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 

The Fall by Stephen Cost #coverreveal with #giveaway

 

For thousands of years, Death walked behind the dark veil of the living, waiting to ferry the dead. That is, until the day that Death took a life for pleasure rather than duty. On that day, the first Reaper fell to Earth. Now, Reapers live among us, craving the taste of death, forcing them to kill to satisfy their immortal hunger.
Giles Reid fell more than 300 years ago starving for the taste of death, only to find himself drowning in a sea of the living and blinded by a hunger that forces him to kill. In the centuries since his fall he has tried to be more human, desperate to live a life that makes up for what he is and the wrong he has done. Driven by his guilt over killing, he has chosen to feed only on evil; humans that have never been a threat to him but who are always a danger to others. That is, until the day he tries to feed on a human as strong, fast and cunning as himself; a human who, it turns out, has been hunting him. Now he is being pursued by the very evil he has fed on for centuries, embroiled in a deadly cat-and-mouse game, where friends and other Reapers connected to him are simply pawns on a chessboard waiting to be sacrificed. Giles is left with a choice, save the life of the women he loves, the daughter of his mentor, or betrays her for his own survival.

To save the woman he loves, Giles will have to be the monster he is.

Stephen Cost was born in Wexford Ireland and raised in a small seaside town not far from Dublin.  From a young age he would spin dark tales and write them down for his own amusement.  At the age of 13 he moved from his home in Ireland to America and his love of dark American cinema took root.
He passes his free time, when not writing, by reading horror and fantasy genre novels in addition to watching science fiction and horror movies.
He graduated from University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.  A computer engineer by trade, he specializes in integrated system services and uses the knowledge gained from his degree to write emotionally captivating urban fiction.

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Author Crymsyn Hart Death’s Dance #booktour

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Welcome to my stop on the Crymsyn Hart tour for her new book and first book with Seventh Star Press Death’s Dance. I’ve got an interview with the author to share.

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Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are. Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost. From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance. From there things went from bad to worse. Death’s Dance is the first book in the Deathly Encounter Series

 

Please tell me about yourself

Hello Jess, thank you for having me. What is there to tell about me? LOL. Well I have been writing professionally for eight years now. I have published over eighty different works. I have been married for ten years, have three crazy dogs, and a day job in insurance that keeps me busy. I read tons of stuff, have a love for all things vampire and horror. And well… I love to write.

What is something about you that no one knows?

Wow you want the deep, dark, and deadly secrets. I’m not sure I can say anything unless you want to deal with my muses. Hmm…one thing that I can share that no one really knows is that I am closeted puzzler. I love doing puzzle.

What are you reading now?

Currently I am reading, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Thankfully I finished The History of Embalming. Now that was a very dry read, interesting, but put me to sleep after a few pages.

Some favourite books and authors?

Some of my favourite books are The Making of Monster by Gail Petersen. The Vampire Huntress Series by L.A. Banks. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Favourite authors that I read no matter what, Christopher Moore Nancy Kilpatrick L.J. Smith Clive Barker

What is your workspace and writing routine like?

My writing workspace is usually sitting on my couch with the dogs piled on top of me. LOL I have an office where I do my day job work, but I like to keep the day job and my writing separate. I even have two separate computers for it too. Although once a week, I gather with my friends and fellow authors at the local Starbucks and we write or procrastinate. However, my house and my office is filled with pictures of ravens, fairies, dark gargoyles, all things that are conducive to my writing style. Good thing my husband and I have many of the same likes.

Is there a genre that you haven’t written but would like to try?

I thought about writing a mystery or a crime thriller. That would be something different and interesting that I might get into. All depends on if the mood strikes me.

You worked as a psychic for many years, could you share about some of the experiences you had doing that?

I worked as a psychic for four and a half years to get me through college and did a few other gigs for my boss at the time even after I moved on. We were still friends and I was local. Well I never met any celebrities, but I was featured in the Boston Globe for being the best local psychic at the time. That was pretty neat. At times I would open the store I worked at and would walk in to the place smelling of roses when there was nothing in the store or around that should make it smell that way. Candles would spontaneously ignite at times. Things would touch me in the shop when no one was there. I’ve seen a few apparitions in my time too.

Death’s Dance features a character that is a psychic as well, how much of your own experience did you use with Kerstin?

Yes, they say write what you know so it was easy for me to make Kerstin a psychic. Well I don’t see grim reapers, but I am a medium as she is and am empath. There are several scenes in the book like when she wakes up and there are spirits all around her waiting to be heard and to mess with her. I used to get that a lot, but not much these days. I’ve never been involved in a television show. So there are some connections, but not too many. It’s the first in the Deathly Encounters series, how many books are planned? So far I have four books in the Deathly Encounters series planned out. Three are written and the fourth one I just started. Although I can see another two down the line if things work out or just shorts to fill in gaps between the books.

I’ve not read your work before so for someone like myself, what do readers have to look forward to and which book would you recommend we start with?

Reading my work all depends on what you like. I write paranormal romance, horror, fantasy, and a mixture of everything in between. Death’s Dance is my first horror novel in a long time. If you like romance I have several books I did that are my favourites.

Dragonkin Hairy & Hung Awakening the Wolf Masquerade A Conspiracy of Ravens

I have a few things coming out in the future to look forward to. I have a book I just sent in called Come & Yeti, a romance between a space yeti, Bigfoot, and two shape shifting female aliens, with Purple Sword Publications. Mind you this is supposed to be a more comical take on sci-fi and shape shifters. Death’s Revival, Deathly Encounters Book 2 will be out soon with Seventh Star Press. I have another vampire romance called Turning Ash scheduled to come out with a new imprint with Seventh Star. The second book in my Gods Trilogy, Gods & Frogs, Oh My!, is coming out soon with Purple Sword. Besides that I am constantly working and editing when the day job allows it.

Thank you again for having me. It was nice chatting with you.

Tour Schedule and Activities
8/18 Jess Resides Here Interview
8/18 The Southern Belle from Hell Top Ten
8/18 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
8/19 Darkling Delights Guest Post
8/19 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Ten
8/19 Shells interviews Guest Post
8/20 Stuart Conover’s Author Page Interview
8/20 SpecMusicMuse Interview
8/20 Azure Dwarf Post on Artwork
8/21 Come Selahway with Me Top Ten List
8/21 Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author Guest Post
8/21 SocialBookShelves.com Review
8/21 Blog of Sheila Deeth Character Post
8/21 A Haunted Head Guest Post
8/21 The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Top Ten list
8/22 SBM Book Obsession Review
8/22 Bee’s Knees Reviews Guest Post
8/22 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals & More Interview
8/23 Reading Away The Days Review
8/23 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Excerpt
8/23 Horror Tree Guest Post
8/24 Willow’s Author Love Review
8/24 The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void Review
8/24 Bookishly Me Review
8/24 LucyBlueCastle Guest Post

About Crymsyn Hart: Crymsyn Hart is a national bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.

To find out more about Crymsyn Hart, please visit her website at www.ravynhart.com

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