Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke #review

Kealan Patrick Burke

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Title : Sour Candy
Author: Kealan Patrick Burke
Published: 2015
Pages:: 67
Format:: ebook

 

At first glance, Phil Pendelton and his son Adam are just an ordinary father and son, no different from any other. They take walks in the park together, visit county fairs, museums, and zoos, and eat together overlooking the lake. Some might say the father is a little too accommodating given the lack of discipline when the child loses his temper in public. Some might say he spoils his son by allowing him to eat candy whenever he wants and set his own bedtimes. Some might say that such leniency is starting to take its toll on the father, given how his health has declined.

What no one knows is that Phil is a prisoner, and that up until a few weeks ago and a chance encounter at a grocery store, he had never seen the child before in his life.

A new novella from the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of THE TURTLE BOY and KIN.

I’ve never wanted kids. At 35 I still have people ask me when I’ll have some. Most don’t like when I say never. I apparently have no clue what I want in life because they are all so sure I’ll change my mind. Oddly the older I get the more I don’t want kids and happier I am that I am child free. I don’t like being around kids when they are screaming at the top of their lungs and parents don’t tell them to behave. I find the idea of pregnancy to be revolting. This book for someone like myself is quite frankly chilling, it is sheer and pure hell.

That being said I loved this book. It is such a well written piece of horror that I instantly went and bought another of the authors books.

Imagine going out to buy groceries and while there in the isle minding your own business a child lets our a blood curdling scream. Imagine that when you go home after a very strange day that child is there waiting for you. Daddy have some candy it says. And so begins the hell that is your life. A psychological horror more so than blood and guts but chill you to the marrow it will. Brilliantly written the child and adult are perfectly done characters who’s story will hook you even if you are terrified. The ending continues the terror and left me not just not wanting children but terrified of being anywhere near one.

Read this book!

Interview with author @bettyrocksteady

Rocksteady

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Hatred and desire collide when the girl next door is a giant spider

Alex’s arachnophobia may be old fashioned, but he’s able to live a life of relative peace despite it. That all changes when a spider moves in next door. His girlfriend is sick of his attitude and begs him to give the new neighbor a chance. He overcomes his fear, but finds a twisted sexuality in its place. His attraction to the spider affects all areas of his life, and changes everything he thought he knew.

 

I read and reviewed Arachnophile last year in November when the latest books in the new bizarro author series had been released. I loved it, seriously this series makes me so happy. For a start it gives new authors a helping hand to get out there and find a readership, second it gives people like me who like a bit or a lot of strange with their reading a very satisfying go to place. Arachnophile was a beautiful strange entertaining read that I highly recommend checking out. If you are a bizarro fan you’ll love it and if you are new to bizarro its a great place to start.

Thank you to Betty for the review copy and for taking part in the interview.

 

 

Please tell me about yourself

I’m an author and illustrator from Canada and my interests lie in mostly the horror and weird realm of things. I grew up reading Weekly World News and old horror comics. My favorite stories are ones where terrible things happen and my favorite art is unsettling. This quote by Edward Gorey sums up my creative process pretty well “My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.”

Can you share something about yourself that no one knows

I’m a pretty open book, but any of my social media friends and followers probably don’t know that I used to read A LOT of the Babysitter’s Club.

What are you reading now?

I just finished an extreme horror collection called DOA II and it was fantastic. Slowly getting through The Ritual by David Pinner – beautifully written but I’ve been taking my time with it.

Some favourite books and authors

Alice in Wonderland, forever. Stephen King has been a constant favorite over the years. I’ve been reading Kealan Patrick Burke’s novellas lately and really enjoying them. Joe Hill’s books and comics are fantastic.

What is your work space and writing routine like

Full of cats and clutter. My writing routine hasn’t settled into a real routine yet, it seems to change month to month and depending on what I’m working on. I try to write FAST though, get the rough draft out as quickly as possible. I usually do at least a general outline so I know how to get from point A to point B, or at least what point B is.

How did you discover the bizarro genre and become one of the NBAS?

I had read a bit of bizarro (mostly Joe R. Lansdale) before I really knew what bizarro was, but I’ve always loved weird horror and things that take you in a new direction. I got to know Garrett Cook, this year’s NBAS editor on facebook and took a few of his workshops. He liked my stuff and helped warp it. I had been writing kinda predictable horror before that, but he was able to show me how to bring the true weird outta my soul. He invited me to participate in NBAS and it was (and is) an awesome experience.

Your debut novella Arachnophile is an awesome read, please tell everyone about your new books

Arachnophile is surreal and wet and buggy. I tried to put myself in a Lynchian Eraserhead frame of mind while I was writing it. Alex is a conservative guy who is just trying to live a normal life. The problem is, he’s afraid of spiders. Maybe not such a huge problem, but giant spiders are firmly intermeshed in the society in which he lives and its impossible to avoid them. Against his will, a neighbor spider weaves her way into his life in a way he never expected. You can pick it up here.http://www.amazon.com/Arachnophile-Betty-Rocksteady-ebook/dp/B0172MQ4RQ/

I’ve just finished writing a novella inspired by a nightmare. A girl is saved from some thugs by her grandfather. The thing is, her grandfather has been dead for years. When he brings her back to his new apartment to explain, he doesn’t seem quite himself, and she finds it impossible to leave. I’m hoping to have it released this year, so keep an eye on my website athttp://www.bettyrocksteady.com or my facebook https://www.facebook.com/bettyrocksteadyart

Did you do any arachnid and entomology research for your book?

I did! Even though my book is strange and obviously fantastical, I wanted it to have a flavor of realism and an understanding of spiders apparent. The thing is, before writing it, I was actually a bit of an arachnophobe myself! I watched quite a few spider documentaries and read a lot of articles about how their bodies and reproductive system work. By the time I was done with that and with writing my book, I found myself undergoing a change of heart similar to Alex. I think spiders are pretty cool now and they don’t gross me out nearly as much.

 

Rocksteady“My mission in life is to make everybody as uneasy as possible. I think we should all be as uneasy as possible, because that’s what the world is like.” -Edward Gorey

Betty Rocksteady is an eclectic author and illustrator from Canada. Her early exposure to Stephen King, The Weekly World News, and EC horror comics shaped her into the woman she is today. With art and fiction, she explores personal fears and resonances.

My debut novella, Arachnophile, is part of this year’s Eraserhead Press New Bizarro Author Series. Release date November 5, 2015!

Betty can be found online at Web | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook |

I do monthly illustrations at Theme of Absence

Here’s some short fiction available online:
Devil’s Night

The Clown Society

In The Deep Web

Who’s Afraid by Maria Lewis book tour #review

TOUR BANNER2

Welcome to my stop on the Who’s Afraid book tour. I’m so happy to take part. I’ll be sharing a sneak peak excerpt from this book by Maria Lewis and as I was so lucky to receive a copy, I’ll be posting my review as well. I totally recommend it!

Maria Lewis

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Incredibly exciting new voice in paranormal fiction.

This is the story of Tommi, a young Scottish woman living an ordinary life, who stumbles violently into her birthright as the world’s most powerful werewolf. The sudden appearance of a dark, mysterious (and very attractive) guardian further confuses her as her powers begin to develop and she begins to understand that her life can never be the same again. The reader will be swept up in Tommi’s journey as she’s thrown into the middle of a centuries-old battle and a world peopled with expert warriors and vicious enemies – this is the start of a series – and a world – you will fall in love with.

Excerpt –

Maria Lewis

 

Review

I wasn’t sure I’d finish this book in time but I blazed through it so fast. A super fast read as I was sucked into this story. Great world building where a secret society lives to protect us all and keep secrets like werewolves. Tommi our protagonist is off to New Zealand to find her father after her mothers untimely death, here she learns two things. One her father is dead, two she is a werewolf same as her father was. After being attacked by another werewolf Tommi flees New Zealand only to find she now has new allies and enemies.

Tommi is a great character unlike many other protagonists, she is strong and capable. I found a couple of her actions to be odd but then not everyone acts in the same way I guess. I loved her relationships with her friends and Lo. This warmth built between characters really brought them alive and made their story even more enjoyable. The action was intense and well written, all in all a very entertaining story that could easily be a great series.I’d certainly like to read more about Tommi and her adventures as a new werewolf.

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AuthorMaria Lewis is a journalist and author based in Sydney, Australia. Getting her start as a police and crime reporter at a local newspaper, Maria soon transitioned into writing about film and entertainment for publications such as The Daily Mail, New York Post, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Empire magazine, Penthouse, Junkee, WHO Weekly, Huffington Post and many more. A journalist for over a decade, she also regularly appears as a pop culture commentator on television and radio. She’s the co-host and producer of the Eff Yeah Film & Feminism podcast. Her debut novel – urban fantasy series Who’s Afraid? – is set for release in January, 2016 in Australia through Hachette and worldwide on July 14, 2016 through Little Brown Books and Piatkus Fiction. She can be found tweeting too much at @MovieMazz, on Facebook at Maria Lewis Writer, Instagram, Tumblr and online at marialewis.com.au

 

 

The Ruby Iver series #spotlight

RubyIver

The Ruby Iyer series, as the name suggests, follows the adventures of Ruby Iyer, an eighteen year old from Bombay.

The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is the first full length novel in the series. The Ruby Iyer Diaries is a short novella in diary format gives a glimpse into the life of the protagonist , Ruby Iyer, before the time of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. The First Life of Vikram Roy is another novella that does the same thing for Vikram Roy, the other protagonist, as The Ruby Iyer Diaries does for Ruby Iyer – give a glimpse into Vikram’s Life before he met Ruby Iyer.

 

The Ruby Iyer Diaries (Ruby Iyer #0.5) 

This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for The Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby’s life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer.

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The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer (Ruby Iyer #1)

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him.

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be.
Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction.

Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from.

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The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5)

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.
Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered.
Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.
From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.

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An excerpt from The First Life of Vikram Roy

The Ruby Iyer Series—by Laxmi Hariharan

 

 

I hear the staccato of shots being fired, followed by yells and howls of pain. Then, the sound of something being smashed and everything goes quiet. The TV no longer chatters. I look to the open door. The recreation room is down at the end of the corridor. The sounds of shots get closer. Without giving myself a chance to think I make a run for the door slam it shut, lock it and it’s as if that’s a signal to the rest of the men to jump to their feet. Without a word, the ten of us scram to our bunks, pull on trousers and shoes.We get our hands on whatever weapon we can find. No guns, none of us have guns. So I grab my cricket bat. (As if that’s going to make a difference?)

Around me the others too are grabbing cricket bats and hockey sticks. Neil grabs an iron rod. An iron rod? Where did he get that from? We drop to the floor, crouch and wait.

Should I hide under the bed? Nope, no way. Like, that is going to help.

And then a crash as the door is broken down, hacked by what looks like an axe till it’s in pieces on the floor and through it step through two men. One holding a machine gun, the other wielding an axe which he drops to the floor and instead grabs the the gun slung over his back. They are both wearing balaclavas, so we can’t see their features. Of medium height, they are muscular and dressed all in black: Black jeans and sweatshirts, their hair covered by the hoods. Their backs are to the door. They point their guns at us, signalling to us to put our hands up. I hesitate, not looking around but sense that the others too are not sure what to do. The first gunman points his gun at the nearest recruit … a boy just out of his teens and shoots him in the head.

There is a collective gasp from the room. A chill runs through me. Who are they? How did they break through the security measures of the force base? And then they are foolish enough to barge right into the heart of the training facilities of the force and shoot its cadets? Why? Why would they do that? The gunmen gesture to us and this time we follow their orders. We walk to the wall at the back of the bunkhouse and line up, hands on our heads, staring ahead.

An alarm rings out then. Finally! It’s been almost ten minutes since the shooting started. Still, the reinforcements should be here soon. Now all we need to do is keep these gun men distracted enough so they don’t kill us. As if reading my mind, the guy who’d shot the young recruit moves forward, his gun trained on us. I draw in a breath and hold it. The sweat trickles down my back. My heart is racing so fast I am sure if I look down I can see it leaping out of my chest. The gunman passes me, walks to the end of the line; then back to the middle where I am.

“You have no idea what this is about do you?” He asks.

He sounds young, as if he is barely a man himself. And something in his voice … muffled as it is, it sounds familiar. A faint recollection grabs the edge of my mind, And then I forget everything because he leans close to Neil who is next to me, and smashes the butt of his gun into his stomach. Neil falls to the ground, moaning, holding his middle. I firm up my stomach muscles. I know I am next, I must be. I want to squeeze my eyes shut, but don’t. The gunman leans to the other side, and shoots another man in the head.

This chap collapses without a cry. What the fuck? I want to jump him right then, but that would be really stupid of me. I am not going to help anyone if I get killed will I? There are six of us left in the room now. One of the younger recruits lets out a sob, at which gunman no 2 holds his gun at him, so he shuts up immediately.

The gunman asks me, “Where are the plans?’

“What are you talking about?” I reply, trying to stay calm, struggling not to show how scared I am inside.

He only grins and in response, and without taking his eyes off me, holds his gun up and I know what what he is going to do and I scream. “No!” But it’s too late. This time he’s shot two more guys in succession. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. These guys are desperate, or crazy or both.

Besides me Neil stirs on the ground.

The gunman takes a deep breathe, as if trying to calm himself and says, “Don’t pretend to be dumb. If you don’t get me the blue prints of the security arrangements being planned by the force for Bombay; the one that you and your team mates are being trained for, then all the rest of you die too.”

Only six of us left now. Four young lives, gone just like that. I feel sick. What the fuck are these guys upto? And … and how do they know about the plans? This is top secret. The only reason I know about it, is because I’ve overheard the training officer speaking with the ACP about it on the phone last week. And only because I happened to be waiting outside his room then. And how does this gunman even know that I know the details?

Want to find out what happens next? Click here

 

Want to find out what happens next? Click here

 

About The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer Series)

 

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.

If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance series, The Ruby Iyer Series is it.

 

About the origins of Ruby Iyer:

Growing up in Bombay, my daily commute to university was inevitably nightmarish. It’s just how public transport is here. The man behind you on the bus will brush up against you. You know you are going to be felt up on a crowded train platform. All you can do is accept it and get on. Or so you think. I did too, until, a young photojournalist was raped in the centre of Bombay in broad daylight. It made me furious. Nothing had changed in this city in all these years. Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would not back down; who would follow her instincts, stand up for herself regardless of consequences. Thus Ruby Iyer was born. Make no mistake, Ruby’s her own person. She leads. I follow. You can download the RUBY IYER DIARIES, the prequel novelette in the series free HERE

 

About The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer

2015 Readers’ Favorite (Bronze) YA Action

YA Finalist 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award

Finalist 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards
When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. If you’re looking for fast-paced books like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall, the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY – FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY’s FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you’re looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you’ll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree — a redwood — in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination.

Receive a free copy of THE RUBY IYER DIARIES when you sign up to her Newsletter

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Black Paintings by James Smythe #review

James Smythe

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Title : Black Paintings
Author: James Smythe
Published: 2014
Pages:: 20
Format:: ebook

“I first saw the painting in a gallery in Spain. I was there on business, the day after my diagnosis, and wanted to distract myself before my flight.”

James Smythe (The Machine, Way Down Dark) explores the darker side of art. A furious – and very wealthy – man becomes obsessed with a painting. As he finds himself in the art, he begins to lose what makes him human.

I love the mind of James Smythe. The amazing worlds and characters he creates always make for a great read. This short was one I had to get and it did not disappoint. A wealthy man who learns he is dying takes his love of art to a whole new level. He procures a piece he becomes obsessed with, I myself had to google this piece and it is in fact a very real work of art. A satisfying short into a death spiral of self destruction.