and I’m glad I did as this book had me hooked like no other in quite some time. Sure I’ve read great books but one that I have fallen asleep reading because I would not put it down, that is new.

It starts of simple with an author visiting a convicted killer to get the scoop so he can write a book on the killings, the killer a talented photographer who has been convicted of burning two women to death. A hard one to discuss without giving too much away but a mesmerising tale of not what it seems and who is who. As the writer delves deeper, the rabbit hole gets curious and curiouser. A dark and twisted tale that I simply did not want to put down. I was mesmerised. Brilliant read though there is a section in about the last third of the book where who’s point of view we’re getting is not at all clear. Part of the mystery yes but highly confusing. Did not matter though as I raced through this story till the heart stopping did not see that coming ending.

Highly recommended Japanese literary mystery. I shall be looking further into the authors other books.

 

Last Winter We Parted will be released in October and is available for pre-order

Amazon / Indiebound / Audiobook / Bookdepository / Bookworld

 

Shadow over Somerset by Bob Freeman #booktour

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I’m very pleased to be a part of the Shadows over Somerset book tour for author Bob Freeman’s first book with Seventh Star Press. More books are to come in this series, right now I have an interview with the author to share. Thanks to Bob and SSP for letting me take part.

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What secrets lurk in the heart of Cairnwood Manor? Michael Somers is brought to Cairnwood, an isolated manor in rural Indiana, to sit at the deathbed of a grandfather he never knew existed. But very soon he finds himself drawn into the strange and esoteric world of werewolves, vampires, witches. and a family curse that dates back to 14th Century Scotland. In the sleepy little town of Somerset, an ancient evil awakens, hungering for blood and vengeance.and if Michael is to survive he must face his inner demons and embrace his family’s dark past.

 

 

Please tell me about yourself.

Well, for starters, my name is Bob Freeman and I bill myself as an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer. I write occult detective fiction, primarily, though I dabble in more traditional horror, sword & sorcery, and, on occasion, occult non-fiction. I live on the outskirts of a rural Indiana town a couple hours north of Indianapolis with my wife and ten year old son, less than two miles from the farm where I was born and raised.

What is something about you that no one knows?

I’m not sure there’s much of anything that no one knows, but the closest thing that comes to mind is my interest in letterpress. I have a dear friend, long retired and in his mid-eighties, who runs a print shop out of the back room of his late wife’s antique shop. There are few things better than the smell of ink and gasoline when they mingle together, especially when the press is humming.

What are you reading now?

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Who are your favourite authors and favourite books?

I’ve never gotten over my obsessions with Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Manly Wade Wellman. I’m also rather fond of Katherine Kurtz, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, George R.R. Martin, and Peter Straub, to name but a few. When I’m hungry for something more… esoteric… I turn to Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Robert Anton Wilson and the like. As for favorite novels, several come to mind: The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Wilson & Shea, Foucault’s Pendulum by Eco, Lammas Night by Kurtz, American Gods by Gaiman, Love is the Law by Mamatas, Crowley’s Moonchild, Howard’s Hour of the Dragon, and one that I often catch hell for, Anne Rice’s Witching Hour.

What is your workspace and writing routine like?

I have a second floor office filled with books, comics, role-playing games, action figures, occult bric-a-brac, and other odd assortments. Therein I have a desk and an antique drafting table, neither of which I get to spend near enough time at. I do manage to hold myself to writing a thousand words a day, minimum. Now, if I could just convince myself to insure those thousand words were written on a single project, all would be golden.

Is there a genre you’ve not yet written but would like to try?

I’ve come close, but I’ve not yet fully committed to writing a full-on gothic romance. I fancy giving that a go before I hang up my hat.

What about the occult interests you?

For me, it has always been about knowing the unknowable, of exploring the boundaries of mind, body, and spirit — and going beyond them. Who doesn’t long to traverse the great dark of the Abyss and unlock the preternatural secrets of the Ancients? I see it as my solemn duty to embrace my True Will, to be all that I can be, spiritually.

The cover and internal artwork for Shadows over Somerset is fantastic, how was this experience of having what you envisioned created for you?

Enggar Adirasa is a tremendous talent. When I realized I just didn’t have the time to create the art myself, I was confident that Enggar would step up and deliver something wondrous, and I was right. He’s brilliant and I can hardly wait to see what he does for Shadows Over Somerset’s sequel — Keepers of the Dead.

Tour Schedule and Activities
8/25 Jess Resides Here Interview
8/25 I Smell Sheep Interview
8/25 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
8/25 Shells Interviews Guest Post
8/26 The Cabin Goddess Review
8/26 Kentucky Geek Girl Top Ten List
8/26 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Top Ten List
8/27 Stuart Conover’s Author Page Interview
8/27 Blog of Sheila Deeth Post on Art
8/27 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Tens List
8/28 Horror Delve Top Tens List
8/28 SBM Book Obsession Guest Post
8/28 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
8/28 Willow’s Author Love Top Tens List
8/29 Bookishly Me Review
8/29 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Interview
8/29 Azure Dwarf Guest Post
8/29 Vampires, Witches, and me, oh my Guest Post
8/30 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Top Tens List
8/30 Bee’s Knees Reviews Review
8/30 A Haunted Head Interview
8/31 Horror Tree Guest Post
8/31 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review
8/31 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals and more! Interview

 

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BobFreemanBob Freeman doesn’t just write and draw occult detectives, he’s also a card carrying paranormal adventurer who founded Nightstalkers of Indiana in 1983.
A lifelong student of witchcraft, magic, and religion, Bob’s studies are reflected in his art, both as an author and illustrator.
Bob lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.
He can be found online at occultdetective.com

Author Links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter

Amazon Links for Shadows Over Somerset:
Kindle Version / Print Version

There’s No Happy Ending by Tiffany Scandal #review

There's No Happy Ending

The world is rotting away. Bodies are melting, buildings dissolving and it’s only a matter of time before the world completely disintegrates.

Despite the world rotting away, lovers Isobel and Dresden are fighting for the future, and their wedding day. Unfortunately, the rotting world isn’t their only challenge. Dresden’s mother is a wealthy woman with powerful secrets who wants only the best wife for Dresden, and Isobel isn’t it.

Dresden’s mother has him kidnapped and held hostage so he’ll not only miss his wedding, but alters him so he’ll survive the rotting world and live with her forever.

It’s up to Isobel to search the apocalyptic world for Dresden while he fights his mother’s mansion of horrors. If luck is on their side, Isobel and Dresden may be able to find one another before the world completely disappears.

 

I was quite excited when Suicide Girl and one of this years new bizarro author series peeps Tiffany Scandal emailed me wanting to know if I would review her book. Bizarro check, suicide girl check. She had me there but she buttered me up by saying I was bad ass and when a suicide girl calls you a bad ass you do whatever the hell she wants.

School has had me quite busy so it took me a while to get there but here I am review at the ready.

Bizarro is a genre where one can and should expect anything in fact its better not to expect anything in particular and just run with what the author throws at you. There’s No Happy Ending is like that and can I say not wrong on the title. Yikes!

This world that Tiffany has created is crumbling to nothing and with a pair of lovers who are so much in love getting to your wedding is quite the predicament. Throw in the most horrible mother/mother in law to be who will go so far as to kidnap her son to lets just say change him and keep him from the woman she doesn’t approve of. Though, I doubt any woman for her little boy would do.

A good read and one worth the sample for those who are new to bizarro and certainly one to check out for those who frequently partake.

Available in print or ebook from amazon There’s No Happy Ending is available now

Tiffany can be found online at her web site / twitter / instagram