Showing posts with label Janet Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Janet Review. Show all posts

Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Guardian's Bond

Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
Ancient Ink Book 1
Publication Date March 12, 2018 by Carina Press
Reviewed by Janet
4 Ancient Stars


For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect. 
To provide for and pleasure. 

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Guardian's BondGuardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wonderful paranormal romance with shifters. Definitely heavy on the romance with smoldering hero Priest. He is a dominant alpha male in every sense of the word. When he meets Kateri, he may well have met his match and be brought to his knees by his mate. Kateri isn't sure what to believe about the things she is being told. Ever since she was a little girl, her father told her everything was nonsense. Now she'll have to trust in Priest to keep her safe and trust her heart.

A great setup in the first book of this series. It leaves you ready for book two. There's plenty of room for growth with all the different shifters. I look forward to reading Elise's story.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Review: Crysalis

Chrysalis by Angie Martin
Self Published March 9, 2018
Reviewed by Janet
5 Terrified Stars


From the best-selling, award-winning author of Conduit and The Boys Club comes a new supernatural thriller. 
Sheriff Peter Holbrook leads a simple life watching over the residents of Nowhere, Kansas, where the most noteworthy crimes are dognappings and brawls at the local tavern. He’s always had an inherent fear of the gray – the yearly spring storms that plague the area. As the gray descends on Nowhere, a mysterious woman crashes her car just outside city limits. The tattooed stranger may not remember who she is, but Peter instantly feels a connection with her. 

But, the girl’s appearance isn’t the oddest event. Unusual behavior from the townsfolk, cattle mutilation, and death soon follow. Peter believes they are related, but only has his instincts and prophetic ramblings from his deceased mother. As the mysteries and bodies pile up, he turns to the stranger for help in hopes to save his sleepy town. 

Chrysalis contains strong violence. Reader discretion advised.

ChrysalisChrysalis by Angie Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was awesome! Pulls you in immediately with a fast moving plot. I think this is a cross between horror and suspense with just the right amount of both.

Sheriff Peter Holbrook discovers something strange in his sleepy little town of Nowhere when he meets Kaylen. Kaylen was in an accident and now has amnesia. It's up to Peter and Kaylen to figure out what's going on before it's too late and there are more murders. This town may be in a heap of trouble when the gray comes.

I love a creepy thriller that keeps you up most of the night. But, hey, I'll keep coming back for more. I've read some great books and this is one I highly recommend. Kudos to the author for an unputdownable, riveting read.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: Witch Creek

Witch Creek by Laura Bickle
Wildlands Book 4
Publication Date February 27, 2018 by Harper Voyager
Reviewed by Janet
4 Creeking Stars!


In the backcountry of Yellowstone, evil moves below the surface . . . 

Following Nine of Stars comes the next chapter in Laura Bickle's critically acclaimed Wildlands series

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has battled supernatural horrors and experienced astonishing wonders. But there’s no magic on earth that can defeat her recent cancer diagnosis, or help find her missing husband, Gabriel. Still, she would bet all her remaining days that the answer to his disappearance lies in the dark subterranean world beneath the Rutherford Ranch on the outskirts of Temperance, Wyoming.

Gabe is being held prisoner by the sheriff and heir to the ranch, Owen Rutherford. Owen is determined to harness the power of the Tree of Life—and he needs Gabe to reveal its magic. Secretly, the sheriff has also made a pact to free a creature of the underground, a flesh-devouring mermaid. Muirenn has vowed to exact vengeance on Gabe, who helped imprison her, but first . . . she's hungry. Once freed, she will swim into Yellowstone—to feed.

With her coyote sidekick Sig, Petra must descend into the underworld to rescue Gabe before it's too late . . . for both of them.

Witch Creek: A Wildlands NovelWitch Creek: A Wildlands Novel by Laura Bickle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A gripping supernatural thriller! I have not had the pleasure of reading the other books in this series, but had no trouble following the storyline whatsoever. Petra Dee is a strong heroine. Despite the fact that she has cancer, barring death, nothing will stop her from searching for her husband, Gabe. Petra and her friends, along with her coyote Sig, go on a quest to find him. Meanwhile, Gabe is trying desperately to find a way back to Petra. Muirenn is one ancient and crafty mermaid who will do anything for freedom and vengeance.

Get ready for a well-plotted novel with just the right touch of paranormal elements. You'll enjoy this from beginning to end. Be sure to check out the previous books to fully appreciate this one.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Review: The Witch's Reward

The Witch's Reward by Liz McCraine
The Kingdom of Aggadorn Book 1
RePublished December 18, 2017
Reviewed by Janet
5 Magical Stars!


Fairy tales are not a thing of the past. 

In the kingdom of Aggadorn, seventeen-year-old Larra Stoneworth of the village of Farr discovers she has a strange magical power. But the law for humans having such magic is simple: death. When word of Larra’s gift reaches the palace, the king’s son is sent to capture her and bring her to trial. During their journey from Larra’s small village to the city, Larra faces dangers unlike any she has ever imagined. Though Larra’s magic may seem a threat to some, another far more sinister threat emerges that endangers the life of everyone—even the king himself. 

An innocent girl with powers she didn’t know she had. A noble prince sent to imprison her. A powerful counselor gone mad with jealousy. An evil plot. A death sentence. And above all, the strength of one young woman to do what is right, no matter the consequences. 

Note to the Reader: The romance in this novel is clean.

The Witch's Reward (Kingdom of Aggadorn, #1)The Witch's Reward by Liz McCraine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get ready for a splendid tale with a touch of romance. I loved it! Many young adult readers will love this as well.

Larra Stoneworth is a strong protagonist and fiercely protective of those she loves. She lives with her grandmother and when Larra is accused of being a witch, she must go before the king and stand trial. The king's captain and his men are sent to retrieve her. Christoff is a fair man but does not want to trust a witch. And so, the journey begins.

Book two is already out. Squee! This is a book that shouldn't be overlooked. Grab your copy and settle in to the Kingdom of Aggadorn.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: The Spitting Post

The Spitting Post by Jason R. Barden
Published December 8. 2017 by The Wild Rose Press
Reviewed by Janet
5 Fantastic Stars!


Vincent Carpenter’s life is a wreck. He has given up his dreams. He has lost his job after an economic disaster. His ten-year marriage is crumbling. Then he awakens in a maniacal land of frighteningly vivid realism with skull trees, glowing forests, ravenous beasts, and other psychologically haunting adversity.

While traveling through this demented unearthly world, he has a chance encounter with a beautiful maiden dressed in green; before he can start a conversation, she disappears into the unknown. Vincent must try to find her at a fantastical place known as the Spitting Post. But first he must overcome many macabre misfortunes and face nightmares that question his sanity. Will he reach her? What will the Spitting Post reveal? Will he suffer more disappointment and tragedy? Or will he find peace at last?

The Spitting PostThe Spitting Post by Jason R. Barden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm giving this five stars for originality. Compelling from the first page. This is told from a first person viewpoint. I was completely surprised and immensely pleased at how good this is. After reading the blurb, I was intrigued. When starting to read about Vincent Carpenter, you get pulled in at the beginning. There's this need to know more in this strange fantasy world with a medley of even stranger characters throughout.

Vincent is on a quest to find The Green Maiden, and so his adventure begins. Lots of craziness and evil things are lurking in this one-man journey, so keep your eyes open. If you're looking for something different, this is it.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review: 19 Souls

19 Souls by J. D. Allen
Sin City Investigation Book 1
Published February 8, 2018 by Midnight Ink
Reviewed by Janet
4 Blood Chills


Private Investigator Jim Bean is a straightforward, to-the-point man. When his latest client, Sophie Evers, asks him to find her brother Daniel, Jim has no idea how complicated his life is about to become.

Daniel is not Sophie's brother. He is her most coveted prey. Clinging to the belief that they belong together, Sophie kills Daniel's real sister to manipulate Jim into flushing Daniel out of hiding. She will create the "perfect life" for the only man she's ever loved, no matter how many people she must kill along the way.

When Jim discovers the truth about Sophie, he's driven to set things right before her delusional plan claims even more souls.

19 Souls (Sin City Investigation, #1)19 Souls by J.D. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book in the Sin City series takes off with Private Investigator Jim Bean. He doesn't realize by taking on his latest client that circumstances would go from bad to worse. There's a lot at stake that Jim may not be ready for, but ready he'll have to be. This killer is a psychopath of epic proportions.

A great main character who is flawed, but underneath, still a good guy. Hooked me in with a solid plotline and kept me turning the pages. This is one thriller that's sure to make suspense readers sit up and take notice. I will certainly be reading the next one because I'm curious to see where this goes and what new case Jim will take on.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: Wolf Blood

Wolf Blood by Steve Morris
Lycanthropic Book 1
Published January 1, 2018 by Landmark Media
Reviewed by Janet
5 Bloody Fangs!!


The werewolf apocalypse begins ... 

When a wave of vicious attacks sweeps across London, there are reports of a Beast on the loose. There are fears of a Ripper stalking the streets. 
But the truth is more terrifying than anyone wants to admit. 
Werewolves are prowling the city. Hunting and killing. 

Lycanthropy, a disease as old as humanity, now threatens to destroy civilization. With no cure, no vaccine, and millions of potential victims, it’s spreading through the capital at exponential rates. And every werewolf bite has just two possible outcomes – death or infection.

Only a tiny number of people have the insight to realize what is happening. But what will a young police woman, a group of teenagers and a computer nerd have to sacrifice in order to survive?

The werewolf apocalypse is here. And it’s only just beginning … 
WOLF BLOOD is the first in the LYCANTHROPIC post-apocalyptic werewolf series. If you enjoy the zombie apocalypse, dystopian science fiction, horror, grimdark, dark fantasy, or multi-protagonist sagas, don’t miss out on the next big trend in apocalyptic fiction.

Wolf Blood: The Werewolf Apocalypse Begins (Lycanthropic, #1)Wolf Blood: The Werewolf Apocalypse Begins by Steve Morris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Horror fans are in for a treat! These werewolves are cunning and unstoppable at spreading the lycanthropy disease. I was very excited to read this. This author pulls out all the stops so there's lots of gore and action to be had among these pages. Loved this from the moment I started reading. This is the first book in the series, so yes, it does end on a cliffhanger, but now I can't wait for book two.

We start off with Professor Norman Wiseman who is studying the lycanthropy disease in Romania when unfortunate mishaps occur. Then the rest of this takes place in London where the werewolf apocalypse spreads like the plague. This switches around to the different characters this book centers around. Amazing details give this authenticity. You're in for a wild ride.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Daddy Darkest

Daddy Darkest by Ellery Kane
Doctors of Darkness Book 1
Published by Ellery Kane Publishing
Reviewed by Janet
5 Dreadful Stars!



A month after her high school graduation, small-town-girl Samantha "Sam" Bronwyn boards a plane with her best friend, Ginny. Destination: San Francisco. But when Ginny disappears inside an airport bathroom wearing Sam's letterman jacket, it doesn't take her long to figure out she was the intended target. Alone in a strange city, Sam's on a run for her life--drawn into a dark past she never knew existed. A past where secrets aren't all that's buried and where revenge comes at the highest price.

Who is Sam really--and who can she trust? The mysterious stranger in 4A who secreted a gun in his backpack? The guilty ex-con? The disarming FBI agent? Her own mother?

Only one thing is certain. Someone is after her. Someone who knows more about her than she does. Someone who wants to teach her a hard lesson: There are worse things than murder.

Daddy Darkest is a standalone and the first in the Doctors of Darkness series by forensic psychologist and author, Ellery Kane. Betrayal, lust, revenge, murder...These doctors earned their degrees from the dark side.

Daddy Darkest (Doctors of Darkness, #1)Daddy Darkest by Ellery A. Kane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Plenty of twists make this a riveting and unforgettable book. I absolutely loved this! There are few suspense authors that I love, and now this one is ranked right up there with my favorites. Yes, there is disturbing subject matter in here. The entire plot works here, and it's page-turning suspense.

Right from the start, we have Samantha's friend Ginny being abducted. There are no clues as to what happened. Samantha must decide if there is anyone she can trust or if she's on her own. A killer is at large and the hunt is on.

This is a dark psychological thriller that will have you on the edge-of-your-seat. Be prepared to be up all night. Is book two ready yet?

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review: Heat

Heat by Donna Grant
Dark Kings Book 12
Publication Date January 30, 2018 by St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by Janet
5 Firebreathing Stars!


Nikolai is a dragon shapeshifter who knows well the meaning of loss. Orphaned and raised to be a Dragon King, he never accepts defeat. Now, Nikolai prefers his solitude . . .until a beautiful, irresistible woman calls upon him for help—and Nikola’s whole word goes up in flames.

Ever since MI5 agent Esther woke to discover her mind taken over with magic, she feels like stranger to herself. She looks to a notorious dragon, one who has the power to help her find her memory. But as she and Nikolai come closer to discovering what really happened to her, a dangerous passion ignites between them. Can this lone Dragon King help the woman he’s grown to love to uncover the truth about her past—or will a deep and fiery danger tear them both apart?

Heat (Dark Kings, #12)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whew! Fanning self at the moment. The title of this book is aptly named. Nikolai and Esther have unbelievable chemistry that fills the pages. They are made for one another. I absolutely love this series. The Dragon shifters are smokin' hot, pun intended. There's no need to start at the beginning of this series because each book is perfect as a standalone. However, after reading one, you may want to go back and plow through the others. Nikolai's story is fantastic! There are other paranormals in this book that you will notice throughout the series. You may need to check and see if your favorite has a story out already.

This author always does a splendid job when it comes to creating her characters and their back story. While there are hurdles to overcome, as with most paranormal romances, readers are guaranteed awesomeness in this book along with a happily ever after. And yes, I'm still waiting for Rhi's book.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: Alpha's Prize

Alpha's Prize by Renee Rose and Lee Savino
Bad Boy Alpha's Book 3
Published October 16, 2017 by Burning Desires
Reviewed By Janet
5 Howling Stars!


I didn’t order the capture of the beautiful American she-wolf. I didn’t buy her from the traffickers. I didn’t even plan to claim her. But no male shifter could have withstood the test of a full moon and a locked room with Sedona, naked and shackled to the bed. 

I lost control, not only claiming her, but also marking her, and leaving her pregnant with my wolfpup. I won’t keep her prisoner, as much as I’d like to. I allow her to escape to the safety of her brother’s pack. 

But once marked, no she-wolf is ever really free. I will follow her to the ends of the Earth, if I must. 

Sedona belongs to me. 

Publisher’s Note: Alpha’s Prize is a stand-alone book in the Bad Boy Alphas series. HEA guaranteed, no cheating. This book contains a hot, demanding alpha wolf with a penchant for protecting and dominating his female. If such material offends you, do not buy this book.

Alpha's Prize (Bad Boy Alphas, #3)Alpha's Prize by Renee Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A paranormal scorcher! Carlos is one sexy dominant wolf who commands the pages as well as his pack. He meets Sedona under the most dire of circumstances, as they are imprisoned together. This is highly erotic and perfectly fits this setting. Given everything that's going on, Carlos and Sedona remain strong. There is much at stake here. I loved every minute, and couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I've never had the privilege of reading these authors before, but I'm definitely going to read the others.

Reviewed by Janet of the GothicMoms Review Team

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: A Spoonful of Magic

A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford
Publication Date November 7, 2017 by Daw Books
Reviewed by Janet
3 Puffs of Magic


A delightful new urban fantasy about a kitchen witch and her magical family 

Daphne "Daffy" Rose Wallace Deschants has an ideal suburban life--three wonderful and talented children; a coffee shop and bakery, owned and run with her best friend; a nearly perfect husband, Gabriel, or "G" to his friends and family. Life could hardly be better.

But G's perfection hides dangerous secrets. When Daffy uncovers evidence of his infidelity, her perfect life seems to be in ruins. On their wedding anniversary, Daffy prepares to confront him, only to be stopped in her tracks when he foils a mugging attempt using wizard-level magic.

Suddenly, Daphne is part of a world she never imagined--where her husband is not a traveling troubleshooter for a software company, but the sheriff of the International Guild of Wizards, and her brilliant children are also budding magicians. Even she herself is not just a great baker and barista--she's actually a kitchen witch. And her discovery of her powers is only just beginnning.

But even the midst of her chaotic new life, another problem is brewing. G's ex-wife, a dangerous witch, has escaped from her magical prison. Revenge-bent and blind, she needs the eyes of her son to restore her sight--the son Daffy has raised as her own since he was a year old. Now Daphne must find a way to harness her new powers and protect her family--or risk losing everything she holds dear. (Goodreads)


Super cute! Daphne and her family are a magical bunch. The children are just coming into their magical abilities and need their father's help. Their father, known mostly as G, is from a long line of magic users. When an enemy threatens, they must all be prepared and Daphne better be ready. Magical Brews is the shop where Daffy creates magic in the kitchen. 

This is a light paranormal that's fun to read. These are good characters, and even the children have a major role in here that is essential to the plot. The husband and wife dynamic is unconventional. I won't give anything away on that. 

Daffy is great, and I wish I could try one of her melt-in-your-mouth pastries. You can almost taste them! A pleasurable treat that focuses on this family and has a Halloween backdrop. I think fans of cozies will like this while sipping their favorite fall drink.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale
Publication Date October 31, 2017 by Subterranean Press
Reviewed by Janet


Subterranean Press is thrilled to announce the novel-length prequel to the classic story, “Bubba Ho-Tep.”

About the Book:

Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a handful of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension who have taken up residence in a New Orleans junkyard. 

Besides Elvis, among these righteous warriors is a hammer-wielding descendent of John Henry of railroad fame, a Blind Man who sees more than those with sight, Jack, a strategic wizard, and Elvis’s right hand man and journal writer, Johnny, all thrown in with Raven (real name Jenny) a female recruit who is also a budding pop star, and like Elvis, high on the charisma chart. 

Their leader is none other than Colonel Parker, Elvis’s cutthroat manager, and a warrior himself, directly in contact with President Nixon, or possibly one of his doubles.

It’s an unnerving peek into a secret world, and a possible delusion. It’s what happened before Elvis, aka Sebastian Haff, found himself in an East Texas rest home, mounted on a walker, fighting an Egyptian mummy and worrying about a growth on his pecker.

Strange monsters, wild fights, sex with a beautiful ghost, a drug-induced trip into another dimension, and all manner of mayhem ensue, along with a Mississippi riverboat ride on a giant paddle wheel, and of course, there will be 3D glasses, fried peanut butter and ’nanna sandwiches, and a few hard working zombies.

Bring the kids, but plug their ears and blindfold them. This is one wild and nasty ride to the dark side, but with laughter.

Limited: 1500 signed numbered hardcover copies (Goodreads)


Highly imaginative world in which I couldn't tear myself away from the pages. Loved it from the beginning! I went in with an open mind and found it to be a refreshing change from the normalcy. Okay, I know what you're thinking, "Elvis Presley, in a sci-fi novel? Really?" Really! This author is brilliant and had me laughing-out-loud at the fantastical of it all, not to mention the crude humor. This starts off in the first person perspective and then changes throughout the book. 

The monsters in here are not like any you've encountered before. Their portrayal is something you wouldn't want to come across in your worst nightmare. Given the state of things, it's up to Elvis, along with a few others you may recognize, to rid the world of these creatures. This is crazy and action-filled. Wanna know how it ends? You'll just have to read it for yourself. Hope you love it! 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Guest Post on Villains by Joe M. Solomon

The Darkness: Giger, Texas
Joe M. Solomon

Genre: Horror/Supernatural

Publisher: NES Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: October 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990024-0-7
ASIN: B07435H5YR

Number of pages: 372
Word Count: 106,029

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone

Book Description:

When night falls in Giger, Texas, shadows gather as they always do in dim corners and other areas bereft of light.  But this time they consolidate and attack any who tread too close. Michael Warren, a twenty-four-year-old resident of Giger, finds himself at the epicenter of this horror and is stunned by the losses suffered overnight.  Then the sun sets and the shadows again coalesce, growing more aggressive, the darkness eviscerating anyone it touches.

His only weapon light, Michael struggles to survive and searches frantically for his girlfriend, aiding friends along the way.  When Hurricane Daniel roars ashore, wind gusts shred trees and tear down power lines, plunging all of Southeastern Texas into blackness that only feeds and strengthens the encroaching darkness.  Rising floodwater provides easy thoroughfares from which the darkness can strike as Michael and his friends contend with the elements, clash with criminals, and battle their way to his residence where they will stand against the darkness and fight to survive.

Amazon     Kobo     BN     iTunes

Startled, Eddie blinked and wiped at his own eyes. “What was…? Hello?”

No answer.
His pulse picked up. “C-Curt, you in here… you a-a-a-asshole?”

A box fell behind him.

Eddie spun around, body tight as a knot, eyes wide as their sockets would allow. “Wh-h-h-h-who the hell’s that?” he demanded with as much sternness as he could inject into his quivering voice.

Soft whispers trickled out of a minuscule pocket of emptiness near the back door on the farthest wall. There, amid the gloom, something progressed toward him. At first, its movements appeared mechanical, inelastic. Then it evolved into a smooth flow. A soft ripple. A consolidated wave of darkness.

Review - The Darkness Giger, Texas - 5 Stars

A total scarefest! Definitely not for the squeamish. This takes place right before a hurricane is about to hit. Those of us who have dealt with a hurricane or are afraid of the dark, will experience real terror among these pages. Michael Warren and his friends have no idea why there are mass murders taking place at night, not just in Giger, Texas, but all over the world. You won't believe what they encounter. Many of you may want to sleep with the lights on after this.

We have a very plausible scenario here that switches to the viewpoint of thecharacters throughout. If you live in the Houston area, you can really visualize this taking place which makes it all the more terrifying. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this, but it was worth the ride. Seasoned horror fans will be glued to their seats as a new terror takes shape. - Reviewed by Janet


Let’s explore a little about what scares you.  I’ve read books and watched movies that reflect things that scare us.  Sometimes it is waking up and suddenly realizing that you are the last person on earth, i.e. Loneliness.  According to psychiatrists, we need people for everything from simple companionship to feeling good about ourselves.  This notion was examined time and again on the TV series The Twilight Zone. In Where is Everybody?, our main character basically wakes up in a town alone.  He tries a pay phone.  Nothing.  He rushes from a restaurant to the sheriff’’s office, finding no one.  He has a moment of hope when he sees a woman sitting in a car.  Further investigating, however, reveals that it is a mannequin.  When he can find no hope, ultimately our protagonist starts to crack up.  

We also see it in Time Enough when the main character survives a nuclear war.  Upon surfacing, the man finds everything has been destroyed.  He is a ferocious reader who wears thick eyeglasses. However, after discovering piles and piles of books he now has all the time in the world to read, he sees another on the ground, bends to retrieve it, and his glasses slide off of his nose and break.  Now he is alone, unable to read, with no one to talk to and nothing to do but wait to die.

In a more recent film, Passengers, the main character is on a spaceship, heading to a new world with thousands of other passengers.  By accident, the main character accidentally awakens.  All of the others still sleep.  Doing almost everything he wants to, from dancing in a virtual club to space walking outside of the ship, he finds it isn’t enough.  He needs a companion and soon finds it paramount.

So we need other people and fear total solitude. What else scares us?  Let’s consider some childhood that sometimes follow us into adulthood.  The three I’ve heard mentioned the most often are the monsters under the bed, the boogeyman in the closet and what lurks in the darkness.  As adults, the darkness continues to frighten us because we are aware now of terrors—like serial killers—that may lay in waiting for us as we walk to our cars late at night. Sick individuals who aren’t out steal our money or carjack us, but just want to see us suffer and die.  Or the lone gunman who unexpectedly sprays crowds with bullets or the man who waits in the shadows, engine running, carefully timing a hit and run.  All for the sake of violence.  But what happens when the menace in the darkness waiting to kill you isn’t a person, but the darkness itself is? 
“So what?” some might respond.  “The darkness is intangible.”  But what if it became tangible, not just her or there, but everywhere shadows formed.  And the one thing we knew for certain was that the sun must set. 
Again, so might shrug and say, “So what?  I’ll simply turn on the lights.”  What if a hurricane then plowed ashore and took away your light source?  What if the darkness grew so thick that is blocked out the starts from the sky… and the light in your house?  How would you protect yourself if a candle or flashlight simply wasn’t enough light to stave off the darkness?  Would submersing yourself in such a tale take you back to an earlier time in your life when the monster under the bed and the boogeyman in the closet seemed terrifyingly real? 

Well, this is what I present to you, dear reader:  A villain you cannot speak with, interview, reason with or evade… ever!

About the Author:

Joe M. Solomon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, followed by both master’s and doctoral degrees from Rice University. Joe’s supernatural thriller The Darkness: Giger, Texas released in 2017. A second novel—The Light: Houston, Texas—and a collection of short stories that arise from the macabre will soon follow.  

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Publication Date October 24, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
Reviewed by Janet
4 Magical Stars


In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be.

Antonina Beaulieu is in the glittering city of Loisail for her first Grand Season, where she will attend balls and mingle among high society. Under the tutelage of the beautiful but cold Valérie Beaulieu, she hopes to find a suitable husband. However, the haphazard manifestations of Nina’s telekinetic powers make her the subject of malicious gossip.

Yet dazzling telekinetic performer and outsider Hector Auvray sees Nina’s powers as a gift, and he teaches her how to hone and control them. As they spend more and more time together, Nina falls in love and believes she’s found the great romance that she’s always dreamed of, but Hector’s courtship of Nina is deceptive.

The Beautiful Ones is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the Belle Époque. (Goodreads)


 This is an interesting love story. There is a light touch of paranormal because the two main protagonists have telekinetic abilities. I would have loved to see more use of these gifts in the book. The plot and romance are slow developing and well-written, which make it all the more sweeter. 

I honestly wasn't a big fan of Hector through most of the book, but he grew on me with the way the author had me understanding his point of view. Antonina, or Nina as she likes to be called, is just lovely and optimistic about everything. Throughout the book, I found myself saying, please let Nina get her happily ever after. All readers will root for her. This is a gentle romance for those who enjoy the build-up without all the sex. I'd like to see what this author will create next.

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